The Proper Function of a Theatre According to Pinero
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The Second Mrs Tanqueray
Pinero, whom even Shaw's collaborator William Archer praised pertaining to his 'serious treatment of severe themes', thought that the right function of drama was 'giving back to the multitude their own thoughts and conceptions illuminated, bigger, and if needful purged'. Dealing with moral 'problems' in such a socially conformist method on the stage won Pinero an tremendous popularity; and from 1885 through 1895, with a new play appearing every year, his function was could possibly be seen practically continually in the West End over the whole decade. With the specialist this offered him, it was not surprising that Pinero started to be the main target in Shaw's campaign to market the 'new' drama (which of course he identified with his own plays); and this individual singled out The other Mrs. Tanqueray, Pinero's most widely recognized cultural tragedy, for example of 'Sardoodledom' (Shaw's term for the conventional morality embodied in the Well-Made Play solution identified together with the French playwright Sardou).
And indeed, in its reliability on revelations, Pinero's story follows the conventional Well-Made-Play, which will had been standardised in the 1840s and 1860s by Scribe and Sardou. On the surface area The Second Mrs. Tanqueray shows up naturalistic, yet beneath the intentionally ordinary conversation and sociable background the characters are generally standard types, even the subject figure staying the conventional female with a invisible past. The protagonists'' answers correspond to common moral targets. Being based on an ideal of purity, the husband's like is shattered by the revelation that his wife Paula had been forced to make her living as a high-priced phone girl just before their marriage. His main concern is always to preserve appearances, and when he convinces Paula that immorality is infectious, she poisons herself for fear of corrupting their blameless children.
Presently there may also be an even more subversive form of social criticism under this kind of apparently conformist surface, considering that the...