Volume XI. The Period of the French Revolution. The Georgian Drama.
Richard Brinsley Sheridan: The Rivals. The Rivals is a comedy of incident, the excellence of which is partly to be found in the action.
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Malaprop has a long pedigree, including Dogberry, Lady Froth, Mrs. Slipslop and Tabitha Bramble. Yet, apart from the actual business on the stage, these characters are irresistibly effective. The Georgian public expected in their plays a certain piquancy which should remind them of their social or domestic life. The expansion of the British empire had called into existence a virile and energetic governing class of soldiers and politicians.
As society set a value on delicate attentions, sympathetic and discerning compliments, subtle turns of phrase and gracefulness of manner, these arts were cultivated as an accomplishment in order to maintain social supremacy. The class in question, did not, like sentimentalists, affect strong passions beneath a veneer of politeness, but, rather, a superb serenity which rose superior to all emotion.
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Drawing-room diplomacy had often appeared in letters and memoirs; but Sheridan was the first writer to make it the essence of a play. About the Author : In need of funds, Richard Brinsley Sheridan turned to the only craft that could gain him the remuneration he desired in a short time: he began writing a play. Buy New View Book. Other Popular Editions of the Same Title.
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Stock Image. Published by Echo Library, United States New Paperback Quantity Available: Seller Rating:. Published by Echo Library Seller Image. New Paperback or Softback Quantity Available: Published by Echo Library. New Paperback Quantity Available: 1. For my own part, I see no reason why the author of a play should not regard a first night's audience as a candid and judicious friend attending, in behalf of the public, at his last rehearsal.
If he can dispense with flattery, he is sure at least of sincerity, and even though the annotation be rude, he may rely upon the justness of the comment. Sheridan also apologised for any impression that O'Trigger was intended as an insult to Ireland.
Introduction & Overview of The Rivals
Rewritten and with a new actor, Clinch, in the role of O'Trigger, the play reopened on 28 January to significant acclaim. Indeed, it became a favourite of the royal family, receiving five command performances in ten years, and also in the Colonies it was George Washington 's favourite play. It became a standard show in the repertoires of 19th-century companies in England and the US.
The play is now considered to be one of Sheridan's masterpieces, and the term malapropism was coined in reference to one of the characters in the play. She was first played by Jane Green.
The Rivals a Comedy by Richard Brinsley Sheridan | Waterstones
The play is set in 18th-century Bath , a town that was legendary for conspicuous consumption and fashion at the time. Wealthy, fashionable people went there to " take the waters ", which were believed to have healing properties. Bath society was much less exclusive than London, and hence it provides an ideal setting for the characters. The plot centres on the two young lovers, Lydia and Jack. Lydia, who reads a lot of popular novels of the time, wants a purely romantic love affair.
To court her, Jack pretends to be "Ensign Beverley", a poor army officer. Lydia is enthralled with the idea of eloping with a poor soldier in spite of the objections of her guardian, Mrs.
Malaprop, a moralistic widow. Malaprop is the chief comic figure of the play, thanks to her continual misuse of words that sound like the words she intends to use, but mean something completely different the term malapropism was coined in reference to the character. Lydia has two other suitors: Bob Acres a somewhat buffoonish country gentleman , and Sir Lucius O'Trigger, an impoverished and combative Irish gentleman.
Sir Lucius pays Lucy to carry love notes between him and Lydia who uses the name "Delia" , but Lucy is swindling him: "Delia" is actually Mrs. As the play opens, Sir Anthony arrives suddenly in Bath. He has arranged a marriage for Jack, but Jack demurs, saying he is in love already. They quarrel violently. But Jack soon learns through the gossip of Lucy and Fag that the marriage arranged by Sir Anthony is, in fact, with Lydia. He makes a great show of submission to his father, and is presented to Lydia with Mrs.
Malaprop's blessing. Jack confides to Lydia that he is only posing as Sir Anthony's son. She annoys Mrs. Malaprop by loudly professing her eternal devotion to "Beverley" while rejecting "Jack Absolute".