There are 10 critical essays on Colley Cibber.
Critical Essays on Colley Cibber
Critical Essay by Helga Drougge
10,478 words, approx. 35 pages
In the following essay, Drougge charges that although Cibber presents his plays as realism, they are actually sentimentalism: “wishfulfilment fantasies offered as instruction, unreal behaviour offered as psychology, submissive eloquence offered as logic.”
Critical Essay by Kristina Straub
9,345 words, approx. 31 pages
In this essay, Straub examines the eighteenth-century practice of gendering literary authority as masculine and in that context focuses on Cibber's unusual use of the sexually ambiguous figure of the schoolboy to construct an alternative model of authority.
Critical Essay by Stephen Szilagyi
7,379 words, approx. 25 pages
In this essay, Szilagyi claims that the tendency to dismiss Cibber and his comedies as lightweight has caused scholars to overlook the serious social and political issues of such plays as The Careless Husband. Szilagyi views Cibber's presentation of the fop character Lord Foppington as a critique of aristocratic privilege.
Critical Essay by Rodney L. Haley
7,103 words, approx. 24 pages
In this essay, Haley examines Cibber's defense of the stage from the attacks of Jeremy Collier, whose Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the Stage (1698) began a fierce debate over the place of the theater in society. In his play The Non-Juror, Haley argues, Cibber attacks Collier both personally and politically, using him as a model for the character of Dr. Wolf.
Critical Essay by Susan Staves
6,162 words, approx. 21 pages
In this essay, Staves examines the theatrical tradition of foppery and the changes it underwent throughout the eighteenth century, paying particular attention to Cibber and David Garrick. Staves demonstrates a softening attitude toward the fop character, citing Cibber's Love Makes a Man as an important example of this trend.
Critical Essay by B. R. S. Fone
6,044 words, approx. 20 pages
In this essay, Fone contends that not only the reformation in the final act of Love's Last Shift but also the consistent moral tone throughout the play confirms its status as the first sentimental comedy.
Critical Essay by Lois Potter
5,356 words, approx. 18 pages
In this essay, Potter demonstrates how Cibber himself created the fop persona that was often used by his enemies to mock him.
Critical Essay by Frederick S. Boas
4,432 words, approx. 15 pages
In the following excerpt from a work that was originally published in 1953, Boas surveys Cibber's career as a playwright, paying particular attention to The Careless Husband, The Non-Juror, and The Provok'd Husband.
Critical Essay by Frank H. Ellis
3,788 words, approx. 13 pages
In this excerpt from his study of sentimental comedy throughout the eighteenth century, Ellis considers Love's Last Shift as one of the earliest works in the genre, although he argues that only the last two scenes really qualify as truly sentimental.
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