a genre of drama that arose in the first half of the 18th century in Great Britain and in other Western European countries as a reaction against classical drama.
Rejecting noble society and aristocratic mores, bourgeois drama upheld the interests of a new hero—the “honest bourgeois,” the idealized “natural man”—and affirmed its faith in the triumph of reason and virtue. In its early period, bourgeois drama was a manifestation of the struggle for realism in drama. The greatest dramatists and theorists of the genre were G. Lillo, D. Diderot, and G. E. Lessing.
Beginning in the 1790’s, bourgeois drama became increasingly moralizing and patronizing, expressing the ideology of the conservative petite bourgeoisie. This trend can be seen mainly in the plays of A. W. Iffland and A. Kotzebue. Sentimentality became the most characteristic trait in the performance of bourgeois drama. In Russia, the dramatists V. I. Lukin and P. A. Plavil’shchikov showed an interest in bourgeois drama.
REFERENCESDanilov, S. S. Ocherki po istorii russkogo dramaticheskogo teatra. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Istoriia zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra, vol. 2. Moscow, 1957.