Continental European drama of the nineteenth century generated many extraordinary creations. Whether the poetic and philosophical tragedies of Goethe and Pushkin or the profound portraits of human frailty found in Chekhov and Ibsen, the stage provided a venue for exploring the dimensions of human experience. Across the channel in the British Isles, Shaw and Wilde would play with the myriad possibilities of irony and language so that their or their characters’ wit might lay bare social hypocrisy and injustice. All of these great European works drew upon the inspiration of earlier giants like Shakespeare or Molière, or their ‘lesser’ counterparts like Jonson or Racine. In any case, whether comic or tragic, highbrow or low, even consciously or inadvertently, European
playwrights spawned numerous works of what might be characterized as ‘capital A’ Art. Ze Wstępu.