Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Historical Context

Hugh Wheeler
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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
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