Thomas Hardy Drama Analysis
It is not really surprising that Thomas Hardy should have turned his talents to the production of dramatic poetry. There are many indications of an early and lifelong interest in the drama—both folk and professional. Hardy enjoyed plays both in the study and on the stage, and he read widely among the classical Greek, Elizabethan, modern Continental, and modern English playwrights. He was a frequent playgoer in London and knew many theatrical people, among them Harley Granville-Barker, Sir James Barrie, George Bernard Shaw, and John Galsworthy. In fact, at one point in his life Hardy had thought of becoming a playwright himself, and as early as 1867, he was considering writing plays in blank verse but postponed this project after being discouraged by the realities of a stage production.
Hardy’s interest in playwriting lay dormant for many years, but, having abandoned the writing of fiction, disgusted by the adverse critical reaction to his later novels, he turned to poetry and drama—his interest in the latter whetted by stage adaptations of Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Thus, near the end of the 1890’s, Hardy plunged into the writing of a verse drama; “nothing could interfere with it,” as he said, for it was intended for a “mental performance.”
Hardy’s The Dynasts is, along with John Milton’s Samson Agonistes (1671) and Percy...
(The entire section is 2661 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Thomas Hardy Critical Essays. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!