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The Critic Essay | Critical Essay #2

This Study Guide consists of approximately 75 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Critic.
This section contains 6,389 words
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Critical Essay #2

In the following essay excerpt, the author discusses the history of Sheridan's The Critic and evaluates its status as "perhaps the most complete play about the theatre ever written."

The Critic, which was first presented on 30 October 1779, is perhaps the most complete play about the theater ever written. It was both occasional entertainment and burlesque, topically oriented and aimed at posterity, a local development and an echo of an eternal form. From Aristophanes's The Acharnians to Shakespeare's "Pyramus and Thisbe," to Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Pestle, to Buckingham's Rehearsal, to Fielding's Tragedy of Tragedies or Pasquin, the comic dramatic urge at self-reflection has surfaced brilliantly. But the examples from the 1770s which influenced Sheridan failed to achieve lasting fame largely because they are too local, too tied to contemporary situations and personalities; only Garrick's A Peep behind the Curtain approaches the proper balance between timeliness and timelessness...

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This section contains 6,389 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Critic Study Guide
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The Critic 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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