George Bernard Shaw: Man of the Century

By Archibald Henderson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 32
On Stage: The Independent Theatre

LATE IN THE EIGHTIES, THE EDUCATED CLASS OF ENGLISH SOCIETY WAS ACTUALLY more conversant with the newer ideas of the day and more exacting in its demands for the most modern forms of entertainment, than the managers and authors who catered to them. Sooner or later, it was inevitable that this class would find the contemporary native drama, modeled after the "well- made plays" of the leading French dramatists of the Second Empire, both insipid and obsolescent. Even the leading critics, several of whom were irrevocably bound to the ideals of the past, were excelled in intellectual capacity and exacting standards of dramatic art by the more cultured, if more insurgent, spirits in intellectual circles. The intimate rapprochement between "culture" and the drama, during the eighties and even later, was gradually superseded by a spirit of dissatisfaction and unrest. The vigorous young school of native playwrights, headed by Pinero, Jones and Gilbert, and desperately written up by Archer as a new school, was in fact hopelessly secondhand both in ideas and method.

Arthur Wing Pinero's The Profligate, hailed at first as a play of profound ethical import, really contained no novelty, except a lack of the author's former whimsical humor, nor any promise for the future.1 The production of Ibsen's A Doll's House six weeks later, on June 7, by Charles Charrington and Janet Achurch, was the real inauguration of the New Movement. The English play of the day, in close conformity with Second Empire models and obviously machine made, was the final evolution of a type. The Scandinavian drama was the initial step in a new departure; the public was startled into thought, agitated with novel and disquieting emotions. The larger public, not yet educated to the point of giving to the realistic drama of ideas the requisite measure of attentive concentration, and already tiring of the outworn French models, was in a very anomalous condition. The lesser public was insistent in its demand for a native drama, arising from the new models and the new ideas filtering in from Norway. There were now brought to the attention of the public, at this critical emergency, various projects for "the foundation of a theatre which," as Shaw said, "should be to the newly gathered intel-

____________________
1
The Profligate was produced for the first time at the Garrick Theatre, London, on April 24, 1889.

-422-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
George Bernard Shaw: Man of the Century
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 978

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.