Posts Tagged ‘william congreve’

First of all, apologies. This is a week late, the reason being swamped with so much stuff to do this past week – deelaytful launching, papers, my birthday. Anyway, Way of the World


  • It’s so convoluted. On purpose of course. The way the love stories criss-cross, there’ll come a time when I wonder, hey when did this character figure out something; or, wait this guy is good or bad? It reaches that point where you’re just not sure and that is what the point of this play is about. The Way of the World is not simplistic.
  • The fun part – history. This is Neoclassical England (although Congreve would lean more Irish than English). Restoration England had the characteristics of following a closure of the theatres from the puritans (coming from golden age Elizabethan and Jacobean drama) and being influenced by French, Italian and Spanish Theatre (all of which were experiencing a golden age). So – five act structure – check! Happy ending – check! Villains were punished (restoration comedy) – check! Of course, wit and elegance were championed above all in Restoration Comedies (later on to be hated on by the Sentimentalists of the Glorious Revolution but that’s for another week)
  • The wit here is just awesome. The banter – especially the battle between the sexes – is just so witty. In particular, I want to focus on when the girl is talking about what she would do (and not do) as a wife, for me, that was a stroke of brilliance.



Argh. Sorry, it’s a bit late and I don’t have really that much more to say about the play. The dialogue was superb (especially the women’s dialogues and monologues). I would really love to see a modern spin on this, (although probably modern sensibilities and technologies would render this mute) Next week – IBSEN! DOLL HOUSE! 18th century theatre let’s go!


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