The Tragedie of Gorboduc, also titled Ferrex and Porrex, is an English play from 1561. It was first performed at the Christmas celebration given by the Inner Temple in 1561, and performed at Whitehall before Queen Elizabeth I on 18 January 1561, by the Gentlemen of the Inner Temple. The authors were Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville, said to be responsible for the first three Acts, and the final two, respectively.
The first quarto, published by the bookseller William Griffith, was published 22 September 1565. A second authorized quarto corrected by the authors followed in 1570 printed by John Day with the title The Tragedie of Ferrex and Porrex. A third edition was published in 1590 by Edward Allde.The play is notable for several reasons: as the first verse drama in English to employ blank verse; for its political subject matter (the realm of Gorboduc is disputed by his sons Ferrex and Porrex), which was still a touchy area in the early years of Elizabeth's reign, while the succession to the throne was unclear; for its manner, progressing from the models of the morality play and Senecan tragedy in the direction which would be followed by later playwrights. That is, it can be seen as a forerunner of the whole trend that would later produce Titus Andronicus and King Lear. It also provides the first well-documented performance of a play in Ireland: Charles Blount, 8th Baron Mountjoy staged it at Dublin Castle in 1601.
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