In 1637, soon after the first performances in France of Pierre Corneille’s famous play Le Cid, English poet and playwright Joseph Rutter translated the play from the French rhyming alexandrine couplets into English iambic pentameter verse. Two pupils of Rutter, Richard and Edward Sackville, sons of Edward Sackville, fourth Earl of Dorset, may have contributed to Rutter’s translation.
Rutter’s translation was performed at the English royal court before King Charles I and his wife Queen Henrietta Maria, and subsequently at the Cockpit Stage, Drury Lane, London, by the king’s players.
The play, described as a tragicomedy, tells of the Spanish military hero who must avenge an insult to his father by killing in a duel the father of the woman that he loves.
I have edited the 1637 text and have updated the spelling for a new paperback edition of The Cid, and also for a Kindle ebook. I have also added my own translation of two soliloquies that Rutter’s translation had omitted.