British Drama Development: the Victorian Age and Modern Period Essay

October 23, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Mar 24th, 2021

The Victorian Age drama: Bernard Shaw’s (Mrs. Warren’s Profession)

Shaw completed his drama on Mrs. Warren’s profession in the year 1893. By the time it was produced, in the year 1902, the general public was outraged by its controversial contents ( Critics strongly opposed it claiming that the play promoted an act of immorality in society. Based on the play, the writer, Bernard Shaw, emphasized exposing how the economic hardships of the 19th century forced women to become dependable prostitutes to meet their daily needs.

The dramatic structure of this Victorian age drama involves the adaptation of the early Aristotelian primacy of the plot. As for the style used, there is overshadowing of characterization. The play entirely concentrates on the incident arising rather than focusing on the character’s development ( This was simple to achieve an inevitable humorous ending the audience would like. This is evidence to show that the dramatic action is character-driven with the conversation shifting among actors. There is also a very little aspect of plot development.

In the conclusion, the play ends on the same tradition whereby all the conflicts are resolved, and all the characters appear to be happy. The play writer refused totally from the employment of flat characterization and unmotivated actions. This Victorian age drama revolves mainly around experimental fiction and full tenets of realism. After all, the author of this era focused mainly on exposing the strength and weaknesses that ordinary people possess when confronting social difficulties (

The modern drama period: Samuel Beckett’s (Endgame)

Endgame is a play, which is more influential to the modern drama writers of the 21st century. The play exhibits continuous plot development unbroken by separate scenes. The style added includes self-reflexive dialogues, which are clear reminders to the audience that they are watching a play performed by actors ( The drama also employs relevant styles like stage directions, simply to create a clear direct relationship between actors and the things they need. Moreover, the play writer also uses abstract language and stagnant structure styles, to express fully the character’s inability to understand. Finally, the author creates a balance between confusion and understanding by developing language reflects. He also directs the audience’s attention to how the play is going to end right at its beginning (

Matthew Arnold’s (Dover Beach)

Dover Beach is considered to be the first modern poem that is built on the foundation of the past. Moreover, this short lyric poem is proved to be mature since the poet focuses on his own life contrasting the present and past human misery life. The poem itself contains four stanzas of different lines (Lopez & Gabriel). In addition, the poet also employs the use of regular standard rhyme schemes. The theme controls the flow of verses from one to another, although they appear to be more unconventionally structured. Finally, the poet uses key words continually that are nostalgic whenever expressing time and timelessness. The tone of the poem is sad and melancholy (Lopez & Gabriel).

Modern poems following Arnold’s Groundbreaking

Ode to the west wind by Percy Shelley

In my opinion, the poem is a creative lyrical masterpiece that encapsulates the poet’s vision. The poet expressed how she suffered from the tragic attempt of reconciling with nature (Schmieg). Moreover, the image created by the poem stipulates a vision of blowing leaves falling on the whole world. Although the poem carries some religious analog, the poet established the climax in stanza 54. The poet also borrowed the use of regular standardized rhyme schemes just like Arnold and also maintained the flow of the poem which revolved around the main theme (Schmieg).

The Letter of Marianne Moore by Marianne Moore

This poem contributes a lot to the development of modern poetry. The poem itself represents 2/3 of the 21st century, primarily reflecting the developmental shifts from the Victorian to modern poetry age. The poet demonstrated and explained what she felt in the post-world war depression. Furthermore, the poet revealed the contrast between sadness and hope (Moore).

Works Cited

“End game.” Novelguide, 2011. Web.

López, Vicente Forés and Laura Caballer De Gabriel. Matthew Arnold’s Dover Beach. Universitat de València Press. 2006-2007. Web.

Moore, Marianne. “Letters of Marianne Moore.” Academy of American Poets, 2011. Web.

“Mrs. Warrens profession.” Novelguide, 2011. Web.

Schmieg, Sebastian. “Masterworks of British Literature.” Masterworks of British Literature, 2010. Web.

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