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Hay Fever Criticism

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Throughout his career, Coward was generally praised as a skillful dramatist capable of constructing well-balanced comedies filled with natural-sounding dialogue and broadly humorous situations. Even those who criticized his work as being too trivial and lacking in deep meaning have usually acknowledged his plays as entertaining, which is precisely what Coward intended them to be. Today the playwright's critical reputation rests largely on his comedies of manners written between the two World Wars, works—including Hay Fever—that capture the sophisticated, irreverent and high-spirited mood of 1920s elite society.

When Hay Fever premiered in 1925, some critics like James Agate, the reviewer for London's Sunday Times, complained that the play offered neither a useful moral nor admirable personalities. As Agate wrote, "There is neither health nor cleanness about any of Mr. Coward's characters, who are still the same vicious babies sprawling upon the floor of their unwholesome creche." Yet...

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This section contains 837 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Hay Fever Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Hay Fever from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.