English Domestic Or, Homiletic Tragedy, 1575 to 1642: Being an Account of the Development of the Tragedy of the Common Man Showing Its Great Dependence on Religious Morality, Illustrated with Striking Examples of the Interposition of Providence for the Amendment of Men's Manners

English Domestic Or, Homiletic Tragedy, 1575 to 1642: Being an Account of the Development of the Tragedy of the Common Man Showing Its Great Dependence on Religious Morality, Illustrated with Striking Examples of the Interposition of Providence for the Amendment of Men's Manners

English Domestic Or, Homiletic Tragedy, 1575 to 1642: Being an Account of the Development of the Tragedy of the Common Man Showing Its Great Dependence on Religious Morality, Illustrated with Striking Examples of the Interposition of Providence for the Amendment of Men's Manners

English Domestic Or, Homiletic Tragedy, 1575 to 1642: Being an Account of the Development of the Tragedy of the Common Man Showing Its Great Dependence on Religious Morality, Illustrated with Striking Examples of the Interposition of Providence for the Amendment of Men's Manners

Excerpt

For many years, domestic tragedy has needed an interpretation which would establish the place of the genre in dramatic history and which would relate the plays to the intellectual movements of their own times. The form has long been recognized, but because it frequently falls outside the ordinary classification of plays in a given period and because individual domestic tragedies are often inferior as dramas, the discussions of the type have been more or less perfunctory. Sometimes historians of the theatre have related it to the realism which existed in drama in the last decade of the sixteenth century or to the sentimentalism of the eighteenth century. Neither of these interpretations adequately describes the genre at either period of its development. Shortly after work was begun on the present volume, it was discovered that a complete history of domestic tragedy is too large a subject for a single book. The original plan was to seek out these tragedies wherever they might be found and to attempt to link them in some developmental pattern leading through the English eighteenth-century domestic tragedies, the German bürgerliche Trauerspiele, and the tragedies of Friedrich Hebbel and eventually tracing the chain to Ibsen, the real father of the modern social-problem play. The treatment of the Elizabethan domestic tragedy was planned as an introductory chapter. However, the section on Elizabethan drama grew into the size of a book, and it was decided to postpone the remaining portion of the study for a later investigation. The year of the closing of the theatres in England, 1642, was selected as an arbitrary stopping place, although before that time domestic tragedies had died a natural death.

The ascription of two of the Elizabethan domestic tragedies to Shakespeare has made them the center of critical controversy, but little work has been done on these plays as a group. However, a person who sought information on this group of plays has had to turn to Hans Wolfgang Singer's Das bürgerliche Trauerspiel in England, published in 1891, or to chapters in handbooks on the drama of the . . .

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