The tradition thus formed was continued and fortified by the illustrious playwrights of the 17th century.
It came into existence in KiOto and was thence transferred to Yedo (Tokyo), where the greatest of Japanese playwrights, Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1724), and a musician of exceptional talent, Takemoto Gidayu, collaborated to render this puppet drama a highly popular entertainment.
Having completed Emilia Galotti, which the younger generation of playwrights at once accepted as a model, Lessing occupied himself for some years almost exclusively with the treasures of the Wolfenbiittel library.
The Spanish drama, meanwhile, untrammelled by those false canons of pseudo-classic taste which fettered the theatre in Italy and afterwards in France, rose to an eminence in the hands of Lope de Vega and Calderon which only the English, and the English only in the masterpieces of three or four playwrights, can rival.
Among recent playwrights Mrs Minna Canth (1844-1897) has been the most successful.
The playwrights also include Julio Dantas, and Dr Marcellino Mesquita, author of Leonor Telles and other historical dramas, as well as of a powerful piece, Den' supremo.
Besides furnishing the early playwrights with material for miracle plays, it has supplied episodes and apologues to many a writer, including Boccaccio, John Gower and Shakespeare.