2. We plan to focus on the work of Ludvig Holberg and the rise and fall of Danish Comedy, which was also influenced largely by Renee Magnon de Montaigu. "The Political Tinker" was Holberg's first play, and thus important. "The Internment of the Danish Comedy" presented a symbolic death of the Comedy upon the closing of his theater.
3. We haven't fully delved into the socio-political context, but will certainly be adding to this section as our knowledge of the era grows.
4. We all read various sources about scandinavian or theatrical history, and all found these names as a commonly crucial thread through these many publications, so we concluded that they were certainly important to our subject material.
5. We will eventually cite these MLA style, but here are some titles: "A History of Scandinavian Theatre" (marker and marker), "Ludvig Holberg's Comedies" (Argetsinger), "The Scandinavian Theatre" (Marker), "A Mirror to life" (Grose/Kenworthy), "Selected Essays of Ludbig Holberg" (Mitchell)
Narrowing Our Scope.. further...
1722 and 1727 marked the rise and fall of "Danish Comedy." This was a project proposed by Montaigu, the former court theatre director, and approved by the Danish King to write in Danish. Prior to this, the popularized entertainment of the time was primarily French drama and Italian operas. It was the first time plays were written in the national language. This led to the Scandinavia's first public vernacular theater called the Gronnegadeteatret - which will be our primary theater of focus. Holberg was commissioned by the Gronnegadeteatret and produced the first Danish Comedy in 1722 called the "The Political Tinker." Holberg was revolutionary for his strong views on audience self-recognition. He wasn't tempted to write about themes that were popular in other countries because he didn't expect they would be as accepted by Danish audiences. Holberg was famous for always keeping the point of view of the Danish audience in mind and basing all the comedy around that stance. Through theatre, he motivated the idea of Scandinavia coming into their own power and creating their own work.
In 1727, due to financial issues, the Gronnegadeteatret had its final performance of "The Interment of the Danish Comedy" - which actually staged the "death" of comedy. One of the actors who played the majority of clown characters in Holberg's plays jumped down into the trapdoor "grave" while the actress who introduced comedy to the stage 4 years earlier read a eulogy over the "defunct venture."
(This information about Holberg has come from "A History of Scandinavian Theatre" by Marker and Marker. In almost every book we have found that talks about Scandinavia's theatrical or political history - Holberg is mentioned in one way or another. He was definitely a revolutionary guy for his time period and Scandinavian history as a whole)
Denmark (and norway, which was at the time under denmark's rule) and Sweden had been at war since 1640. The peace treaty was signed in 1721.
An absolute monarchy came about with the rule of Frederick III in 1648. The general population of Denmark was drab, to say the least. Serfdom was rampant, and as British Visitor Sir Robert Molesworth wrote in his satirical work "An Account of Denmark as it was in the year 1692," that the population of Denmark is apathetic, subjugated into a state of animal wretchedness, dull, boring, and lacking in spirit. Theater was not common, mostly performed by university students to audiences that didn't quite understand the concept, and art/artists were essentially imported from France and Germany to bring "culture" to the Danish Court.
Frederik IV was the monarch who tried to improve the education and creativity of the peasantry by building schools and encouraging artists like eventually Holberg to create. Holberg began his career as a professor at the University of Copenhagen. With the reign of Frederick IV came a time of increased freedom in the culture with the end of the The Great Norther War with Sweden in 1721 and his abolition of Vornedskab (a form of Serfdom) in 1702. In the time of Holberg then and The Danish Comedy (project) we also see a short time period in which culture is given the opportunity to thrive, before 1733 after which the son of Frederik IV, Christian VI reintroduced serfdom in Denmark, coinciding with the failure of the project, The Danish Comedy.