Contribution of Goldsmith as a Dramatist - Questionpur

Write a note on the contribution of Goldsmith as a dramatist

Goldsmith revolted against the sentimental comedy prevalent in the eighteenth century. He tried to bring in older traditions in drama. Referring to this Nicoll has observed in British Drama: " In the eighteenth-century comedy had departed far from its original home.

In place of laughter, tears; in place of intrigue, melodramatic and distressing situations, in place of rogues and gallants and witty damsels, pathetic heroines and serious lovers and honest servants this is what we discover in the typical sentimental drama of the late eighteenth century.

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We are in the world of drama, not of comedy; in the realm of emotions, not of the intellect. It must not be supposed, of course, that sentimentalism completely dominated the age. Farce still retained its power, and there were many attempts to awaken the muse of laughter. Many saw the follies of the sentimental kind.

Whitehead gave expression satirically to a common thought when in A Trip to Scotland ( 1770 ) he makes Sotherton declare that the good company will perceive that whatever effect the late run of sentimental comedies may have had upon their audiences, they have at least made the players men of honour. " " The Good Natured Man, however, could be a better play.

There are many weaknesses in the plot, much of the dialogue is stilted, and there are scenes where the author showed that he had not fully grasped the requirements of the stage. All these deficiencies are remedied in his greatest work She Stoops to Conquer, or The Mistakes of a Night ( 1773 ). This comedy, of richly deserved fame, betrays a peculiar fusion of forces ...... For once, in the eighteenth century, the spirit of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night was revived. 

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