accepted neoclassical doctrine that the purpose of drama is to teach and to please andwent on to show the disparity between theatre and practice. Most dramatists found itimpossible to answer Collier effectively since they too had accepted moral teachings asthe basic aim of drama.From English Drama, 1700 – 1750 (Brockett pgs 224-225)The transition toward a new approach is best seen in the plays of Cibber and
Farquhar,in which the characteristics of the established comic types are modiﬁed considerably bya more conservative moral outlook and by greater sentimentality.
– playwright Lover
s Last Shift, The Careless Husband, The DoubleGallant, and The Lady
s Stake…characters pursue their fashionable follies until the ﬁfthact, when they undergo rapid and sentimentalized conversions
– preserved much of Congreve
s wit, but set his plays in the countryand resolved them in a manner that removed moral obstacles. His best plays are TheConstant Couple, The Recruiting Ofﬁcer, The Recruiting Ofﬁcer, The Beaux Stratagem.
One of the premiere dramatists of the 18th century. She workedfor a great deal of her career at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Aphra Behn was the ﬁrst bigfemale writer in the restoration, Susanna was considered the second woman of theEnglish Stage.
The Licensing act of 1737:
Until the 1730s Lord Chamberlain was able to control theatres, companies and plays inEngland because the Master of Revels was his subordinate and so drama was broughtto his jurisdiction. When the theaters reopened, the power of the master was slowlystripped as the Lord Chamberlain began to create an authority founded on traditions.The Licensing Act was a result of the social, legal, economic, and political conditions ofthe time, as well as the reactions to literary works that were dominated by these issues.It was a product of hostility towards drama and theaters arising from the still widespreadreligious opposition. During 1736 and 1737, Jacobites were able to manipulate thestage. The ﬁrst attempt at legislation regarding censorship, in 1735, failed to pass. In1737, Walpole ﬁnally succeeded in passing the Licensing Act. The act gave legal forceto the Lord Chamberlain's authority by giving him the power to license plays, and gaverise to the phrase "legitimate theater.
the three stages of the restoration (1660 to 1700, 1700 to 1737, 1737 to 1800),