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William Wycherley, The Country Wife (1675) ACT I SCENE I. – Horner's Lodging Enter Horner, and Quack following him at a distance. Horner (aside).

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Presentation on theme: "William Wycherley, The Country Wife (1675) ACT I SCENE I. – Horner's Lodging Enter Horner, and Quack following him at a distance. Horner (aside)."— Presentation transcript:

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8 William Wycherley, The Country Wife (1675) ACT I SCENE I. – Horner's Lodging Enter Horner, and Quack following him at a distance. Horner (aside). A quack is as fit for a pimp, as a midwife for a bawd; they are still but in their way, both helpers of nature. (Aloud.) Well, my dear doctor, hast thou done what I desired? Quack. I have undone you for ever with the women, and reported you throughout the whole town as bad as a eunuch, with as much trouble as if I had made you one in earnest.

9 Hobbes, Leviathan (1651) Part I (“Of Man”), ch. VI: Continuall successe in obtaining those things which a man from time to time desireth […] is that men call Felicity; I mean the Felicity of this life. For there is no such thing as perpetuall Tranquillity of mind, while we live here; because Life it selfe is but Motion, and can never be without Desire, nor without Feare, no more than without Sense.

10 St. James's Park

11 St James's Park, by John Kip, 1713

12 [The arrival of the actresses] was simultaneously radical – in allowing women a voice on the public stage for the first time – and conservative: within a predominantly courtly, coterie theatre the women were almost entirely controlled by male managers and playwrights and were exploited sexually on stage and off. (Elizabeth Howe, The First English Actresses: Women and Drama , Cambridge, CUP, 1992, p. xi.)

13 Il contrattualismo lockiano To conclude, the power that every individual gave the society when he entered into it can never revert to the individuals again as long as the society lasts, but will always remain in the community, because without this there can be no community, no commonwealth, which is contrary to the original agreement; so also when the society hath placed the legislative in any assembly of men, to continue in them and their successors with direction and authority for providing such successors, the legislative can never revert to the people while that government lasts, because having provided a legislative with power to continue for ever, they have given up their political power to the legislative and cannot resume it. But if they have set limits to the duration of their legislative and made this supreme power in any person or assembly only temporary, or else when by the miscarriages of those in authority it is forfeited, upon the forfeiture, or at the determination of the time set, it reverts to the society, and the people have a right to act as supreme and continue the legislative in themselves, or erect a new form, or under the old form place it in new hands, as they think good. John Locke, “Of the Dissolution of Governments”, in Two Treatises of Civil Government (1690)

14 La Collier controversy: i testi fondamentali Jeremy Collier, A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage (1698) John Vanbrugh, A Short Vindication of The Relapse and The Provok'd Wife from Immorality and Profaneness (1698) William Congreve, Amendments of Mr. Collier's False and Imperfect Citations (1698) John Dennis, The Usefulness of the Stage (1698) [the first large-scale answer] Jeremy Collier, A Defence of the Short View (1699) [written in reply to Congreve and Vanbrugh] James Drake, The Antient and Modern Stages Surveyed. Or, Mr. Collier’s View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage Set in a True Light &c. (1699) Jeremy Collier, A Second Defence of the Short View &c. (1700) [written in reply to Drake] Edward Filmer, A Defence of Plays: or, The Stage Vindicated (1707) Jeremy Collier, A Farther Vindication of the Short View (1708) [written in reply to Filmer]

15 L'opposizione al teatro in epoca rinascimentale 1572: statuto di Elisabetta I contro “Rogues Vagabonds and Sturdy Beggars” Leggi suntuarie Censura politica Problemi di ordine pubblico (“masterless men”) Iconoclastia puritana Dopo il 1642: convergenza trattatistica religiosa // legislazione secolare

16 Il riaccendersi della polemica a fine Seicento Febbraio 1698: legge “for the more effective suppressing profaneness, immorality and debauchery” Aprile 1698: prima edizione della Short View Societies for the Reformation of Manners

17 Jeremy Collier e la Short View (1698) Collier: non-juror anglicano Thomas Rymer, A Short View of Tragedy (1693) Preface: “The business of plays is to recommend virtue and discountenance vice”. Ch.1: The Immodesty of the Stage Ch. 2: The Profaneness of the Stage Ch. 3: The Clergy Abused by the Stage Ch. 4: The Stage-Poets make their Principal Persons Vicious and Reward them at the End of the Play Ch. 5: Remarks upon Amphytrion, King Arthur, Don Quixote, and The Relapse. Ch. 6: The Opinion of Paganism, of the Church, and State, Concerning the Stage

18 Short View, Ch. 4: The Stage-Poets make their Principal Persons Vicious and Reward them at the End of the Play La perniciosità della mimesi: “To what purpose is Vice thus preferred, thus ornamented, and caress’d, unless for Imitation?” >>John Vanbrugh, A Short Vindication (1698), p. 46: “The Stage is a Glass for the World to view it self in; People ought therefore to see themselves as they are; if it makes their Faces too Fair, they won’t know they are Dirty, and by consequence will neglect to wash ‘em…”

19 Short View, Ch. 4: The Stage-Poets make their Principal Persons Vicious and Reward them at the End of the Play Il vizio travestito da virtù: “To put lewdness into a thriving condition, to give it an equipage of quality, and to treat it with ceremony and respect is the way to confound the understanding, to fortify the charm, and to make the mischief invincible”.

20 Short View, Ch. 4: The Stage-Poets make their Principal Persons Vicious and Reward them at the End of the Play Il 'travestimento' e la sua azione deturpante: The lines of virtue and vice are struck out by nature in very legible distinctions; they tend to a different point, and in the greater instances the space between them is easily perceived. Nothing can be more unlike than the original forms of these qualities: the first has all the sweetness, charms, and graces imaginable; the other has the air of a post ill carved into a monster, and looks both foolish and frightful together. These are the native appearances of Good and Evil. And they that endeavour to blot the distinctions, to rub out the colors or change the marks, are extremely to blame. ’Tis confessed as long as the mind is awake and conscience goes true there’s no fear of being imposed on. But when vice is varnished over with pleasure and comes in the shape of convenience, then the case grows somewhat dangerous; for the fancy may be gained and the guards corrupted and reason suborned against itself. And thus a disguise often passes when the person would otherwise be stopped.

21 La condizione paradossale della spettatrice in The Provoked Wife Short View, ch. 1 (The Immodesty of the Stage): “Modesty is the character of women” “They can't discover their disgust without disadvantage, nor blush without disservice to their modesty” // Lady Brute + Bellinda, III.3


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