(Sir) Noël (Pierce) Coward Douglas Dunn - Essay

Douglas Dunn

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Reading Noel Coward's plays encourages the belief that there is a point where Literature and Show Business meet. While it is difficult to know exactly what happens there, these four volumes of his plays [Coward Plays], which take us up to 1941, certainly suggest that it may have provided Coward with the criteria as well as the conditions within which he conceived his work. (p. 46)

Coward's earlier plays prick at the pomposity principles of English life. Modernity, in behaviour, codes of conduct, fashions, and in its encouragement of irresponsibility and self-deception, intrigued him. "One gets carried away by glamour, and personality, and magnetism—they're beastly treacherous things", Bunty...

(The entire section is 2209 words.)