The Comic Spirit in Restoration Drama: Studies in the Comedy of Etherege, Wycherley, Congreve, Vanbrugh, and Farquhar

The Comic Spirit in Restoration Drama: Studies in the Comedy of Etherege, Wycherley, Congreve, Vanbrugh, and Farquhar

The Comic Spirit in Restoration Drama: Studies in the Comedy of Etherege, Wycherley, Congreve, Vanbrugh, and Farquhar

The Comic Spirit in Restoration Drama: Studies in the Comedy of Etherege, Wycherley, Congreve, Vanbrugh, and Farquhar

Excerpt

Another book on Restoration Comedy perhaps demands a word of explanation, for much has recently been done both in scholarship and criticism in this particular field. ProfessorNettleton in his English Drama of the Restoration and Eighteenth Century has given us a thoroughgoing dramatic history of the period; Mr. Allardyce Nicoll has covered the years from 1660 to 1700 with more emphasis on the minor writers; ProfessorBernbaum in The Drama of Sensibility has traced the subsequent decline of true comedy and the rise of sentimentalism; Mr. John Palmer in The Comedy of Manners has drawn full-length portraits of Sir George Etherege, William Wycherley, William Congreve, Sir John Vanbrugh, and George Farquhar. A full bibliography may be found in any book of reference (and need not be given here), but the works I have mentioned, which are broad in their scope, have been of especial use to me -- particularly Mr. Palmer's treatment of the personalities whose work I wish to consider more intensively, and from a somewhat different point of view. In the following pages I have tried to analyze the comic theory and practice of the leading Restoration playwrights, with the hope that through a close study of the texts themselves I may add something to the present estimate of the . . .

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