18th/19th century romanticism and melodrama
Culture of the time
comedy of intrigue, and led the way for the masterpieces of Congreve and Sheridan. Etherege had the ability to create scenes where we saw the ladies and gentlemen of London's lives vividly represented before our eyes. He was a rich man living at ease, with tastes of a fine gentleman. He was disdained to excel in literature. He left Cambridge University to travel France and Flanders.
A bold stroke for a wife- the play tells a story of a military officer who wants to marry a young woman. His only obstacles are four guardians who watch over his love Anne Lovely. Each of the four guardians has an idea of the ideal husband. The catch is that each disagrees about the perfect man for Anne.
The Rover- Willmore, a rakish naval, falls in love with a young women named Hellena, who has set out to experience love before her brother sends her to a covent. Complications arise when a girl named Angellica, who falls in love with Willmore and swears revenge for his betrayal.
The Beauxs Stratagem- Aimwell and Archer are to fashionable beaux, on the lookout for an heiress so they can repair their fortunes.
Women wore gowns with bell shaped skirts and sleeves with high mantillas and veils. Indoors, women were allowed to show their faces, hands, necks and bosoms, but outside, they wore large hooded cloaks.
As time progressed, men showed more of their legs and women's attire became more clinging and revealing. The men often wore eye patches.
Both sexes wore excessive make-up, false noses, beards, mustaches, powder, rouge, pencil, lipstick and beauty patches. Facial expression was avoided because it tended to crack the facial make-up. stages were extravagant. many having influeced light fro the sun, and actors projecting voice to huge domes.