John Gay Satirical Comedian Essay

975 words - 4 pages

Satirical writing was the dominant form during the restoration. Many great writers emerged from this period including Alexander Pope, John Milton, Jonathan Swift, and John Gay. There was a group of men called the scribblers club, which was a group of prominent writers who met at local coffee houses and talked about writing. These men were close friends who's writings allude to one another's while attacking others who try to contest with them. Probably the two closest friends were John Gay and Alexander Pope. But what sets John Gay apart from everyone else is that his works, which range from plays to articles for the paper, is that they are very witty and focus on comedy not form.John Gay was born in 1688 at or near Barnstaple into a well established family who owned the manor of Goldworthy in Devonshire. His uncle was the head of a prestige's local school so John Gay was able to be educated there for free because his family was not wealthy enough to afford school. Later he was sent to London and became an apprentice with a silk-mercer. He quickly realized that silk-mercer was not an occupation that would suit him well so he found a way to be let go. He later became the secretary for the duchess of Monmouth. During his job for Duchess of Monmouth he had more free time and began to publish poems. One of his first poem's published was about rural sports and was dedicated to Mr. Pope, Alexander Pope was an upcoming writer at the time. Pope was very honored by this gesture which enticed a friendship between the two which lasted until their deaths. "Gay is represented as a man easily incited to hope, and deeply depressed when his hopes were disappointed. This is not the character of a hero; but it may naturally imply something more generally welcome, a soft and civil companion. Whoever is apt to hope good from others is diligent to please them; but he that believes his powers strong enough to force their own way, commonly tries only to please himself." (11) At one point later in his life when he was well established as a writer, he got some insider information on stocks. This information was very inaccurate and he lost all of his money. Gay went into a deep depression that almost killed him. Pope and many other friends nursed him back to health in hopes Gay would write again which he did. The work he is most known for is The Beggars Opera which insulted the Italian opera in the form of a parody. The Beggars Opera not only is a parody but it was the first of its genre of ballad opera which ran for a record number of shows at a upcoming theater. Rich, a local theater owner, took on the play and as one...

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