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Tragic Realism in English Literature: 1720-1820


Gerald M. Garmon

In the 18th century the changing attitude toward man's place in society came to be viewed with an essentially democratic spirit. This mood was expressed in the plays, novels and poems of writers such as Lillo, Richardson, Godwin, and Wordsworth, who presented a tragic vision of the mundane life of the common man, the tragic mode that was later advanced by Ibsen, Hauptmann, Strindberg and Arthur Miller.
Contents: This text studies the development of tragic realism in English drama starting with the plays of Aaron Hill and George Lillo, defining the term along the way. Novels of Samuel Richardson, William Godwin and others and the poetry of Crabbe and Wordsworth are also studied.
The works considered here have not otherwise been grouped as a type and under a generic rubric such as tragic realism.