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Encyclopedia > William Congreve (playwright)

William Congreve (January 24, 1670January 19, 1729) was an English playwright and poet. January 24 is the 24th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1670 was a common year beginning on a Saturday in countries using the Julian calendar and a Wednesday in countries using the Gregorian calendar. ... January 19 is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events July 30 - Baltimore, Maryland is founded. ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location within the British Isles Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area – Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population – Total (mid-2004) – Total (2001 Census) – Density Ranked 1st UK... A playwright, also known as a dramatist, is someone who writes dramatic literature or drama. ... Poet is a term applied to a person who composes poetry, including extended forms such as dramatic verse. ...

Contents


Biography

Born in Bardsey, England (near Leeds), Congreve was educated in the law at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland; there he met Jonathan Swift, who would be his friend for the remainder of his life. Upon graduation, he became a disciple of John Dryden. Leeds is a city in the metropolitan borough of the City of Leeds in West Yorkshire in the north of England. ... The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin or more commonly Trinity College, Dublin was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, and is the only constituent college of the University of Dublin, Irelands oldest university. ... Dublin (Irish: Baile Átha Cliath) is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Ireland, located near the midpoint of Irelands east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey and at the centre of the Dublin Region. ... Jonathan Swift Jonathan Swift (November 30, 1667 – October 19, 1745) was an Anglo-Irish writer who is famous for works like Gullivers Travels, A Modest Proposal, and A Tale of a Tub. ... John Dryden John Dryden (August 19, 1631 – May 12, 1700) was an influential English poet, literary critic, and playwright. ...


William Congreve wrote some of the most popular English plays of the Restoration period of the late 17th and very early 18th centuries. By the age of thirty, he had written several notable plays, including Love for Love (premiered April 30, 1695) and The Way of the World (premiered 1700). April 30 is the 120th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (121st in leap years), with 245 days remaining, as the last day in April. ... Events January 27 - Change of emperor of the Ottoman Empire from Ahmed II to Mustafa II (1695-1703) July 17 - The Bank of Scotland is founded by an Act of Parliament of the old Scottish Parliament. ... Oxford Playhouse production of The Way of the World; 13 to 17 April, 2004 The Way of the World is a play written by British playwright William Congreve. ... Events January 1 - Russia accepts Julian calendar. ...


Unfortunately, his career ended almost as soon as it began. After writing five plays from his first in 1693 until 1700, he produced no more as public tastes turned against the sort of high-brow sexual comedy of manners in which he specialized. He reportedly was particularly stung by a critique written by Jeremy Collier (A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage), to the point that he wrote a long reply, "Amendments of Mr. Collier's False and Imperfect Citations". A member of the Whig Kit-Kat Club, Congreve's career shifted to the political sector, where he held various minor political positions despite his stance as a Whig among Tories. Events January 11 - Eruption of Mt. ... Jeremy Collier (1650-1726) was an English bishop. ... While the Whigs (along with the Tories) are often described as one of the two political parties in late 17th to mid 19th century Great Britain, it is more accurate to describe them as loose political groupings or tendencies. ... The Kit-Cat Club (sometimes Kit-Kat Club) was an early 18th century English club in London with strong political and literary associations, committed to the furtherance of Whig objectives. ...


In any case, suffering from gout, he withdrew from the theatre and lived the rest of his life on residuals from his early work. His output from 1700 was restricted to the occasional poem and some translation (notably Molière's Monsieur de Pourceaugnac). Congreve died in a London carriage accident in 1729, and was buried in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey. Molière, engraved frontispiece to his Works Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known as Molière (January 15, 1622 – February 17, 1673), was a French theatre writer, director and actor, one of the masters of comic satire. ... For other uses, see London (disambiguation). ... Events July 30 - Baltimore, Maryland is founded. ... The Abbeys western façade The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster, which is almost always referred to as Westminster Abbey, is a mainly Gothic church, on the scale of a cathedral, in Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. ...


Fame from his play The Mourning Bride

Two of Congreve's turns of phrase have entered the English language.


"Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast"

ACT I. SCENE I. begins with these words:


A Room of State. - The Curtain rising slowly to soft Musick, discovers ALMERIA in Mourning, LEONORA waiting in Mourning. - After the Musick ALMERIA rises from her Chair, and comes forward.


ALM. Musick has Charms to sooth a savage Breast, To soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak. I've read, that things inanimate have mov'd, And, as with living Souls, have been inform'd, By Magick Numbers and persuasive Sound. What then am I? Am I more senseless grown Than Trees, or Flint? O force of constant Woe! 'Tis not in Harmony to calm my Griefs. Anselmo sleeps, and is at Peace; last Night The silent Tomb receiv'd the good Old King; He and his Sorrows now are safely lodg'd Within its cold, but hospitable Bosom. Why am not I at Peace?" [1]


"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned"

Act 3, Scene 2 ends with these words:


ZARA. Thou shalt die.


OSM. I thank you.


ZARA. Thou ly'st; for now I know for whom thou'dst live.


OSM. Then you may know for whom I'd die.


ZARA. Hell! Hell! Yet I'll be calm- Dark and unknown Betrayer! But now the Dawn begins, and the slow Hand Of Fate is stretch'd to draw the Veil, and leave Thee bare, the naked Mark of Publick View.


OSM. You may be still deceiv'd; 'tis in my Pow'r.


ZARA. Ha! Who waits there? -


Enter PEREZ. - As you'll answer it, take heed This Slave commit no Violence upon Himself. I've been deceiv'd. The Publick Safety Requires he should be more confin'd; and none, No not the Princes self, permitted to Confer with him. I'll quit you to the King. Vile and ingrate! too late thou shalt repent The base Injustice thou hast done my Love: Yes, thou shalt know, spite of thy past Distress, And all those Ills which thou so long hast mourn'd; Heav'n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn'd, Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn'd. [2]


See also

Refinement meets burlesque in Restoration comedy. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
William Congreve

  Results from FactBites:
 
William Congreve (472 words)
Congreve died in a London carriage accident in 1729, and was buried in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey.
Born and raised in Kent, William Congreve was educated in law at Trinity College, Cambridge.
Congreve rockets were used for the remainder of the Napoleonic Wars, as well as the War of 1812 -- the "rockets' red glare" in the American national anthem describes their firing at Fort McHenry during the latter conflict.
William Congreve (playwright) - definition of William Congreve (playwright) in Encyclopedia (395 words)
William Congreve (January 24, 1670 - January 19, 1729) was an English playwright and poet.
William Congreve wrote some of the most popular English plays of the Restoration period of the late 17th and very early 18th centuries.
Congreve's career shifted to the political sector, where he held various minor political positions despite his stance as a Whig among Tories.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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