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English Theatre of the Xviii Essay

  • Submitted by: Kristinkash
  • on June 21, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 4,291 words

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Below is an essay on "English Theatre of the Xviii" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

THE term “XVIII c. English drama” suggests a somewhat arbitrary chronology. The year 1700 marks the death of Dryden, the dominant figure in restoration drama, and the retirement of Congreve, its most brilliant comic dramatist. Etherege, Wycherley, Lee, Otway and many other contemporaries of Dryden had already passed from the ranks of active dramatists. The growing protest against the immorality of the drama, vigorously expressed in Jeremy Collier’s invective, A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage (1698), shows that the old order has changed and is soon to yield place to new. Similar attitude was preserved in Puritan circles in the mid-c. Certain стабильность of social relations in XVIII c. England didn’t aim at birth of truly tragic works. The reign of queen Anne (1702–14) may be regarded, therefore, as a period of transition in English drama. Though the current of restoration comedy still runs strong in the first decade of the XVIII c., in Vanbrugh’s later works and in Farquhar’s plays.
    George Farquhar (1678-1707) has been called the last of the Restoration dramatists, but the wit of his plays rises above the ethical indifference of his predecessors: William Wycherley, George Etherege and William Congreve. To them, a gentleman was a natural rake; Farquhar's beaux (dandy) may start out as gay deceivers, but love makes them honest and good. Farquhar's I connection with the theatre was as an actor. After badly wounding his opponent in a duel scene in Dryden's The Indian Emperor, he abandoned the stage and began to write. His I comedy, Love and a Bottle (1699) was a success. He followed it with The Constant Couple (1700) in which Robert Wilks, a famous actor of the time, made a hit; its sequel, Sir Harry Wildair (1701) was not so popular. Succeeding plays increased neither Farquhar's reputation nor his.fortune; indeed they left him in poverty. The only exceptions are his last plays The Recruiting Officer (1706) and The Beaux'...

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