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Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher’s tragicomedies exerted an enormous influence on the Jacobean and Caroline stage. This essay argues that tragicomedy developed as a response to London’s competing theatrical venues, particularly their attempts to acquire prestige. Tragicomedy alluded to a wide variety of different dramatic and literary works, and by combining texts in this way Beaumont and Fletcher could disparage the popular dramatic styles at competing playhouses. This underlying concern also explains the focus on aristocratic identity in the plays. Tragicomedy helped make the Blackfriars a place where audiences could gain cultural knowledge and acquire good taste.