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  • Hey there, I'm Micro Greta.

  • This is Crash Course Theater.

  • And Yorick brought tissues today because we are taking on a sentimental tragedy which is gonna make you cry.

  • And we're also taking on sentimental comedy which will also make you cry.

  • We are back in England, too.

  • And I'm sorry to tell you that after all that restorations, muddiness, the 18th century theatre had a moral crisis.

  • Good characters should be rewarded, they said, and bad characters should be punished.

  • They claimed adultery and venereal disease.

  • Not cool, they griped.

  • Also, Parliament was like, Maybe what we need is a lot more censorship and fewer theaters.

  • Have they learned nothing?

  • Well, it was lewd while it lasted.

  • Friends lights up Before we get to the really sad stuff, we're gonna look at sentimental comedy, the only kind of said genre that replaced restoration comedy today.

  • Sentimental means corny or sappy, overly emotional in a bad way.

  • 18th century writers used it to mean all of that same stuff, but in a good way, by exciting emotions like pity or sorrow.

  • Playwrights thought that they could encourage an audience to make better moral choices, so yeah, pretty different from restoration comedy, which was witty, rascally and deeply cynical about human nature and society.

  • I mean, when you've just come through an intensely horrible in bloody Civil war, you might be feeling a wee bit disillusioned.

  • But sentimental comedy is all about re illusion mint.

  • Which illusions, you might ask.

  • Well, I'm glad you did.

  • Sentimental Comedy promotes the Enlightenment idea that people are mostly good unless they encounter bad influences in place by Richard Steele and his contemporaries.

  • Good people triumph over adversity, and bad people get their comeuppance.

  • Funny stuff is reserved for servants.

  • Marriage is once again the happy ending.

  • The best known sentimental comedy is Richard Steals, 17 20 to play The Conscious Lovers, which is based on a comedy of Terrence.

  • I'm sure you are shocked to learn in this comedy the poor but virtuous Indiana isn't able to marry the man she loves because she's a dowry lis orphan.

  • There are a lot of couples and a lot of complications and a lot of interfering relatives.

  • And then at the end, Indiana drops a bracelet, and it turns out she's rich after all.

  • Then it's conscious couple ing for everyone, so okay, it's a comedy But is it funny?

  • Not really.

  • Steal wrote in a preface that he wanted to create a pleasure to exquisite for laughter.

  • How English, also for the record steals own idea of pleasure, included drinking and dueling.

  • So maybe not the best dude to be writing for yucks.

  • Oliver Goldsmith would later criticized sentimental comedy for not being fun enough.

  • But still, these plays allowed audiences toe have a good cry and do some serious virtue, signaling.

  • If you were moved, it meant that you had a good and tender heart.

  • People with good and tender hearts don't giggle.

  • Sentimental place aren't hilarious, though some of the funny is restored when sentimental comedy evolves into the laughing comedies or the comedies of manners that Oliver Goldsmith and Richard Brinsley Sheridan wrote, You want to know what was even less funny than a pleasure to exquisite for laughter, bourgeois tragedy, the sad ending version of sentimental comedy, Greek tragedy and Shakespearean tragedy weren't all that invested in teaching moral lessons unless those lessons are that the universe is cruel and players gonna play, so just get on with it.

  • Hamlet Bourgeois tragedy is all about using recognizable characters and situations to school the audience in appropriate behavior, mostly by showing them that inappropriate behavior gets you hang bourgeois tragedy did this by encouraging the audience to identify with the tragic hero.

  • As Adam Smith writes in the 17 59 theory off Moral Sentiments.

  • My thesis is that our fellow feeling for the misery of others comes from our imaginatively changing places with the sufferer thereby coming to conceive what he feels or even to feel what he feels.

  • The audience was urged to imaginatively change places with the sufferer and feel all of his difficult feelings.

  • This move would prompt the audience to make better moral choices, avoiding miserable feelings in real life to help with the place changing.

  • Writers of sentimental tragedies often looked to newspapers and ballads instead of myths and legends.

  • They wanted their tragedies to relate directly to the middle class people watching them.

  • So they wrote about contemporary merchants and tradesmen instead of ancient nobles and gods.

  • The playwright George Li Lo defended this choice, which was controversial at the time, saying It is more truly great to be the instrument of good too many who stand in need of our assistance than to a very small part of that number.

  • Let's look at Li Lo's most famous tragedy.

  • The 17 31 play The London Merchant Li Lo based his play on a riel 17th century murder, which had become the subject of a popular ballot on opening night.

  • The crowd was like writing a tragedy based on a ballad about an apprentice so lame that came to laugh at his play.

  • But by the end, they were in tears.

  • Get your tissues ready.

  • Probable.

  • George Barnwell is an apprentice.

  • Too thorough, Good.

  • A London merchant, he falls under the sway of Millwood on Evil Prostitute.

  • She invites him to dinner and then tells him that because of their dinner, she's being evicted.

  • So George steals a bunch of money from his master to pay her rent because George is a good guy.

  • When he's not being led astray by evil prostitutes, he confesses and runs away.

  • This makes Millwood crouching, but then she remembers that George has a rich uncle whom she convinces George to rob and murder that must have been some.

  • George arrives in disguise and murders his uncle with his dying words.

  • The uncle asks forgiveness for both his nephew and his murderer and George's like they're both me and with MME.

  • Or dying words, the uncle is like It's okay.

  • So George is too sad to rob him When George shows up it, Millwood's without the money.

  • She has him arrested, but then her servants have her arrested and they're both sentenced to death.

  • Millwood doesn't repent because evil, but George does, and he goes to his death peacefully.

  • Then his friends come out to remind everyone, toe, learn from Georgia's mistakes.

  • Play upholds basic sentimental beliefs.

  • People are mostly good but could be led astray by evil influences.

  • We should learn from the moral errors of others, don't rob or kill people, especially rich people.

  • Which probably explains why, for almost a century London apprentices were sent by their bosses to see this play every year.

  • You know, just like as a friendly reminder.

  • Thanks thought bubble, sentimental comedies and bourgeois tragedies weren't the only kinds of theater on offer in early modern England.

  • Remember how every so often governments decide that theater is dangerous and needs a lot of regulating?

  • Well, this is one of those times.

  • In the 17 thirties, regulation of the theaters was divided up haphazardly among the Lord Chamberlain, the Treasury and the occasional judge, which means it wasn't being regulated much at all.

  • There were a bunch of political satires mocking Parliament and the King, most of them written by Henry Fielding.

  • In response, some ministers were like, Hey, remember when the master of Revels could just censor stuff?

  • Let's bring that back.

  • Robert Walpole convinced him to pass the Licensing Act of 17 37 by taking one of the most offensive plays, the golden rump, and reading it aloud in Parliament.

  • Worth noting, though, that no manuscript of the golden rump exist and it doesn't appear to have ever been performed in public.

  • How suspicious one theory is that Walpole commissioned it himself for political purposes.

  • So tricky, so effective.

  • The licensing act said that only to London theaters, Dreary Lane and Covent Garden could present spoken drama.

  • Though Parliament later gave license for the summer months to Samuel Foote at the Haymarket as repayment for a prank, the Duke of York pulled, betting that Foot couldn't ride an unripe doble horse.

  • It turns out he couldn't and then they had to amputate his leg.

  • The Licensing act also said that no place could be performed for gain higher or reward without the prior approval of the government.

  • Of course, a lot of theaters got around this.

  • They charge for a concert or a beer or an auction and then accidentally stayed to play hoops.

  • But sometimes theaters were caught, and many of them closed.

  • The closure of the new Wells Theater let its proprietor, William Hallum, to send a troupe of players to America.

  • And as we'll see that helped get American theater going.

  • Another work around was to avoid presenting spoken dramas by dancing them.

  • Minding them were using puppets.

  • A rule known as the Burr Leta Rule said that a drama wasn't spoken as long as there were five pieces of incidental music, and so suddenly there was a lot of musical theatre.

  • A version of commedia dell'arte also appeared in this period, now called pantomime.

  • Acting also underwent some changes in the 18th century.

  • The main style of the period was declamatory actors faced front and a loudly or rated even when the characters were supposed to be talking to each other.

  • But just his bourgeois tragedy was taking baby steps towards realism.

  • Acting likewise inched towards the life like the trend has started with the Scottish actor Charles Macklin.

  • But its biggest proponent was David Garrick, the most famous and versatile actor of his day.

  • Like other actors, Garrett delivered his speech is facing front butt.

  • He departed from the sing song style of verse speaking and tried to make his lines sound natural and conversational.

  • One of his techniques was to make his character's stammer in moments of great emotion.

  • It's natural, right at the time.

  • Actors would only rehearse a new play three hours per day for two weeks.

  • But Gerrick extended that rehearsal period and asked the other actors to actually act during rehearsals instead of just marking cues and blocking Man.

  • What an actual acting taskmaster.

  • Theaters had become very big swelling to accommodate more than three 1000 Spectators, because if you're one of two licensed theaters in the city, you're gonna pack them in.

  • By the later half of the 18th century, they had big, elaborate scenery to match to.

  • The whole situation became even more theatrical.

  • When Gerrick kicked the audience off the stage.

  • Scenic innovations were becoming more realistic as well.

  • While sets used to be generic every theater would have, AH, go to temple or go to palace or garden.

  • Some theater managers started to insist on a specific settings for each production and hired seen painters to realize them.

  • Today, sentimental comedy and bourgeois tragedy don't seem especially realistic, and 18th century acting would strike us as ridiculous.

  • But these were some of the first actors trying toe close the gap between drama and really life, so to speak, and some of the first serious place to focus on middle class characters, insisting that real conflicts and emotions don't belong to the nobility alone.

  • And that was a big deal is the 18th century became the 19.

  • Theatrical changes abound.

  • Next time Sturm clouds on the horizon stir me weather and a Sturm front to common.

  • We'll head to Germany for the first time since we discussed the morality plays, and we'll check in on Storm Drunk and Romanticism.

  • Things aren't looking so moral this time, but until then, curtain Crash course theater is produced in association with PBS.

  • Digital studios had over to their channel to check out some of their shows like brain craft.

  • Brain Craft is a show about psychology, neuroscience on why we act the way.

  • Crash Course Theater is filmed in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is produced with the help of all of these very nice people.

  • Our animation team is Spot Cafe.

  • Crash course exists thanks to the generous support of our patrons.

  • Patri Patri on is a voluntary subscription service where you can support the content you love through a monthly donation and help keep crash course free for everyone forever.

  • Thanks for watching.

Hey there, I'm Micro Greta.

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英格蘭的感傷劇場。速成劇場26號 (England's Sentimental Theater: Crash Course Theater #26)

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    林宜悉 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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