Parry, Audrey (1981) Art and politics : the theatre of the revolution. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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This dissertation examines the development of the theatre as a social art during the years of the French Revolution. The study is based on a collection of contemporary editions of plays of this period which are to be found in the Library of Memorial University of Newfoundland. These plays were studied for the information they have to offer regarding their society. -- The thesis is presented in three parts. The first part attempts to establish the theatre as an art form distinct and independent from the art of literature and, moreover, as a form of art which cannot be viewed in isolation from its social and political base. -- In the second part, the French theatre is examined briefly as a background to a discussion of Diderot's theories on dramatic art, and Beaumarchais interpretation of Diderot's "genre serieux". The work of some modern critics of the Revolutionary theatre in France is studied to show, firstly, that the social, historic and political events were an integral part of the Revolutionary theatre and, secondly, to bear witness to the fact that the plays are still judged as much for their politics as for their artistry. Since the latter quality is almost non-existent, the theatre's potential value as a source of social commentary has been obscured. -- The third part of this thesis is concerned with the study of the plays themselves and the effect of the Revolution on their creation, representation and public acceptance. The influence of contemporary events is strongly evidenced in the structure, language, characters and themes, revealing radical changes as the theatre struggled to maintain its social relevancy. The progress of the Revolution itself is followed in these plays as they express the prevalent political views and reveal the customs which became, sometimes temporarily, acceptable in social intercourse. -- This thesis does not present a dramatic criticism of the theatre of the Revolution, but rather offers the study of a selection of plays of the period as a socio-historic comment.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Bibliography: leaves 186-195.|
|Department(s):||Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > French and Spanish|
|Library of Congress Subject Heading:||French drama--18th century--Social aspects|
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