Copyright (c) 2023 Paolo Bertinetti
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John Dryden, one of the greatest playwrights of the Restoration age, adapted the play by Molière L’Étourdi ou les Contretemps (which in turn was an adaptation of L’inavertito by Nicolò Barbieri), turning it into a highly farcical comedy, Sir Martin Mar-all, attuned to the flippant and saucy tastes and culture of the Restoration audience. Dryden’s play is hardly a masterpiece. But it is an amusing pochade that anticipates some of the features which later will be typical of the “comedy of manners”, the gem of the English theatre of the second half of the seventeenth century.