chapter  9
Honour dishonoured: the communicational workings of early Stuart tragedy and tragicomedy
ByROGER D. SELL
Pages 26

According to Joanne Rochester, Massinger intended his dramatization of the actor Paris and his troop of players in The Roman Actor (1626) to show an independent and professional theatre being destroyed by a corrupt and tyrannous state. Massinger’s aim, she says, was to defend the independent theatre’s social role by suggesting that the stage was necessary ‘not only for artistic purposes, but for moral and political ones as well’.2 In her view, the play was Massinger’s metatheatrical account of what he saw as his own duty to work for moral and political consensus.