Essay about Characterization in the School for Scandal

Essay about Characterization in the School for Scandal

Length: 1509 words (4.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

When Richard Brinsley Sheridan wrote the play "The School for Scandal" in 1777, it was a satire of popular fashionable life. He managed to criticize society in a humorous way, by confronting the audience with a mirror image of themselves. Donatus defines comedy as `a copy of life, a mirror of custom, a reflection of truth' (cited in: Abrams, 1953, 32). The topic of scandal could be seen as such a mirror image, because scandal was rife in towns like London; moreover it was a kind of leisure activity for the higher classes.

The play consists of two main plots. The first one is about the relationship between Sir Peter Teazle and his wife. He is much older than Lady Teazle and not pleased about her changing behaviour. Lady Teazle was a simple country girl before she became Sir Peter's wife and now tries hard to become a member of the fashionable society she is confronted with through her marriage. This plot highlights the contrast between rural and urban life.

In order to reach her aim, Lady Teazle joins a group of malicious and slanderous people, headed by Lady Sneerwell, who is very interested in Charles Surface and wants to separate him from his relation to Maria, by spreading slander about him.

Charles and his brother Josef Surface are the topic of the second plot. Their rich uncle Sir Oliver arrives unexpectedly from Australia and hears such conflicting reports of his nephews and prospective heirs that he decides to look them over personally. He approaches Charles in the shape of Mr. Premium, a money lender and Joseph in the shape of Mr. Stanley, a poor relation begging help. These visitations reveal the real characters of both brothers, which in the end differ greatly from the expected ones. As Katherine Worth describ...

... middle of paper ...

...otypes and clichés rather than test character for themselves, as Sir Oliver does' (Worth, 1992, 156). Again, the metaphor of the mirror can be used to support this statement. Many people could see a reflection of themselves in the character of Joseph Surface. By confronting his audience with its own failings, Sheridan may have succeeded in making people laugh about themselves, but also made them reflect on their own behaviour.


Abrams, M. H. [1953] 1977. The Mirror and the Lamp. Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Moorwood, J. and Crane, D., eds., 1995. Sheridan Studies, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sheridan, R.B. [1777] 1979. The School for Scandal, ed. by F. W. Bateson, London: New Mermaids, A. & C. Black.

Worth, K. 1992. Sheridan and Goldsmith, London: Macmillan.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

William Brinsley Sheridan 's The School For Scandal Essay

- During the 1700s, England’s plays and literature went through a period referred to as Restoration Drama. Throughout the period, there were quite a few playwrights, such as Dryden, Sheridan, and Congreve, and a few different types of drama introduced to the audiences. Dramas included Heroic and three types of comedies, which will be explicated within the essay. It was just before the 18th century that the comedies were becoming more popular with English audiences. Famous playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan wrote his The School for Scandal at this time....   [tags: Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The School for Scandal]

Powerful Essays
1370 words (3.9 pages)

A Report On The Free School Scandal Essay

- Al-Madinah was a mixed gendered, free school in Derby for children aged 4-16 years that hit the news headlines because the staff, Ofsted and The Department Of Education (DOE) failed the students resulting in the school being shut down. The free school scandal became a public interest due to the scale of the case all of the students, staff and parents were effected. Due to the vast amounts of complaints made by the parents the school was inspected by Ofsted (The Office for Standard in Education, children services and skills....   [tags: Teacher, Education, School, Private school]

Powerful Essays
722 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on The School for Scandal

- Older more aged literature usually is far superior to new less seasoned literature. Many readers may not see it this way because of how the older literature was written. The way readers are supposed to interpret that piece of literature isn’t always the way it is interpreted. The School for Scandal’s use of sophisticated humor makes it harder for modern readers to enjoy it. The School for Scandal is a Restoration play, or a satirical piece about those times (Barbra Dozier Web). Richard Brinsley Sheridan portrayed the upper class of the time in this play by showing the hypocrisy that is occurring and showing one of people’s favorite pastimes of the era, destroying other people’s reputations...   [tags: Sophisticated Humor, Restoration Play]

Powerful Essays
1291 words (3.7 pages)

The Watergate Scandal Essay

- June 17, 1972 forever changed both journalism and politics. A simple botched break-in marked the downfall of President Richard Nixon, and the rise to glory of two obscure young Washington Post journalists: Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. While their investigative journalism revealed the truth, their questionable methods and ethics have led to these questions; Do the ends justify the means. Was their behavior ethical and legal. The Watergate Scandal was a major political scandal during the Presidency of Nixon....   [tags: richard nixon, political scandal, corruption]

Powerful Essays
1189 words (3.4 pages)

Teens Face Prison Time For Cormack High School Cyber Attack And Cheating Scandal

- Real World Examples “Three teens face prison time for Cormack High School cyber attack and cheating scandal” Last October, three teenagers from Long Island, New York were brought to court after being suspected of hacking into their school’s computers and changing students’ grades and schedules three months prior. Daniel Soares, the suspected leader of the operation, allegedly “broke into Commack High School after school hours and installed a device known as a ‘key log’ to a school computer. It enabled him to collect logins and password credentials while operating remotely from his home,” and now faces up to eleven years of prison time if convicted....   [tags: Academic dishonesty, High school]

Powerful Essays
1230 words (3.5 pages)

Richard Nixon And The Watergate Scandal Essay

- What if your dreams never amounted to anything more than a dream. What would be the point of dreaming that dream. For the citizens of The United States of America, dreams were nothing but a lie, after Richard Nixon committed The Watergate Scandal. The Watergate Scandal was an authorized burglary of The Democratic National Headquarters,on June 17, 1972. A burglary that was authorized by the most powerful man in free world, Richard Nixon. The break in was an attempt to bug the Democratic Official 's offices....   [tags: Richard Nixon, Watergate scandal, Gerald Ford]

Powerful Essays
1147 words (3.3 pages)

Watergate Scandal And The Watergate Crisis Essay

- Watergate Scandal In June of 1972 there was a conspiracy involving president Richard Nixon and many of his staff members. They were trying to tamper with the reelection campaign of the president in the next term by tapping telephones, taping locks, and breaking into the office of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), which was located in the Watergate building in Washington D.C. to steal secret documents. The government was not initially sure of the president was directly involved due to the fact that he had taken many steps to cover his tracks, including raising ‘Hush Money’ for the people involved and firing anyone proving to be uncooperative to his scheme.He also tried to stop...   [tags: Richard Nixon, Watergate scandal, Gerald Ford]

Powerful Essays
1118 words (3.2 pages)

Athetic Scandals: NCAA Scandal Essay examples

- There has been a lot of athletic scandals in colleges in most parts of the world. These scandals have been as a result of the coaches and the directors of athletics in the colleges failing to take the full force of the law and giving their players freedom to do everything even if it is against the law. One of this fatal scandals is the Baylor university basketball scandal that occurred in the year 2003. This scandal involved the players and the coaches of the team. The scandal left one player dead and the other imprisoned for thirty five years....   [tags: NCAA rules, coaches, players]

Powerful Essays
1110 words (3.2 pages)

Competitive Instinct: New Orleans Saints Bounty Scandal Essay

- ... The assistant head coach was suspended for 6 games and fined $100,000. Also their were four players who got suspended by the league but only one player got suspended for the entire season and that was Linebacker Johnathon Vilma. Even though the Saints appealed the suspensions of the GM and the coaches they all got denied and all the rulings stayed. The players however also appealed in which they won and were reinstated but after 1 game the commissioner appealed and all the suspensions were reinstated to the players....   [tags: NFL scandals]

Powerful Essays
926 words (2.6 pages)

Subversion of Women in A Scandal in Bohemia Essay example

- Subversion of Women in A Scandal in Bohemia Doyle's "A Scandal in Bohemia" follows the story of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes on his adventures to retrieve a damaging photograph. In the society Watson describes, the apparent role of women is miniscule for emphasis focuses on one woman who is the object of Holmes' detective inquiries. In "A Scandal in Bohemia," society places women at a subordinate level pushing them to the background therefore never allowing us, the reader, to know them....   [tags: Scandal in Bohemia Essays]

Free Essays
819 words (2.3 pages)