Restoration Culture and Comedy Ruhr-Universität Bochum
This lecture will provide an introduction to one of the most brilliant episodes in the history of English comedy: the four or five decades after the Restoration of the monarchy (and the theatre) in 1660. There will be some emphasis on how closely the plays are entangled with the values, customs, institutions and politics of the period – Charles II, the recently restored king, for instance, was a fan of comedy and a frequent member of the audience. The following topics will be discussed: the genre of comedy and how it developed after 1660; the language of the plays, in particular the devices that constitute the contemporary ideal of wit; the conflict between “Whigs” and “Tories” and how it was represented on the stage; the theatre as an institution, including actors, audiences, ticket prices etc.; gender roles and the double standard in sexual morality; the softening of attitudes and the turn towards sentimental comedy around 1700; and the subsequent vilification of Restoration comedy as immoral and obscene that has had a profound impact on the criticism of the plays and their stage history. Students will have to read William Wycherley’s The Country Wife as well as excerpts from other plays and texts. The lecture will be given in a series of videocasts, ideally available well in advance, and there will be a number of Zoom meetings giving students the opportunity to ask questions.
Online lecture, available as videocast.Exam: Oral exams via Zoom, appointment with lecturer (January - March 2024)
Online Course Requirement
Oral exam(Perhaps short quizzes along the way)
Prof. Dr. Burkhard Niederhoff
For course registration please send an email to Burkhard.Niederhoff@rub.de
Site for Inquiry
Please inquire about the courses at the address below.
Email address: Burkhard.Niederhoff@rub.de
Link to the syllabus provided by the university