Date of Degree
Access restricted until 07/03/2020
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Fifth Committee Member
This dissertation examines the popular theatre of the late-nineteenth century and focuses on the most commercially successful and popular playwrights of the era: Henry Arthur Jones, Arthur Wing Pinero, and Oscar Wilde. Looking at the major popular playwrights reveals that the commercial stage had different concerns than the avant-garde theatre of Ibsen and Shaw. Foremost among these concerns was religion, and starting with Jones’s 1884 play Saints and Sinners, a massive change swept through the commercial stage as religious prejudice and official censorship fell by the wayside. In its place, religion started to become a topic that was once again seen as acceptable, and the fin de siècle stage was awash with syncretic religious views. This syncretism was aided by the publication of scripts and the religious pluralism of the day. Though publication aided the literary and religious quality of the texts, they were crafted as staged works, complete with the shared, collective experiences and emotions of the audience, a collective affect that mimics the collective emotional experience of a congregation in a church, and the stage thus became one of the largest venues for ecumenical religion during the late-Victorian era. The alacrity with which this happened challenges not only the common conception of the secularization of the late-Victorian stage, but also of the larger culture
Religion, Secular, Theater, Victorian, Wilde
v, 299 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 279-299).
Copyright © 2018 Marija Reiff
Reiff, Marija. "The syncretic stage: religion and popular drama during the fin de siècle." PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) thesis, University of Iowa, 2018.
Available for download on Friday, July 03, 2020