The Critic Criticism

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While modern critics generally applaud Sheridan's work and a modern reader may find The Critic a very amusing yet tame burlesque, its first production in 1779 caused a minor controversy in the London press. The play's unnamed first reviewer (in a review collected in Sheridan: Comedies (1986) edited by Peter Davison) admired the first act's wit and satire but complained that the second and third were "heavy and tiresome." He also scolded Sheridan for not attempting the "least originality" and called the play "an act of angry retaliation" rather than "a dramatic satire, founded on general principles." This same reviewer even wrote that Sheridan's satire on false advertisements for charity "may deprive some worthy objects of that relief which their distresses might otherwise receive from the benevolent." (He further complained that Puff and Sneer both mention the word "God" onstage "without censure.") Other eighteenth-century reviews were equally dismissive: in 1783, another...

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This section contains 760 words
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The Critic from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.