THTR 311 Final Study - 2:42:00 PM ENGLISH 18TH CENTURY 1...

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04/05/2007 16:42:00 ENGLISH 18TH CENTURY 1. Social a) What were the major social changes from the Restoration to the early 18 th  century in England? The major social changes during this period involved a shift in political power, in  cultural values, and the form of theatre produced changed from the comedies of  manners, to sentimental comedies, to laughing comedies.  The Restoration era saw the  greatest number of female authors in any one period until much more recent times.  The  monarchy in England took on a new form, a dual monarchy with King William and  Queen Mary.  There reign was characterized by political conservatism, and a general  detachment of both monarchs from social society.  Puritan influences on culture  reemerged.  Lower classes and peasants enjoyed very little political power but  economically the system in place provided a culture of civil rest and obedience.  Dissatisfaction with the English colonies was beginning to gain momentum as they were  more costly than beneficial at this point.  There was a growing separation from the  matters of church and state, and as Conservatism was encouraged the theatres and ale  houses were becoming less and less socially acceptable.  The genteel aristocracy was  made up of roughly 200 families, and these political families tended to carry much  weight in Parliamentary negotiations of legislature.  Property laws and inheritance laws  made marriage and male heirs central in social negotiations.   b)  Collier’s "Attack on the English Stage"  what was it and why important? Collier, a non-juror bishop, published an anti-theater pamphlet in which he  attacks some of the most popular recent plays by Congreve and Vanbrugh by  examining the individual characters and defining them as wicked and amoral.  His  charge was that in theatrical productions showed very little morally upright behavior. He  used quotations as evidentiary support from noted plays.  The series of pamplets he  published actually caused a large response from the English public.  He is credited with  changing public taste and starting a wave of outrage against the sexually explicitness of  many Restoration plays. c) Licensing Act of 1737:  what was it and why important?
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The Licensing Act or Theatrical Licensing Act of  1737  was a landmark act of  censorship  of the  British  stage and one of the most determining factors in the  development of  Augustan drama . The terms of the Act were that from that point forward,  the  Lord Chamberlain  had the power to approve any play before it was staged. The  effects of the Licensing Act were profound. The public mistrusted plays that passed the 
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