What happened was...OK, Hugo was a Romanticist, right?
He was part of a growing movement of young authors and artists who were rebelling against neoclassicism, against the conventions of neoclassicism.
And what this meant is that Hugo opposed the neoclassical unities that French theater had inherited from Greek drama.
These unities were basically the unity of time, space and action,
meaning that the entire play consisted of just one main event that was unfolding in just one specific place, usually in the course of one day.
And Hugo found this to be too constraining, he looked for inspiration in...
well...ok, Hugo is from the 19th century, but he looked to Shakespeare, several centuries in the past, long before neoclassicism.
For example, in Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the play moves from indoors to outdoors, from the city to the forest, and back again.
So there was a kind of mobility in...in the use of space.And...
well. .in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, of course the action in that play takes place on a single summer’s night,
but in Shakespeare’s other plays, in Hamlet, for example, time elapses.
People travel; they go to other destinations, and the action is not limited to one plot.