What was it about ancient Greece, Elizabethan England and Racine's 17th century France that made them particularly able to respond to and create the high points in tragic drama? Where do Moliere's comedies spring from? Why was the Romantic Movement such a watershed in our cultural history, and why was Schiller so handicapped when he attempted to write tragedies? Why was the theatre so despised in England in the 18th and 19th centuries? In The Playwright as Rebel, critic, academic and arts advisor Nicholas Dromgoole's collected essays in theatre history examine particular plays as key moments in drama history. In addition, by setting them in their cultural and historical context, he attempts to answer these wider questions, and to demonstrate that theatre plays a key part in disseminating ideas, attitudes and assumptions at crucial moments of social and ideological change.