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George  Farquhar
喬治•法古爾
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主要文類:Drama
資料提供者:Marguerite Connor/康慕婷
關鍵字詞:Restoration dramatist;Restoration drama;Seminar on Restroation Drama (Spring,1997)

George Farquhar

George Farquhar

1678 - 1707

Provider: Marguerite Connor / 康慕婷

 
Called the "greatest writer" of the period 1698-1710 and the "most successful writer of humane comedies" by Hume. Of the four major "transitional" writers 1685-1710 (Southerne, Congreve, Vanbrugh and Farquhar), he was the only one to successfully jump to the Augustan mode.

"Even art his most escapist, Farquhar retains the saving grace of clear sight.  The school of 'reform' comedies which flourishes in these years relies on reversals and assumptions not much removed from the conclusion of The Beaux Strategem, but almost never exhibits that al-important skeptical tinge, an awareness of self-indulgence.  Instead of being realistic but genial, these plays tend simply to be blindly and delusively benvolist in their assumptions." (Hume, The Development of English Drama in the Late 17th Century, 467

   
Farquhar's view of comedy: condemned "unnaturalness," but didn't want reality either:

 

  The poet does not impose Contradictions upon you, because he has told you no Lie; for that only is a Lie which is related with some fallacious Intention that you should believe it for a Truth; now the Poet expects no more that you should believe the Plot of his Play, than old Aesop design'd the World shou'd Think his Eagle and Lyon talk'd like you and I.... If you are so inveterate against improbabilities, you must never come near the Play-house at all; for there are several Improbabilities, nay, Impossibilities, that all the Criticisms in Nature cannot correct (From "Discourse Upon Comedy," The Complete Works of George Farquhar, ed. Charles Stonehill, 8 vols, 2.340-1).

 

He also believe that comedy should instruct:

 

  Comedy is no more at present than a well-fram'd Tale, handsomely told, as an agreeable Vehicle for Counsel or Reproof . . . .Where shou'd we seek a Foundation, but in Aesop's symbolic way of moralizing upon Tales and Fables... and as he would improve Men by the Policy of Beasts, so we endeavour to reform Brutes with the Examples of Men (Works, 2.336)
     
 
 
   
 
   
 

 

 
 

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