Victor Hugo: Preface to Cromwell
Victor Marie Hugo (1802–1885), was a chief spokesman for the artistic rebellion that was French Romanticism. The production of his play Hernani (1830) became the moment of battle for young artists and authors (Berlioz, Delacroix, and Gautier supported him) against political censorship and conservative classical criticism; whatever the qualities of the play, it helped break the hold of classical theory and the impress of Racine and Corneille on the French stage. Not at all incidentally, it heralded a blurring of the distinctions that had long set off the popular melodrama as an entertainment of the lower classes from the high tragedy aimed at cultured audiences.
KeywordsSocial Instinct Epic Poetry Young Artist Reading Committee Ancient Tragedy
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