The Influence Of Restoration In The 18th Century

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Restoration and the 18th century began in 1660 and lasted until 1798. Though this period is short compared to most eras, it has had a huge impact on present day America. However, before the Restoration Period the theatres were closed in 1642. Playwrights such as John Gay began executing the use of satire as well as actor David Garrick changing the way actors performed. Restoration was a giant leap in the right direction for drama; it challenged the traditional views and poured the foundation for 21st century theater.

John Gay was perhaps one of the most popular ballad opera writers of his time. He believed in “recycling” songs; he reworked already written plays and gave them a satirical edge. His most known work, The Beggars Wife, was written in 1728 and considered the greatest theatrical work of this era. There was only one thing challenging Gay and his work, The Licensing Act of 1737.
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This act restricted plays to only be performed in one of the two patented theaters and made sure they were critically censored. Scripts must first be reviewed by Examiners of Plays before ever being allowed onstage; this lessened continuously over the next 100 years and was tremendously denounced by actor David Garrick.

One of Britain’s greatest actors and the first true “star” was Mister David Garrick. Garrick modernized acting; he pushed actors away from their flamboyancy and kept them from constantly addressing the audience. He began performing more “easily”. Along with his tremendous impact on acting, Garrick made changes to an array of existing plays making them more with-the-time. One of his favorite playwrights to edit was Shakespeare; he rewrote the end of famous play Romeo and Juliet lessening the tear-worthy end. People of this time were all about

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