1862 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Peele

Thomas Arnold, in A Manual of English Literature (1862; 1885) 228.



George Peele, a Christ Church man, was an intimate friend of Greene, Nash, and Lodge. His Arraignment of Paris, a court pageant, was exhibited before Elizabeth in 1584. His historical play of Edward I. (1593) is of little value; but he shows to considerable advantage in his scriptural drama, The Love of King David and Fair Bethsabe. The revolt and death of Absalom are worked into the play, which was first printed in 1599. The verse is generally flowing and musical, — more equably so, perhaps, than that of Ben Jonson or Fletcher. There is all the Elizabethan wealth of imagery and illustration, together with that redundance and tendency to excess which are also of the time.