Both from Gager’s dedicatory epistle to the Earl of Essex and from Christ Church account books, we know that Meleager was first performed in February 1582, and was revived three years later, in January, in the presence of the Earls of Leicester and Pembroke, and of Sir Philip Sidney. Especially for a first play, Meleager is a highly competent neoclassical tragedy, that well reproduces tragedy’s inner spirit as well as its outward form. It has been justly admired by critics. J. W. Binns observed that: 1

The taut structure of Meleager increases the intense and torrid atmosphere of the play, which is permeated by Fate and a sense of inevitable doom. Gager uses supernatural elements, visions, and dreams to add a somber color to the play, and to suggest that dark and ominous forces are at work beyond the powers of men.