English drama at the turn of the century: humor in service of social criticism

Topics: Literature, Poetry, Literary Genre Pages: 1 (274 words) Published: November 21, 2013
In the restoration, English drama died out. After the brilliant period of English drama, which was the renaissance period, there is the period of decline and stagnation. There are different reasons for that: theatres were closed and reopened after 18 years, this is a period of civil war and people wanted to fight for nothing else as they experienced the war. Writers wrote from the head, not from the heart. The genre that dominated at this time was satire. This is the age of disillusion, this is not an enthusiastic age at all and people were not ready to fight for their ideals, they wanted peace, stability and entertainment. The best author of that period wrote silly dramas, comedies of manners, manners in the sense of social norms, in which only the surface matters, nothing else. Whatever feelings, emotions and passions someone had, it should not be expressed because it could ruin the reputation. Feelings lead to the foolishness, according to the people of the period. The dialogue of the dramas of this period is very witty. The dominant genre is prose and it displaces poetry, so we have the rise of the novel instead of drama and poetry. The drama of this period isn’t Shakespearian drama; it doesn’t deal with essential questions like “to be or not to be”. It is trivial and it has trivial plot. After the Renaissance and until the end of the 19th century when Shaw and Wilde wrote their dramas, we had no good English dramas. These two writers revived drama, people went to theatre, and although Shaw and Wilde were different, they both dealt with society.
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