We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

”The Rivals” by Richard Sheridan is Described as a Comedy of Manners Essay Sample

essay
  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 787
  • Rewriting Possibility: 99% (excellent)
  • Category: comedy

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Introduction of TOPIC

Comedy of manners is based on satirizing the style or manner of the way in which members of the social group act or behave. Much of this is physical and can be seen in the way people in a particular culture communicate through body language.

In the rivals the characters play one into the other in a comedy of manners, which pivots on confusion and confessions. This type of humour can also be found in Sheridan’s “school for scandal”, Goldsmiths “he stoops to conquer” and Farquars “the recruiting officer”.

Sheridan focuses on the fables of high society and in doing so focuses on the folys of fashion and social pretension. A prime example of this is countryman Bob Acres, pretending to be something that he is not. Dressing to impress, “I used to dress so badly” he has set out to win the heart of Lydia and to obtain her wealth “I’ll make my old clothes know who’s master.”

Another weapon at the author’s disposal is the aping of good manners but not using them “odd minims and crochets.” Acres uses such words to stress points and opinions. “Odds swimmings!” Odds being short for Gods, Acres has a tendency to blurt out these profound sentences at the most inappropriate times often infuriating and provoking characters like Faulkland. “Jigs, and reels!” He doesn’t really help the situation at hand. He gives a detailed description of Julia singing and dancing which inflames Faulklands jealousy causing him to storm out.

Sheridan makes clever use of wit especially involving plots with characters such as Jack Absolute whose main purpose in the play is to entertain the audience by making a mockery

of arranged marriages, finance and romantic notions in high society. He does this very successfully

Sorry, but full essay samples are available only for registered users

Choose a Membership Plan
and on many occasions. A good example of this is with his good friend Faulkland “Have I been full of wit and humour? No, faith, to do you justice you have been confoundedly stupid indeed.”

This is really just good ribbing with his friend. When it comes to dealing with his father he plays the idiot Sheridan’s style of writing makes these scenes with his father effective and humorous using a soliloquy. He speaks loud to the audience presenting them with his dilemma, “my father wants to force me to marry the very girl I am plotting to run away with!” Then uses his wit to get around the problem with amusing consequences, “Languish! What, the Languishes of Worcestershire?” Jacks wit serves other purposes throughout the play such as making a fool out of people “As for that old weather-beaten she-dragon who guards you-who can he mean by that?” He also plays both sides for fools to entertain himself and the audience by encouraging Acres to stand on Faulklands toes. But the comedy is at its best when Jacks wit catches up with him and it all comes crashing down.

Sheridan also makes use of lack of wit for example, Bob Acres is oblivious to what is going and misunderstands comments made by Jack that Faulkland is “a little jealous” of Julia country dancing but Acres thinks that Faulkland is jealous of him.

Mrs Malaprop is an excellent example of comedy of manners she tries to use long intellectual words but they come out all wrong “promise to forget this fellow -to illiterate him.” This is a form of malapropism hence Mrs Malaprop.

Lydia’s romantic notions and her ignorance of herself are just as appealing to the audience as the other comedies of manners and many hope that she would receive her poetic justice. This is typical of the higher society because they want everything their way. This is also a form of dramatic irony because the audience knows about her love affair and the true identity of Ensign Beverly.

Faulkland has exaggerated things out of all proportions and is paranoid up to a point about his relationship with Julia he has a melancholy attitude. He is neurotic and over-sensitive “I fear for her spirits-her health-her life.” I think that he that sensitive that audience look upon him as a sort of women he isn’t really the man in the relationship at times and this appeals to the audience.

In conclusion Sheridan focuses his humour on that of upper class society and greatly exaggerates it. He uses basic principles for amusement e.g. ignorance, obsession, manners, intelligence and verbal communication.

We can write a custom essay on

”The Rivals” by Richard Sheridan is De ...
According to Your Specific Requirements.

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Comedy Plays By Shakespeare

Components in Shakespearean comedies is Happy consummation which as a rule includes marriage between the characters, Separation and re-unification, debate between characters, both inward and outer clashes, and a strain amongst Apollonian and Dionysian esteems. Vendor of Venice appears a tragicomedy it has a comic structure however Shylocks, he resembles a repulsive character who experiences a ton the asking to the finish of the play. The play has a comic drama finishing with the sweethearts coupling off however we likewise get the opportunity to see the savage side Shylock. The play completely has a comic structure however there is additionally a capable awful story. It can subsequently be known as a tragicomedy however it is named a comic drama then catastrophe. Shakespeare acquaints comic with ease strain. Jessica and Lancelot\'s chatter in Act III, scene v is a fantastic case of this. In the past scenes, Shylock has recently dragged...

To What Extent is Much Ado About...

This essay will analyse the way in which Shakespeare makes this comedy bitterly satirical, and a comment on not only the pretentious style and swank of Spaniards, namely Don Pedro and his gang, but human stupidity as a whole. Much Ado About Nothing portrays the issues of sex, war, marriage and chivalric courtly love in an ironic and satirical way. On a topical level, the play satirises Spanish, Sicilian and Italian aristocrats in the 16th Century, and their comical dress sense, style of speech and general outlook and their anachronistic concepts. The appearance of Don Pedro's group of friends from the outset would be funny, as not only do they affect this aristocratic culture and lifestyle, but also they are complete travesties of it. Firstly, the targets of the plays satire should be studied. These are mostly Don Pedro and Don John, who display not only clear-cut humorous pretension and...

How in "Much Ado About Nothing" Does...

"Much Ado About Nothing" is a romantic comedy and conventionally these involve characters whose amorous bliss is disturbed by an unanticipated threat. However this danger is short-lived and their happy fate is fulfilled. Shakespeare sets about adding interest and diversity to what otherwise could have been a monotonous series of events with the creation of dramatic tension and comedy through the use of various dramatic devices. One main plotline which provokes a lot of dramatic tension is Don John's malicious attempt to "cross [Claudio] any way", something which he chooses to do through the soiling of Hero's name. Act II Scene I proves to be a preview of the impending potential danger of Hero and Claudio's relationship. The fact that Shakespeare allows Claudio to think that Borachio and Don John are taking to Benedick, and therefore that what he hears must be true, would indeed lead to a sense of...

Popular Essays

logo

Emma Taylor

online

Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?