Restoration Drama


Restoration achieved its excellence in the comedy of manners evolved through the works of Etherege, Wycherley, and William Congreve. Etherege paints a word of elegant ladies and gentleman of the day in their conversation and amorous intrigues. “The man of mode” was written on this from work. Wycherley presents the same immortality but with mockery and satire – with four plays he established himself as an important play of his period. His plays are “Love in a Wood”, “The Gentleman Dancing Master”, “The Country Wife”, and “Plain Dealer”. His satire is aimed at the human puppets who run after the pleasure and find them so illusory. William Congreve, the most notable of the trio, shows the surface pleasure of the age. He had the art of employing brilliant dialogues and witty conversations. “The Old Bachelor” was followed by three comedies, “The Double Dealer”, “Love for Love”, and “The Way of the World”. Mirabell, the hero in “The way of the world” is one of the greatest comic figures of the English stage. “The Relapse” of John Vanbrugh are the traces of sentimentality while “The Recruiting Officer” of George Farquhar is based on “the mode of Recruiting”. 

Restoration Drama attracted diverse criticism from scholars and man of later while some praised them for wit and polished dialogues, others denounced for their immortality and vulgarity.

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