Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
A history of caricature and grotesque in literature and art
Person:
Wright, Thomas Fairholt, Frederick William
Persistente ID:
urn:nbn:de:gbv:wim2-g-1429385
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/resolver?urn=urn:nbn:de:gbv:wim2-g-1433691
in 
Literature 
and Art. 
375 
CHAPTER 
XXII. 
ENGLISH COMEDY.--BEN  OTHER VVRITERS OF HIS 
    
AFTER THE RESTORATION._-THE HOWARDS BROTHERS; THE DUKE OF 
BUCKINGHAM; THE REHEARSAL.--WRITERS OF COMEDY IN THE LATTER 
PART OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.iINDECENCY OF THE STAGE. 
"COLLEY 
ClBBER.- 
-FOOTE. 
IN England, as in Athens of old, pertect comedy arofe gradually out of 
the pertbnalities of the rude dramatic attempts of an earlier period. 
Such produetions as Ralph Roiiter Doiiler and Gammer Gurton's Needle 
were mere imperfect attempts at, we may perhaps rather fay feelers 
towards, comedy itfelf-that drama, the object of which was to carica- 
ture, and thus to di1Tect and apply correotives to, the vices and weak- 
neffes of contemporary fociety. The genius of Shakefpeare was far too 
exquifltely poetical to qualify him for a taik like this; it wanted fome 
one who could ufe the lancet and fcalpel ikilfully, but foberly, and who 
was not liable to be led aftray by too much vigour of imagination. 
Such a one Was Ben Jonlon, whom we may rightly confider as the 
father of Englith comedy. " Bartholomew Fair," iirft performed at the 
Hope Theatre, on Bankfide, London, on the gift of October, 1614,, is 
the molt perfect and moil remarkable example of the truly Englith 
comedy, remarkable, among many other things, for the extraordinary 
number of characters who were brought upon the Pcage in one piece, and 
who are all at the fame time grouped and individualifed with a ikill that 
reminds us of the piftorial triumphs of a Callot or a Hogarth. London 
life is placed before us in all its more popular forms in one grand tableau, 
the one in which it would [how itfelf in its more grotefque attitudes; the 
London citizen, his vain or eafy wife,1harpers of every defcription, and 
their victims no leis varied in character, the petty city oflicers, all come
        

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