Toward the end of the Restoration period and right before the 18th century, playwrights and authors were beginning to craft different types of comedies. There were three types of comedies, which are Sentimental Comedy, Comedy of Manners, and Laughing Comedy. The two prominent types were Comedy of Manners and Laughing Comedy. In Congreve’s The Way of the World, the Comedy of Manners was used because the play reflected realistic yet satirical lifestyles (“Comedy of Manners”). That means that the play used satire to mock the ways of the different social classes. The Laughing Comedy, which was a reaction to Sentimental Comedy (“Laughing Comedy”), is closely related to the Comedy of Manners in its style. Its focus is more on life lessons and less on satire.
The School for Scandal, which was written in 1777 by Richard Sheridan, is a prime example of Laughing Comedy. Sheridan turns “satire of Restoration drama to gentle didacticism” (“Laughing Comedy”), which means the play was l...
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...In conclusion, Sheridan’s The School for Scandal is a Laughing Comedy play of the Restoration Drama period. It falls under the standards of a Laughing Comedy because of its witty dialogue, satirical devices, and didactic style. The purpose of the play appears to be a funny life lesson about how people, especially those in England during Sheridan’s time, need to change their attitudes. The audience can see in the plot and by Sheridan’s use of characterization that slander and gossip was prominent in the society. One person spreads the word of someone else’s immoral doings when they, themselves, are guilty of the same thing. Sheridan in the way he named things through the play. Take the title for example, The School for Scandal, and the names of the characters, which actually described the characters. Overall, Sheridan wrote a great didactic play about British culture.
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