March 15, 2007 ~George Farquhar~ “The Beaux Stratagem”

George Farquhar.

The Beaux’ Stratagem is a whitty, comedy by Farquhar set in the countryside.  The characters, Archer and Aimwell, two gentlemen of broken fortunes,  plan to entrap Dorinda, Lady Bountiful’s daughter, an heiress, into marrying Aimwell so that the two men may divide her dowry. Aimwell falls truly in love, however Archer takes the money and separates from his friend. Foigard, an Irish priest called MacShane, playes the typical Irish sterotypical man. Farquhar is critiquing marriage, and class during that particular time period.

This play was very popular ” For more than a century, The Beaux’ Stratagem was one of the most frequently performed English comedies”. I really enojoyed this play because it was whitty and entertaining.

March 1, 2007, Nicolas Rowe “The Fair Penitent”

Nicholas Rowe Guilt is the source of sorrow, 'tis the fiend, Th' avenging fiend, that follows us behind, With whips and stingsThe fair Penitent , is a she tragedy like no other.  “a private tale of melancholy of private woes where viewers could meet with sorrows like their own”. This was one of my favorite plays during the course so far.  It focused on the tragedy of the middle -lower class society and offered a female heroine, Calista. Altamont is in love with Calista and is designed to be her husband yet Calista is in love with another young lord, Lothario who is not madly in love with Calista but sees her more as a mistress. 

This was the play that we chose to do our presentation on and I feel that it went well.  We did an audio cassette which took long hours to complete yet it was very entertaining and rewarding to accomplish.  By doing a presentation on this particular play it was easier for me to understand the content of the play and interact with the text.  The characters that I played in our reenactment was Altamont and Calista which was somewhat difficult because they shared many of the same dialogues so I had to change my voice back and forth from female to male which sometime proved to be a bit tricky.  In the end the presentation was a success and gave light to such a tragic play. 

Feb 22, 2007 Catharine Trotter-“Love at a Loss”

Catharine Trotter Cockburnwas a novelist, dramatist, and philosopher. She wrote a large part of her works earlier on in her life and is known for her writing which focused primarily on gender studies.  “Love at a Loss” was her only comedy and is very different for this period because the women of the play are in control and there is an absence of the male “rake” which dominated comedies of the 18Th century.  In “Love at a loss” Beaumine is not the powerful Lothario but is easily tricked and misguided by the woman in the play.  This play draws attention to the subject of marriage, that a contract is more important than anything else.  Trotter argues that both men and women benefit from having mutual respect which questions the morality of contracts and society during the period.  One of the themes is the fact that the men do not need to be married in order to engage in sexual acts.  Lesbia marries Beaumine even though she does not love him because she desires Grandboy, marriage is like a contract. Beaumine and Phillabell’s conversation in Act 1 scene ii reveals Beaumine’s true thoughts about women and marriage and how they want to marry for sexual desire.

Overall I found that the play was significantly better then some of the previous ones we have red.  The reoccurring theme of marriage springs up again and we begin to see that society during the 18th century believed that marriage was a chore or contract, and only  love could be found outside the marriage.  Similar to the “Country wife” marriage is strictly a bond and lacks affection and love. 

February 15th, 2007 “The Way of the World” by William Congreve

The way of the world by Congreve is a satiric comedy with a very complex plot line.  Once the reader can get past the plot, issues begin to emerge in the conversations between characters such as courtship, truth-fullness, and relationships.  Lady Wishfort is the stock character, a city woman who is old and desiring something more.  The presentation on this play was really well done.  The discussion of the private versus the public space was a great way to examine the play because characters act very differently when they are around others compared to when they are alone.  The play is based around two lovers , Mirabell and Millamant, but in order for them to receive dowry, they must first be able to get Lady Wishfort’s consent. Mrs. Marwood is having an affair with Fainall.  Waitwall is Mirabell’s servant who is married to Foible, Lady Wishforts servant who also try to trick Lady Wishfort. 

“As with all comedies of this type, the principle comic material consists of sexual relations and confrontations. Marriages are made for the sake of convenience and tolerated within precise social limits. Affairs are conventional, jealousies abound, lovers are coy, and gallantry is contrived. Dowries are the coin of the marriage realm, and therefore, they are of central concern in all contracts and adulterous intrigues. Congreve makes clear that the general way of the world may be funny, but it is not particularly nice. In the way of all romantic comedies the ‘‘marriage of true minds’’ is finally achieved, but humiliation, cruelty, and villainy are the means by which the action goes forward. His comedy is not intended to remedy the world, of course, but to offer an insightful and amusing view of both its seedy and sympathetic aspects”

I thought that this particular quote offered a quick view on the meaning of the play. This play was a little hard to read because of the complex plot-line, and was not one of my favorites.

February 8, 2007 “Oroonoko” by Thomas Southerne

Oroonoko or “royal slave” is based on the dramatization of Aphra Behn’s novella. The tragic love story Oroonoko highlights the love affair of Oroonoko and his love Imoinda.   The story is best known for its changing of Imoinda’s skin color from black to white.  The fact that her skin color is changed, shows the domination of the white culture.  Being a Southerne play, Oroonoko is best known for its realism which showcases the sorrowful life of the main character and also his tragic end.  I feel very sympathetic towards Oroonoko and Imoinda because they are in love and have managed to see beyond their race yet they are unable to be together because of their social status and color.  I couldn’t imagine not being able to be with the one that I loved because some people did not accept it.

I really enjoyed the presentation on “Oroonoko”, which was very comical and informative.  The pictures presented was a great way to in-vision how this play would have been presented at the time.  I was able to compile notes from the overhead which helped me to really be able to understand the play. “Using black-face for comedic roles that echoed the fear of white people having their race polluted”.  This particular statement was interesting because Oroonoko would have raised quite a controversy because of the mixing of both races.  “FORCEFUL WHEN MODEST AND MODEST WHEN FORCEFUL” is a great quote used during the presentation to describe Imoinda because she is a person of contrast of both appearance and cultural experience. 

January 8, 2007 : The Rover;or, The Banished Cavaliers by Aphra Behn

The Rover ;or banished Cavaliers is one of Behn’s most popular comedic plays.  It takes place during carnival time so the play is filled with masks, disguises, costumes and mistaken identities.  The play also highlights the brutality of rape,  which is a predominant issue that arises.  Male authority dominates the play and the women are subjected to some harsh acts of violence yet it is all tied up neatly with the effect of comic relief. Since there was so much emphasis placed on the playwright, Aphra Behn, I  was curious to see who she was. 

I found this particular picture of Aphra on the web and I thought that it portrayed a bit of what the women would look like during this time period. I really enjoyed the first presentation which showcased various outfits worn during the play.  The drawings were amazing and I think that it was an original idea.  Their project inspired me to add pictures to my weblog!

We had a huge discussion on whether or not to have a final exam, my opinion is that we get together into small groups and form our own interpretation of a particular play, which will eliminate having to make arrangements to get together as a large group and will be a fun and creative way to end the course.  I know that in the past, when I did a video, I significantly remembered the play years later and was able to really understand it. 

Until Next time

~Miss Hart~

Jan 25, 07 “The Country Wife” by Wycherley

The country wife is a hilarious restoration comedy mostly about sexual desires of the characters.  This particular play was much more interesting then the first one we read, because it contained a variety of plots, and also the characters acted in such an absurd yet funny way.  The main plot is about Mrs Margery Pinchwife, who is the “country wife desiring to experience the city life in London.  Controlled by her overly possessive husband, she falls in love with Mr Horner, who pretends to be impotent in order to fulfill his desire to have affairs with married women.  The play is filled with jokes and tricks such as making fun of women in the upper class society because of their eagerness to cheat on their husbands, which questions the reliability of these female characters. Another trick is the one being played on Mr Pinchwife, who is unaware of his wife’s affair with the clever Mr. Horner.  Pinchwife has married his wife because he believes that she will not be able to cuckold him however, because of his jealous acts he is outwitted and made fun off by his own “country wife”.  I think that this play is very satirical because it pokes fun of the way that men in society treated women during that particular period. 

I really enjoyed watching the film because it made the play come to life and much easier to understand.

Until next time

~ Miss. Hart~

January 18th,07 “Marriage a la Mode” Dryden

“Marriage a la mode” is a split plot tragicomedy, throughout the play we see two plot lines occurring, one between Doralice who is in love with Palamede and between Leaonidas and Palmyra.  This is the first play that I have read that has been in the restoration period.  It deals with the themes of sex, marriage and class structure.  What was particularly striking about this play was the dual plot lines.  I found it was hard at first to figure out how to map the characters but once you get into the play then the connections become much clearer.  There are many uncertainties about certain characters which eventually get revealed as the play progresses.  We learn that Leaonidas is Polydama’s son, and his daughter is Palmyra. Both are part of the nobility and discover their true identities which become an initial obstacle that they must overcome.  Dryden mixes both comedy and romance into the play making it more complex and also lightening the tension during the romantic scenes. On page 86, Act V scene 1, Palamede and Doralice are arguing about the appropriateness of having a mistress and one particular line that struck me was “Yet ’tis a kind of fashion to wear a princess’s cast shoes. You see the country ladies buy ’em to be fine in them”

Doralice, who is witty and sticks up for her and other women saying how it isn’t right for men to have a mistress . 

“Yes, a Princess’s shoes may be worn after her because they keep their fashion by being so little used. But generally a married man is the creature of the world the most out of fashion.  His behavior is dumpish, his discourse his wife and family, his habit so much neglected it looks as if that were married too. His hat is married,  his peruke is married, his breeches, we should find him married there too.”  She refuses to continue her relationship with him outside of marriage because she knows that it isn’t right.   This particular quote also highlights the hierarchal class structure and the emphasis on adultery.

Throughout the play, most of the characters are playing a game of lust; who can have the better relationship outside of marriage. However they do not understand that love and marriage go hand in hand.  Instead of being happy and living with their desired lovers they go back with their husband or wife to live an unfulfilled life.  In act III scene 2, both couples are mistakenly found in the grotto together which struck me as funny because they are all caught in their adulterous acts at the same time.  Dryden manages to capture the humility and shock so perfectly.  The whole play is one big messed up love triangle with a comic twist but what is tragic about the whole thing is that the characters live unhappily with their partners and find true love outside of the marriage. They are unable to break societies ideals  because ultimately they resort back to the married life instead of following their true heart. Dryden is challenging societies ideals about the idea of what constitutes a proper relationship/marriage.

Malantha is the character that signifies fashion/mode and what it means to be in style during the time period– her ability to speak French is what sets her apart.

Well that is all I have to say about “Marriage a la mode”. Feel free to make any additional comments!

Until next time

~Miss Hart~

January 11th/2007, Lindsay Hart’s Weblog for Eng 3203~Restoration and 18thC Drama~

Wow, I can’t believe I figured out how to do this.  This is my first ever weblog experience and it’s not that bad, kind of interesting actually.  In class today we watched two films, the first one, “The restoration theater” was very hard to get into but the other movie ” Ti’s Pity she’s a whore” was more comical even though I had already seen it before in Intro to drama class.  I checked the weblogs of some of my fellow classmates including “Merissa’s mind” which is a catchy title, so I decided to try and create something unique.  I came up with “Miss.Hart’s realm”, which is the best I could do. Well I am looking forward to the weeks ahead and hopefully I will improve on my blogging skills.

Till next time
~Miss. Hart ~

Just a word of advice to the class—->If I can create a weblog, anyone can!!! 🙂