Politics, Sex, Sentiment! (And a fulfilled GPAC Oral Requirement)

Hogarth, Beggar’s Opera
GW Students: another class to consider for Spring 2015.  This class now fulfills the GPAC Oral Requirement.
The Eighteenth Century:  The Theatre of Politics, Sex, and Sentiment

Professor Tara G. Wallace
CRN: 47695
Tuesday-Thursday 9:35-10:50 AM
In 1660, after two decades of Puritan rule, England regained its monarchy and its theatres, and both court and stage enthusiastically embraced the spirit of liberty enabled by the new regime under Charles II, the Merry Monarch.  Theatrical productions took advantage of technological innovations and the availability, for the first time, of actresses to play female roles … and the modern theatre was born.

This course looks at a selection of playtexts produced during the long 18th century (1660-1800), considering both ‘literary’ elements and the cultural information the plays convey.  We will trace the movement from libertinism to sentimentalism, and discuss the culture wars enacted on the 18th-century stage in plays such as Congreve’s The Way of the World, Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, and Shridan’s The Rivals.

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