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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2006

E 392M • 18th Century Drama: Codes of Conduct

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
34010 MW
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
PAR 305

Course Description

English drama of the Restoration and eighteenth century has been called by one critic a "powerfully hegemonic apparatus." In no sense is this characterization more apt than in the drama's ability to offer patterns for moral and ethical behavior to a wide range of viewers: to male and female aristocrats; to female and male servants; to single people and married people; to the rich and the poor; to tradesmen, both rising and successful; to native peoples in lands the English regarded as exotic; and to the English themselves as occupiers of, or visitors to, such lands. In this course we will examine the various cues for social behavior--and, more broadly, social order--offered by a wide range of plays written between 1660 and the later eighteenth century, and we will consider how the plays reflect, contradict, or otherwise respond to extra-theatrical texts on morality, ethics, and conduct. At the same time, however, we will consider the ways in which differences of genre among the plays shape the ethical signals the plays send, or might be expected to send. We will also examine the ways in which the ethical pressures placed upon the drama reshape its various sub-genres over time, as in the case of the transformation of the heroic into the sentimental with the coalescence of bourgeois values around the turn of the century. Over the semester we will remain attentive to two additional concerns that will receive intensive consideration on a topical if not sustained basis: the ways in which playwrights' borrowings from or revisions of earlier texts signal a change of ethos for issues or points of behavior raised in the earlier texts; and the ways in which matters of staging and production affect the moral and ethical cues with which the plays are preoccupied.

This course is intended as an introduction to the eighteenth century generally, as well as to its drama. No previous experience with the period is expected or required.


Primary Texts

John Dryden - The Conquest of Granada (part one)

---------- - All for Love

George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham et al. - The Rehearsal

George Savile, Marquess of Halifax - A Lady's Gift, or Advice to a Daughter Aphra Behn - The Rover

Willian Wycherley - The Country Wife

Thomas Otway - Friendship in Fashion

---------- - Venice Preserv'd

Jeremy Collier - A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage

Isaac Barrow - "Of a Peaceable Carriage and Temper"

Colley Cibber - The Careless Husband

---------- - Love's Last Shift

John Vanbrugh - The Relapse

Richard Steele - The Conscious Lovers

---------- - The Tatler (selections)

Daniel Defoe - The Complete English Tradesman (selections)

Nicholas Rowe - The Tragedy of Jane Shore

Susannah Centlivre - A Bold Stroke for a Wife

George Lillo - The London Merchant

Hugh Kelly - False Delicacy

David Garrick and George Colman - The Clandestine Marriage

Richard Cumberland - The West Indian

Hannah More - A Present for a Servant Maid (selections)

Oliver Goldsmith - An Essay on the Theatre

---------- - She Stoops to Conquer

Richard Brinsley Sheridan - The School for Scandal

Secondary Materials by: Muns, Hume, Brown, Backscheider, Langford, Armisted, Thompson, Braverman, Hughes, Hynes, Cole, Finke, Stewart, Burke, and others


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