Transcript Romanticism

• Europe and America
• mid-1700s to mid-1800s
• movement in art, literature,
music, theatre…
• reaction against Neoclassicism
• emotional rather than
• focused on topics like
– nature
– human individualism
– innocence of past and
– the supernatural or
Romanticism - Germany
• sturm and drang =
(“storm and
stress”); a subcategory of
• Goethe - Faust
Romanticism - France
• Victor Hugo – Hernani
– caused a riot—not
enough” (common
people as
struggle against
gov’t, violence,
death, and humor)
Some Famous Actors of the Time
David Garrick
Sarah Siddons
Edmund Kean
Henry Irving (1st English
actor to be knighted)
• Sarah Bernhardt
• Edwin Booth
Romantic Theatre
• Upper class—opera, ballet; middle-class—
• As seeing becomes more important than hearing
the orchestra seats (which had up till then been
the cheap seats) became more valuable.
• Scenery included drops, flats, and ground rows
(cutaway flats standing free on the stage floor).
Romantic Theatre
• natural settings - carefully and realistically
• candles or oil lamps – but by 1830, gaslight was
• special effects: flying, trap doors, water pump
systems, moving panoramas to give the illusion
of travel, treadmills by the late 1800 (allowed for
horses and chariot races, etc.), volcanic
eruptions, fires, etc.
Romantic Theatre
• Romanticism was not at all realistic in its
acting, drama, or direction
• In set, costume, and lighting it attempted
to be as realistic as possible
• the rise of the director
Plays During This Time…
There were still some successful playwrights
using the Comedy of Manners style.
• Richard Sheridan
– The School for Scandal; The Rivals
– In the play The Rivals, there is a character
named Mrs. Malaprop—she had a habit of
mixing up words and using them incorrectly
(which was humorous)—we get the term
malapropism from her.
Some Malaprops/Malapropisms…
• “groinocology” – Archie Bunker
• “Alcoholics Unanimous” – Mayor Richard Daley
• “electrical votes” – Yogi Berra
• "Well I try to look at the bright side. I guess you
could say I'm an internal optometrist.“ – Steve
Carell, Dinner for Schmucks
• “Republicans understand the importance of
bondage between a mother and a child.” – former
VP Dan Quayle
Romantic Theatre - Melodrama
• exaggerated plot and characters to appeal to
• orchestral music or song often accompanied the
action (add to emotion)
• use of stock characters
– a hero (always the fearless one)
– heroine (the love of the hero, usually the one that the
hero saves)
– villain (usually likes the heroine too)
– villain's sidekick (typically gets in the way of or annoys
the villain).
Romantic Theatre - Burlesque
• elaborate and spectacular theatrical
production (extravaganza)
• a comic, musical play that parodies
(imitates and mocks) a well-known opera,
play, or ballet
• sometimes cross-dressing (“breeches
• later associated with variety show, bawdy
comedy, and female striptease.