When the theatres reopened in 1660, tragedy, the greatest of the Renaissance genres, had vanished. Focusing on the directions taken by tragicomedy and the court masque, this book accounts for the shift in the generic system. After the Restoration a network of Royalist playwrights attempted to redefine their society. Defending the traditional power structure in the new circumstances, they fabricated pious, backward-looking and repetitious myths of monarchy. Carolean tragicomedy reflects the persistent attempt to hold together an uneasily integrated culture, and shows us something of the early Restoration's division and intolerance of ambiguity. In Regicide and Restoration Nancy Klein Maguire accords the long-neglected plays of the 1660s the status of major historical documents.