Thalia's Daughters

A weblog for English 6365: Women Onstage in the Long Eighteenth Century, at UNB.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Reading your posts,

I am struck by a couple of thoughts. First, though this play has variously been described as "humane" and "laughing" and whatnot, we have some unsettling elements: quasi-incestuous abuse of power; verbal abuse and harsh confinement; physical violence; a heroine who frequently alludes to suicide. I can't help thinking of all the different stagings one might choose.

Some of you have written approvingly of Centlivre's writing. Specifically, of its relative seamlessness, it's structural unity. I don't disagree, but I am intrigued by the relationship between these perceived qualities of the play, and it disparate strains, the one comic and the other dark. Kari writes, in her discussion of taglines, that perhaps this play needs "smoothing out" for current audiences. But it would appear, for some of you, at least, that it is already "smooth." My question is, how?

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