Theater: Were Man but Wise

Restoration comedy is the strongest single argument for closing down a nation's theaters for a generation. Repression fosters a ferment of expression. The parched worship water. The starved adore food. The zest of Restoration comedy is that it is a theater of appetite. It is based on what Louis Kronenberger has called "our three great hungers —vanity, money and sex."

Dramatically, even these great hungers may be sated. A dramatic genre is organic, and aging like a man, becomes tired, jaded and brittle. Substance succumbs to style, and the play and the playwright simply go through the motions of existence for lack...

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