schm3249: November 2012 Archives

1. Based on the gathered information from our annotated bibliography, in order to communicate the significance of the brief success of Holberg, and his lasting influence on the Scandinavian theatre and Danish society, we have sufficient information that includes biographical information of the playwright, historical information on the Enlightenment period and the societal lack of development faced in Holberg's society, and analysis of the comedies he wrote. The biographical information includes that of Holberg's origins as a writer, and how he became involved in the theatrical presentations. Historical information, so far, touches briefly on the enlightenment period, including concepts and ideas presented at the time, such as the push for individual voices and thoughts. The monarchy and the Danish King are also included, and this information could be used to introduce the societal characteristics that further more explain the dire need for change that Holberg ultimately presented. The analysis of the comedies are also critical towards our argument in the sense that we'll have sufficient evidence as to not only how Holberg communicated his ideas, but WHY they worked and remained a lasting influence.

2. A general overview of our argument is that Holberg was the first person who used his plays to give a nationalistic sense of power to the Scandinavian people by critiquing authority (therefore the monarchy) and by writing about themes that were relevant to the Scandinavian audience. We will also introduce the counterargument that Holberg was not a true "power to the people" supporter, given that he was also very closely allied with the monarchy. However, we have sufficient evidence to argue against this by pointing out that Holberg needed to the monarchy's support in order to produce his plays. The extreme exaggeration of his characters and plots was used to hide his critique of the monarchy so that he could continue to produce politically infused work. This is set against a historical backdrop of a time frame in which serfdom had been lifted, though it would be reintroduced a short 30 years later. Holberg is a product of these times. The fact of the matter being that while, technically the peasantry was no longer "enserfed" the peasantry was by no means completely free either. Thus Holberg, and by association his writings and birth of a true Danish theatre, fit well amidst a time in which the monarch, Frederick IV made attempts towards an enlightenment era political philosophy, but the realities of their world did not yet allow it to function in practice.

3. We have only twenty minutes to teach the class about the rise and fall of the Danish Comedy. This presents a problem because there are countless variables which contributed to it. Thus, we must pick and choose which variables we wish to discuss in order to most completely and effectively present our findings. In order to do this we are creating a thesis like argument around which to frame the discussion, addressing the variables which pertain most to our argument and merely skim over the cornucopia of additional information. For example: the lives and personalities of the three kings which ruled during Holberg's life had a great impact upon the society and thusly Holberg's work, especially given his reliance upon them. However, we will probably only be able to mention the kings by name rather than elaborating upon their personal affairs and their affect upon society. We will have to touch upon Holberg's international travels as they were critical to the cosmopolitan perspectives which influenced him, but we may not have time to discuss how each of the places he went specifically influenced him. Our scope is narrow enough that most of what we will have to omit will not be key information to the Rise and Fall of The Danish Comedy. Twenty minutes should suffice to effectively relate the truly crucial contextual aspects of this time and place in theater history.

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