The Dutch Courtesan and 'The Soul of Lively Action'
The Dutch Courtesan has traditionally been the subject of critical interpretations which offer simplified accounts of both its overall design and its scene-by-scene complexities. This article charts some of the recurrent problems that have, in particular, affected scholarly accounts of the Freevill/Malheureux/Franceschina plot, which became apparent as the author worked on the play in production. The aim is to map more clearly some of the key givens of the script, but not to dictate performance outcomes, since the play is sufficiently rich to invite and to accommodate contrasting realizations on stage.
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