Essay on The School for Scandal

Essay on The School for Scandal

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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 (Shuaib Asghar Web). When Sheridan portrayed this he did it in a humorous way. Many of these jokes and comical scenes are rather hard for modern audiences to enjoy. Sheridan wrote in a way very different then his fellow writers of the time. The School for Scandal can seem very static and slow moving if it is not performed well (Robert Hogan Web). The same applies if it is being read. Just reading the play, does not give the reader an opportunity to see how Sheridan pictured his scenes unfolding, therefore modern audiences have a hard time understanding the jokes and funny scenes.
Think about comedy movies. Would they be as humorous as they were before if the actors weren’t portraying them? Would situational humor still be funny even though it couldn’t be seen? The same goes for The School for Scandal. Sheridan uses witty exchanges and comical situations to show his characters’ shortcomings (Dozier Web). The actions of the characters are what create the humor in the scenes. Sheridan kept the action to a minimum when he wrot...


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...ociated University Presses, 1986. 274-285. Rpt. inNineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Juliet Byington. Vol. 91. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001. Literature Resource Center. Web. 6 Apr. 2014.
Sawyer, Newell W. "The Decline of a Tradition." The Comedy of Manners: From Sheridan to Maugham (1931): 1-21. New York: Russell & Russell, 1969. Rpt. in Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800. Ed. Michael L. LaBlanc. Vol. 92. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Literature Resource Center. Web. 6 Apr. 2014.
Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, and Frederick Wilse Bateson. The school for scandal. London: Benn ;, 1979. Print.
Whipple, Edwin P. "Richard Brinsley Sheridan." The North American Review 66.138 (Jan. 1848): 72-110. Rpt. in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Laurie Lanzen Harris and Sheila Fitzgerald. Vol. 5. Detroit: Gale Research, 1984. Literature Resource Center. Web. 6 Apr. 2014.

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