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OLIVER GOLDSMITH AND RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDANS' COMEDIES
- OLIVER GOLDSMITH AND RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDANS' COMEDIES
- HA, KYUNG JA
- Issue Date
- 대학원 영어영문학과
- Graduate School of Ewha Womans University
- KIM, KAP SOON
- Oliver Goldsmith and Riohard Brinsley Sheridans' comedies are not the most perfect expression of the typical ideas and interests of the eighteenth-century comedy, as Shakespeare's plays are the most perfect expression of the ideas and interests of Elizabethan romantio comedy, and Congreve's of the Restoration comedy of manners. Goldsmith and Sheridan wrote the plays in rebellion to the drama of their time, sentimental comedy. They tried to bring beck to the stage the comedy of manners, a type that was popular almost a century before.
Goldsmith and Sheridan, however, are certainly the greatest dramatists of the eighteenth-century, and their plays are the best and only eighteenth-century plays which readers and playgoers of today still keep in high favour. The new swelled middle-calss audiences of the eighteenth-century could neither appreciate the aristocratic delicacies of the older comedy nor forget their own moral code which is not quite the same with the aristocratic society. The eighteenth-century, thus had introduced the tearful and pathetic comedy with the high moral sentiment. In the period of "the decay of true comedy" Goldsmith and Sheridan, however, wrote "one last fliokering of laughter." They brought back laughter on the moral preaching stage of the time once again, and taught the sensational audiences of the late eighteenth-century how to laugh before they are engulfed by the pathetic comedy entirely.
Of course, Goldsmith and Sheridans' works are altogether different in character and in aim. Nevertheless, the great attack against the sentimental type is symbolized in the figures of these two comic geniuses and in their splendid union in the work. At the same time, both of them looked back with nostalgic regret at the comedy of past, thus, retained something of that refined and perfect comic utterances which marked out the comedies of the Restoration in common. Truly they are not only the unique swin stars shinning out of the darkness of this era, but also during the whole period from the decline of Restoration comedy to the event of modern Wilde and Shaw.
Above all, the tradion of comedy of eariler times was passed on to the nineteenth-century by only these two among a larger number of playwrights of the eighteenth-century. Goldsmith and Sheirdan can not be disregarded in reality either in their services as a bridge linking the comic traditon or in their breilliances of works in English drametic literature. Nevertheless, they have not yet become an object of study and have not known widely in Korea.
And there is a tendency that comedy is not considered or studied as much as tragedy in general.
Of all kinds of literature comedy has the widest appeal. Wit and humour can bridge the deepest intellectual and even emotional chasms: they can create, if only for a moment, the completest harmony between men who are violently and angrily opposed to each other in politics, morality, even character.
Yet I firmly believe that comedy should be taken as well as tragedy.
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