This essay examines Thomas Otway's play Venice Preserved and its relation to the rhetoric of contemporary loyalist authors in both canonical sources, such as Sir Robert Filmer's Patriarcha, and ephemeral pamphlets. Otway incorporates two major intellectual trends, the "anti-myth" of Venice and Filmer's philosophy, into Venice Preserved, linking the play to proto-Tory thought. Otway also applies a loyalist interpretation of the English Civil War to his conspirators, connecting them to recent historical events. Finally, Otway's play owes a literary debt to Milton's Paradise Lost, as Pierre's rhetoric parallels that of Milton's Satan. In this final area, Otway follows the lead of Roger L'Estrange and uses Milton's work to enhance the loyalist cause. Once Venice Preserved is read within this context, its loyalist allegiance becomes apparent.


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pp. 479-500
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