Great Britain Licensing Act Essay Examples & Outline

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Great Britain Licensing Act

All plays in Britain had to be censored because of the licensing act of 1737 that instituted a system of censorship in Great Britain. The censorship demanded that indeed all plays be reviewed by the Lord Chamberlain before they were allowed to any public performance (Aldgate 28). It is of importance to understand that there was a need for the initial reading of the play to be examined by the examiner of the plays and the Lord Chamberlain was able to effectively become involved because of what can only be described as objectionable content that required both opinion as well as review The British stage censorship lasted to 1968 and this was far longer than any other demoractic European country (Shellard 73).

The theatre has faced several factors such as censorship in the hands of the government, clergy as well as several powerful individuals in the society. The main cause behind the censorship is because of the fact that plays are often typically performed before a large crowd of people tat not need to be literate in order to understand the underlying message. However, the message has the power to instill what the state considers dangerous ideas as well as incitement into the public masses that might eventually lead to violence (Milling 18).

However in recent years, the censorship has been reduced and it can be argued that indeed there exists media freedom. There is portrayal of the different broad range of topics that are often in relation to censorship that includes the race and inter racial relationships as well as the historical international conflicts, morality, monarchy, religion as well as social class.

Works Cited

Shellard, Dominic, Miriam Handley, and Steve Nicholson. The Lord Chamberlain Regrets: A History of British Theatre Censorship. London: The British Library, 2004. Print.
Aldgate, Anthony, and James C. Robertson. Censorship in Theatre and Cinema. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005. Print.
Milling, Jane, Peter Thomson, and Joseph W. Donohue. The Cambridge History of British Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Print.