English social drama of 1600 and 1900
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Social drama is that type of drama which has for its theme a problem touching the interests of society at large, or a great part of that society. It deals with social conditions and with problems involving the social relations. Its purpose is generally of a more or less didactic nature: to expose the evils existing in the society portrayed and to suggest or to bring about a suggestion of a remedy. These and similar problems will endure so long as society endures, and so long as these problems endure there will be men and women who will gladly welcome any attempt at a solution. For this study of the social drama five plays have been selected from each of the two representative periods. The choice has been influenced by two considerations, the excellence of the play as a play and the significance of the socia1 problem for which it attempts a solution. Three plays from each period present problems connected with women.