Bourgeois Drama

Bourgeois Drama


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.


Danilov, S. S. Ocherki po istorii russkogo dramaticheskogo teatra. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Istoriia zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra, vol. 2. Moscow, 1957.
References in periodicals archive ?
236), Auerbach's "sensitive and learned book" suffered from the fact that its concept of realism excluded from its framework "the bourgeois drama or the English realistic novel of the eighteenth and nineteenth century as either didactic or idyllic.
In fact, the storyline breaks down pretty easily, but this is hardly bourgeois drama, more like magic realism where as an audience you're swept along by the energy and invention.
Along the way, she makes astute comparisons between bourgeois drama in France, England and Russia, pointing out that, unlike western practioners of the "piece bien faite" (1) such as Victorien Sardou, Russia's Alexander Ostrovskii achieved lasting and deserved fame by "dramatizing the new attitudes toward both production and consumption sifting down through society.
De doda pjaserna represents a departure from Noren's earlier bourgeois dramas, which focused in Strindbergian fashion on the hellish institution of the family, with family members torturing one another relentlessly.