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Love in Several Masques

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Love in Several Masques is a play by Henry Fielding that was first performed on 16 February 1728 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The moderately received play comically depicts three lovers trying to pursue their individual beloveds. The beloveds require their lovers to meet their various demands, which serves as a means for Fielding to introduce his personal feelings on morality and virtue. In addition, Fielding introduces criticism of women and society in general. The play marks Fielding's early approach to theatre and how he begins to create his own take on tradition 18th-century theatre conventions. Critics have emphasised little beyond how the play serves as Fielding's first play among many. The possible sources of the play including a possible failed pursuit of a lover by Fielding, or the beginnings of Fielding's reliance on the topic of gender, identity, and social ethics.
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