The Contrast: A Comedy in Five Acts

Front Cover
Cosimo, Inc., Jul 1, 2006 - Drama - 160 pages
0 Reviews
OF INTEREST TO: fans of 18th-century theater, readers of American literature LETITIA: It is whispered that if Maria gives her hand to Mr. Dimple, it will be without her heart. CHARLOTTE: Though the giving the heart is one of the last of all laughable considerations in the marriage of a girl of spirit, yet I should like to hear what antiquated notions the dear little piece of old-fashioned prudery has got in her head. -from Act I It is the first American comedy to be performed on stage. THE CONTRAST, which debuted in New York in 1787 to great acclaim and was performed in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Boston between then and 1792, literally set the scene for American dramatics, creating characters that have become iconically American, from the "Yankee" Johnathan to the vapid Charlotte and Letitia... characters we continue to see in film, TV, and fiction today. Frequently likened to British playwright Richard Sheridan's The School for Scandal, this remains a delightful satire-and a quintessentially American one. American playwright ROYALL TYLER (1757-1826), born William Clark Tyler, wrote many other plays, some of which have been lost, as well as novels, essays, and humorous verse.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

V
20
VI
22
VII
23
VIII
117
IX
118
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2006)

When Royall Tyler courted the young Abigail Adams, her father, John Adams (see Vol. 3), wrote to his wife that he disapproved of Tyler's suit. He suggested that Tyler drop his literary aspirations and focus on the law. A man of contrasts, Royall Tyler found neither occupation mutually exclusive; he distinguished himself as a lawyer and a military officer, as well as a poet and dramatist. Born William Clark Tyler to a well-established Boston family on July 18, 1757, Tyler was quickly schooled in colonial politics. His father was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and was actively opposed to British interference. When the senior Tyler died in 1771, his fourteen-year-old son adopted his father's name---Royall. Tyler graduated from Harvard and received an honorary degree from Yale. In 1779 he was awarded a Master of Arts degree from Harvard, and in 1780 he was admitted to the Massachusetts bar. During his college years, Tyler served briefly as a military aide in 1778. During the 1780s, Tyler acted on the government's behalf in quelling Shays's Rebellion, a farmer's revolt in western Massachusetts. Tyler proved himself an excellent counselor and barrister; in 1807 he became chief justice of the Supreme Court of Vermont, as well as a trustee and law professor at the University of Vermont. In 1794 Tyler married Mary Palmer, the daughter of the family with whom he had resided during the time of Shays's Rebellion. Concurrent with his civic career, Royall Tyler enjoyed another vocation. A prolific writer, particularly of drama, Tyler saw his first play, The Contrast, produced in 1787. Like much of his work, this play dealt with the theme of American exceptionalism. Unlike some of his contemporaries, Tyler refused to mimic continental themes and forms and sought to create uniquely American works. Critics have commented at some length on his use of dialect and satire and upon his indictment of duplicitous European influences on the naive and upright American character. Tyler's papers and manuscripts are collected at the Vermont Historical Society, Montpelier, Vermont.

Bibliographic information