Characteristics Of Rationalism In 18th Century Theatre

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Register to read the introduction… There are two main types of drama that were popular during this period, Rationalism and Sentimentalism. Rationalism was the concept in which faith in reason began to over take from faith in God (Trumbull 1). This whole idea led away from Neoclassicism. Rationalism was shown through drama because is focused on the emotions one feels when they see a show at the theatre. This type of drama was comforting and enjoyable. Rationalism led to Sentimentalism aspect in theatre. It was characterized by an over-emphasis on arousing sympathetic responses to misfortune (Trumbull 2). This began in England in sixteen ninety and ended in the seventeen thirties. Sentimental Comedies were also looked at as tearful comedies. They made the viewer more conservative, and sentimental. One of the serious dramas during this time was Heroic Tragedy which was written in heroic verse using couplets with verses of iambic pentameter that rhymed (Trumbull 2 and 3). They often dealt with conflicts between love, honor or duty. This eventually turned the viewer away. Some other Eighteenth Century forms were Ballod Opera, Farce, and Pantomimes. Theatres used a forestage-the apron, where two doors were in the proscenium opening on to the apron (Trumbull 3). The size increased form seating about six-hundred and fifty to seating fifteen hundred. Women were also allowed on stage where in previous years they were not.
Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s
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Rationalism had strong moral sense and emphasized on common sense and distrust of emotion. This gave Swift standards in which appraised to human conduct (Britannica 6). It also gave unique description of reason’s weakness. Satire was also popular at this time and age which influenced Swift to write some of his best known

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