The tradition of the well-made play emerged towards the end of the nineteenth century. It was also called piece bien faite meaning 'Second Empire Drama'. It was supported mainly by the works of Eugene Scribe , of Dumas , of Emile Augier , and of Victorien Sardou. The tradition reached to the top with Sardou's works in which the techniques of construction invented by Scribe were completely used. Construction and stagecraft are exploited fully rather than the characterization and ideas . In the plot counstruction of the well-made play , an action turns on artificial complications that are easily solved by ingenious solutions . It is the stage of which the salon or the drawing room has double doors at the side entrances. It begins with an exposition setting the scene stating where the characters stand in the scene in detail.The problem in the play is revealed at the heart of it where there can be a sudden change . Eventually, the play ends happily and agreeably.1
As a well-known type of play , it predominated the French theatre and later was dominant in the theatre of Europe. The London stage was in many respects like an extension of the Paris theatre and flourished by the play of this type making imitations , adaptations and translations of the French drama .2 Moreover , the well-made drama was replaced in the Romantic plays such as Shelley's Cenci and Byron's Manfred .Besides this, it succeeded the extravagant farces, crude melodramas and spectacle plays which were the public entertainment for the people in the middle of the nineteenth century. It was better than the romantic play and the other types as a neatly organized and compact play of situation. The well-mad...
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(Taking her husband's hand) Ah, you're
marrying a very good woman !
( Lady Windermere's Fan,IV. 157)
'The Windermeres flourish in a new and harmonious intimacy'1 . Mrs Erlynne bids farewell to her daughter leaving her unaware of her true identity and starts a new life with Lord Augustus planning to go somewhere else to live together. Thus , everything becomes normal as in the beginning of the play ending in an agreeable atmosphere.
Wilde, Oscar (1951) Lady Windermere's Fan,London:Methuen.
Hopper, Vincent F. (1960) Lady Windermere's Fan by Oscar
Wilde,Newyork:Barron's Educational Series.
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