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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Historical Context

Hugh Wheeler
This Study Guide consists of approximately 31 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Sweeney Todd.
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Historical Context

Victorian London

The distinction between the wealthy and lower classes was quite evident in London during the nineteenth century. A small portion of the city was set aside for well-kept residences and shopping areas. Upper and middle-class residents stayed in these areas, predominantly in the West end, fearing to venture into the remaining three quarters of the city, especially in the rough East end, which was teeming with devastating poverty and corruption. The gulf between the rich and poor widened each year. New villages continually emerged, especially near the docks, but even though Londoners found work in the city's busy port, wages were not high enough to live on. The extreme stratification of the city was studied by Karl Marx. His observations on the causes, effects, and solutions to the problem of poverty in London became the inspiration for the Communist revolutions of the following century.

Melodrama

The...

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This section contains 365 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Study Guide
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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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