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ENGC48H3 (6)


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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steven Minuk

Restoration Theatre ➢ Duke's company was given rights to Shakespeare's plays ➢ Restoration stage comedy is notorious for its sexual innuendo, a feature encouraged by Charles II himself whose Court was scandalized by sexual debauchery  Period of meriment where sexual liberty, freedom of expression has begun  Female actresses are now allowed to participate in theatre – no longer men playing women's roles. Philosophical Currents in 17C England ➢ Virtuouso by Chadwell? ➢ Background information around the time during which Virtuoso was written ➢ Emergence of philosophies which question the traditional privilege given to a Christian worldview and a single deity  Philosophers like Hobbes, Locke, Spinosa etc.  Areaction against Christianity and the hold it has on the scientific and academic world. ➢ There is also a revival of works by Epicurus and Lucretius; revival of books; revival of Greek and Roman philosophy stating that the world is just atoms constantly fluxuating.  Epicureus wrote De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things)  Opening scene of Virtuoso has a character quoting from this book ➢ 1650 – Thomas Hobbes publishes Leviathan  He is saying that we need to listen to the king first, and then the church second in order to maintain a stable society. If we let our sovereign run the society, it will prevent men's conflicting views and violence that may errupt as a result. In the past there has been violence and bloodshed, and therefore this is his solution to the problem. ➢ Other philosophers are branded athesists for questioning the Christian ethos: Pierre Gassendi, Renee Descartes, John Locke. 17C Science – Natural Philosophy ➢ Science was called Natural Philosophy back then ➢ Now we have very rigid divisions between the humanities and the sciences, which did not exist back then ➢ Scientific Revolution takes place during this period and it is part of the emerging identity of science as a discipline with its own paradaigms and language ➢ This is satirized in both Virtuoso and TheAlchemist ➢ The role of the scientist was still un-established & suffered from public suspicion and ridicule. ➢ There was also this belief/suspicion that this new science was a kind of atheism which is why Virtuoso begins with a reading from Lucretius Science and Religion ➢ Not clear whether philosophy is being substituted for Christianity in the Virtuoso ➢ New scientific discoveries were made by Copernicus ➢ People are branded heretics for accepting this viewpoint instead of supporting Christianity ➢ So philosophers become sensitive about offending theAnglican church The Royal Society ➢ This was the 1 scientific society in England and still exists today The Microscope and Telescope ➢ Since satires deal with exaggeration, what is its
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