A " Great Stage of Fools: Theatricality and Madness in the Plays of William Wycherley (AMS Studies in the Seventeenth-century v. 4)
By: Gerald W. Marshall (author)Hardback
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"With few exceptions, commentaries on the four plays of William Wycherley are surface in nature and do not offer a unified vision for the dramatic canon produced by the greatest of Restoration comic playwrights. Traditionally the plays have been defined as comedies of manners or of wit, with either approach vastly limiting our understanding of the plays' depth and complexity...There is, however, a much deeper concern which lies at the heart of Wycherley's drama and gives unity to the four comedies," and it is this overriding theme that Professor Marshall explores to demonstrate Wycherley's transcendence of recognized Restoration theatrical devices and concern with theatricality itself: "not with the mere social pretense...but with the ancient "topos of theatrum mundi.." In short, marshall declares Wycherley's plays "metatheatre, and herein lies their true substance and meaning, as well as tehir most innovative contributions to the development of English comedy" (from the Introduction).
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- ID: 9780404617240
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