Yes, it was a bit simplistic, but give Strauss credit for practicing what he preached as far as the inseparableness of words and music is concerned. He was writing after a long tradition of ridiculous plots like Le comte Ory and Trovatore; a little reform in that area should always be welcome. The 19th century was not a great period for theater, not until the later years when Ibsen and Chekhov began writing their realistic drama. But can you imagine Hedda Gabler set to a romantic score by Strauss? Foolish notion. If Shakespeare had written one-acts, there might have been a fit there.