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Theaters of Pardoning$
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Bernadette Meyler

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501739330

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501739330.001.0001

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Between Royal Pardons and Acts of Oblivion

Between Royal Pardons and Acts of Oblivion

The Transitional Justice of Cosmo Manuche and James Compton, Earl of Northampton

(p.175) 5 Between Royal Pardons and Acts of Oblivion
Theaters of Pardoning

Bernadette Meyler

Cornell University Press

In the 1650s, tragicomedies continued to be composed in which pardoning played a central role. These often took a royalist perspective and reinvigorated a sovereign pardon along the lines of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. At the same time, they dwelt on the appropriate treatment of subordinate figures in the state at moments of what we would now call transitional justice. This chapter focuses on the royalist playwright Cosmo Manuche, including his works The Just General and The Banish’d Shepherdess—which remains in manuscript—as well as a political treatise by his patron, James Compton, Earl of Northampton. Manuche’s plays contemplate the fate of those who have been disloyal to a prior regime but were not leaders of the revolution, while Compton’s treatise advocates for an act of indemnity or oblivion.

Keywords:   Oblivion, Transitional justice, Cosmo Manuche, James Compton, The Banish’d Shepherdess, The Just General

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