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Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: Paul Kauvar; or, Anarchy by Steele Mackaye
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[Illustration: STEELE MACKAYE]



When one realizes the sociological purpose behind Steele Mackaye's
"Paul Kauvar; or, Anarchy," it is interesting to note how inefficient
the old form of drama was to carry anything more than the formal
romantic fervour. Compared with John Galsworthy's treatment in
"Strife" and "Justice," it makes one glad that realism came and washed
away all the obscuring claptrap of that period. Daly, Boucicault, and
their generation were held firmly in its grip; they could not get
away from it, and they were justified in their loyalty to it by the
insistent claim "The Two Orphans" and "The Lady of Lyons" had upon
the public. All the more credit, therefore, that Bronson Howard, David
Belasco, and James A. Herne escaped it; had the latter completely
freed himself of melodrama, his plays would be better known to-day,
better capable of revival, because of the true greatness of their
simple realistic patches.

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