The beaux' stratagem

Front Cover
University of Nebraska Press, Dec 1, 1977 - Drama - 145 pages
In this new edition,The Beaux' Stratagemis seen as a traditional work, combining characteristics of the Restoration comedy of manners with those of the more conventionally moral comedy that followed. Mr. Fifer discusses the numerous alterations made in the text during the century, many of which eliminated racy dialogue or diminished the importance of the marriage-divorce theme. Farquhar's views on divorce were influenced by Milton; he is also concerned here with the conflict between virtue and vice, and with the importance of money and its influence on personal freedom. Based on a collation of eight copies of the first quarto, this edition includes extensive discussion of text and stage history.

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About the author (1977)

George Farquhar was Irish by birth. He studied at Trinity College in Dublin but left without earning a degree to become an actor. Later he wrote for the theater. He is most remembered for bringing to English comedy a fresh good humor and an emphasis on country settings. One of his plays, The Recruiting Officer (1706), which Bertolt Brecht rewrote, is a lively takeoff on the author's own military experiences. His best-known play, The Beaux' Stratagem (1707), engages the marriage debate and the difficulty of divorce, drawing on divorce tracts of John Milton. It is a lively, very natural comedy of sensibility. Farquhar wrote Discourse upon Comedy in a Letter to a Friend, in which he defended the genre as "a well-framed tale, handsomely told, as an agreeable vehicle for counsel or reproof." Farquhar married a woman he thought to be wealthy. He was mistaken, however. He died penniless in London at the age of 29.

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