She stoops to conquer: the making of a popular success

Hamlyn, Susan Katherine (1975). She stoops to conquer: the making of a popular success. University of Birmingham. M.A.

Available under License All rights reserved.

Download (18MB) | Preview


This thesis is an attempt to answer the question, 'What makes She Stoops to Conquer a successful play?' It is concerned rather with the play's essential comic qualities and content than with the technicalities of construction, since these are what engage and absorb the attention of an audience. The first chapter is a survey of the sources which have been suggested for the play and its characters since its first appearance. The purpose of this is to examine elements traditionally popular in drama which Goldsmith successfully incorporated into She Stoops to Conquer. The second chapter is a study of the eighteenth century theatre. It pays particular attention to contemporary moral attitudes to the theatre and to the relations between the various members of society who made use of the theatre, either as actors, authors, managers or as audience. The third chapter traces the history of the first production of She Stoops to Conquer from its inception to the first performance and through the critical reaction which followed. This is discussed against the background described in the second chapter. The final chapter contains some critical discussion of the play and characters and is an attempt to assess the factors contributing to the play's success and, ultimately, to suggest reasons for its continued popularity. It is followed by three Appendices. The first is a brief history of the play in performance and in print from the first performance to the present. The second is a discussion of a text of the play which came to light during research. In the third are reproduced the five epilogues written for the play and of which only one was used.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.A.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.A.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Arts
School or Department: Faculty of Arts
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year