Theatre Historical Studies Essay Notes

10 Pages

Theatre Studies
Course Code
THST 2010
Paul A Mulholland

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THST FINAL EXAM READINGS NOTESDerksen Sarah Anne Curzon and her dramatic work Laura Secord The Heroine of 1812 Remained in the closet of Canadian literary criticismMichael Tait Of all branches of Canadian literature nineteenthcentury drama has received least attention for reasons that are entirely understandableTait sates formless ineffective characterization pretentious moral attitudes lack of stylistic distinction stupefying prolixityStudies previous to Derksen had overlooked characteristics of plays by womenMurray Edwards dismisses Curzons work and its feminist content was somewhat colored by and intense concern with the rights of womenCarole Gerson terms the still prevalent modernist critical embargo of feminine concerns and the subsequent demotion of social and domestic issues as sentimental Curzons plays are easily criticized stylistically derivative and unsophisticated worrisomely imperialistic elitist painfully melodramatic sentimental and didacticCritics fail to give credit for Curzons approach manipulating convention and conventionality for her own purposeConstructions of gender and nation were manipulated Didactic plays written specifically for a conservative audience she was addressingPolicy playsforms of public pronouncement that serve political endsAdjoins feminist goals with imperialist nationalismThrough dramatic discourse Curzon advances a womans view of the goals and qualities of imperial nationhood Inserts feminist policy within nationalistic position she advocatesCurzon dedicated to promoting interest in Canadian historyRescue from oblivion the name of a brave woman looks to reclaim unacknowledged worthy female subjectNationalism interest in womens issues motivate Curzons workIncludes masculine qualities such as bravery duty strength of purpose and action alongside feminine qualities such as caring family duty and tendernessPromotes image of a woman who can move from feminine domestic sphere to the public and still maintain traditional gender rolesLaura Secord is a dramatization of womans journey from traditional passive domestic realm to active sphere of public lifeCloset dramaintended to be read rather then performedOpening of the play Queenston A farmhouse John Penn a Quaker is seated on a chair tilted against the wall Mr Secord his arm in a sling reclines on a couch against the end of which a crutch is placed Mrs Secord occupies a rockingchair near the loungeOpening of play brings up domestic patriotic religious and family values to appeal to target audience
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