The three plays collected in this volume demonstrate Sheridan's unerring ability to create unrivalled comedy out of ingenious plots, witty repartee, farcical situations and flamboyant characters. And while he never overtly moralizes, Sheridan uses brilliant comedy to deflate hypocrisy and satirize the manners of his age. In The Rivals, Captain Absolute becomes his own rival for the hand of Lydia Languish—wooing her under another name, while her aunt, the verbally inept Mrs Malaprop, wishes her to marry the real Captain. School for Scandal continues the theme of imposture when Sir Oliver tests his nephews by appearing to them in disguise, and learns that reputation and the approval of society are of little value. And The Critic, featuring the pompous Puff and the arrogant Sneer, is a mocking depiction of the theatre, playwrights and, of course, critics.
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Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Sheridan, Richard Brinsley
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Richard Brinsley Sheridan is famous for "The School for Scandal" which in many ways epitomizes the wit and the morals of the 18th century. It looks back toward Restoration Comedy of the century before, but Sheridan's wit is less bitter and more good-humored than his predecessors. Of course Restoration comedy came from men who had survived a bitter Civil War whether or not they had actually been participants. Their cynicism and the deliberate artificiality of say "The Way of the World" along with deliberate cruelty exhibited toward persons whose only vice is to fail being being "witty" makes for uncomfortable reading, the sort of twinge which exists in a lot of 20th century drama, Joe Orton for example. Sheridan on the other hand likes a joke, likes to ridicule worthy subjects and has a wonderfully light hand with dialogue. He came from a theatrical family and knew in his bones (his first play "The Rivals" was written when he was barely out of his teens!) what would work on the...
very funny and entertaining
In the majority of pages of verse, the last one or two lines are cut off. Advancing to the next page does not display them. Changing the typeface size or the page orientation does not fix the problem. This edition is unreadable.
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