Its inhabitants seldom move out of this charming world unless it be in search of adventure with the wife of a citizen. Video: Restoration Comedy: Theatre of the 1700s Despite their name, Restoration comedies have nothing to do with fixing up a theater. Sullen managed to divorce, she would have been destitute because all of her money belonged to her husband. Hypocritical or squeamish persons are laughed at, and the fops are invariably punished for their pretensions. The women -- Florinda and Hellena -- take the situation pretty much into their own hands, deciding what they want. The playwrights of the 1690s set out to appeal to more socially mixed audiences with a strong middle-class element, and to female spectators, for instance by moving the war between the sexes from the arena of intrigue into that of marriage.
Cohen writes that actors specializing in Restoration comedy research and invent all sorts of movements and flourishes with their accessories. As she is whirled around the maelstrom of the London social scene, the old values of loyalty, duty and responsibility tug at her conscience. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky. Ten consecutive performances constituted a smash hit. Lesson Summary So by now, you probably have a pretty good idea of what Restoration comedy was all about - it's full of lowest- , hyper-sexualized romps that entertained audiences from all walks of life king to servant. Can you imagine a Shakespeare play with a one-sentence synopsis that just reads 'Juliet wants to have sex as quickly as possible? Having long since lost interest in her, Dorimant continues to lead her on, giving her hope but leaving her in despair. Florinda too is characterized as an ideal heroine, chaste, modest, and beautiful.
There was no untapped reserve of occasional playgoers. The bourgeois values of personal acquisition, private judgment, and subjective self-assessment began to filter into the society and the literature of the period. Obviously, the Restoration audiences were both much smaller and more homogeneous, composed disproportionately of the upper classes of London. Then, it was difficult, if not impossible to get a divorce; and, even if Mrs. All three plays explore the fact that such marriages rarely have a happy outcome.
In this hectic climate the new genres of heroic drama, pathetic drama, and Restoration Comedy were born and flourished. If this guy can't perform sexually, there's no reason not to trust him around the ladies in town, right? Restoration audiences enjoyed new characters and timeless plays revamped to celebrate the shifting of power from Puritan rule back to monarchial rule. Around the 1920s, theatre styles were beginning to be defined more clearly. Hume as late as 1976. Although it seems obvious that the couple is destined to be together, an obstacle is placed in Dorimant's way by Harriet's mother, Mrs. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. He is correct, but if he'd known the truth, he would have killed her in his madness.
Although a comedy, the play also raises serious, pertinent issues by portraying strong female characters rejecting their stereotypical roles in society — in this regard, Inchbald wrote a feminist play long before the term had been invented. Additionally, the King loaned productions Chapel Royal singers and funded extravagant productions in the summer of 1683. The Restoration was a time of both political and social uncertainty and transformation. The kinds of marriages that are satirized and condemned are those based on economic or other considerations rather than love and mutual affection. He tends to create his own brand of morality which includes a belief in the open pursuit of sensual pleasure and a dismissal of marriage. This allusion to Sedley, etc. The dramatists did not criticize the accepted morality about gambling, drink, love, and pleasure generally, or try, like the dramatists of our own time, to work out their own view of character and conduct.
Shaming rituals were common and a form of public humiliation. Although the endings are happy and the man gets the woman, we see marriages without love and love affairs that are rebellious breaks with tradition. In England, the comedy of manners is represented by the of William Wycherley, George Etherege, William Congreve and George Farquhar. The Pinchwifes are the focal point of the play, and Margery's affair with Horner only adds to the humor. Like her rake counterpart, each heroine is to a certain extent frank about her sexual needs and desires. In particular, Aphra Behn made a large mark on the theatre during this time, and we're going to talk about a couple major works of Restoration comedy right now, including one of hers. The evolution of society, as mirrored by the plays themselves, is apparent.
It seems to lack the social criticism evident in such plays as The School for Wives or The Misanthrope. The Independent Woman in the Restoration Comedy of Manners. It's like going from Home Improvement to South Park. Also interesting is that Sheridan does not create affairs between the characters of his play. It's something that we don't think of as shocking or novel today, but it really was at the time. After almost two decades of not being able to see a show, you'd probably want something like that, too. The production of new plays dropped off sharply in the 1680s, affected by both the monopoly and the political situation see below.
Artaud wanted his plays to have an effect and accomplish something. This is the attitude expressed in The Country Wife by Horner and such a marriage is avoided for Florinda thanks to the manipulations of Belville and Willmore. This play is a comedy of intrigue and isn't set in England as the others plays on this list have been. Such incongruities contributed to Restoration comedy being held in low esteem in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, but today the early Restoration total theatre experience is again valued on the stage, as well as by academic critics. But in addition to incorporating your wardrobe into your physicality, you have to acquire some basic forms of social behavior. Soon after his restoration, in 1660, he granted exclusive play-staging rights, so-called , to the and the , led by two middle-aged playwrights, and.
Ten consecutive performances constituted a smash hit. It's based on the 1664 play Thomaso, or The Wanderer, written by Thomas Killigrew. Of the three, only Hellena exemplifies the independent and witty Restoration comic heroine, a suitable counterpart to her rake-hero. Betterton's position remained unassailable through the 1680s, both as the leading man of the United Company and as its stage manager and de facto day-to-day leader. The rake-hero exhibits a number of attitudes and characteristics that one can detect in Horner, Willmore, and Lovemore. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1983.
A comedy of manners is concerned with social usage and the question of whether or not characters meet certain social standards. The dramatists did not merely say anything they liked: they also intended to glory in it and to shock those who did not like it. The play is a satire on the role of women in Georgian society and the prevalent male attitudes of the time. They basically just took the social mores of the day and ran with them, trying to entertain as many people as possible because they had really been starved for entertainment. Such a drama often has a satirical slant, but ends happily.