School for Scandal Essay

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Connor Mullin
Mr. Krahn
Literature 12
12 April 2012

School for scandal is a clear example of a typical 18th century drama. Agree/Disagree with this statement.

“School for Scandal” is an excellent example of a typical 18th century drama. The 18th century begins at the very end of the Restoration in England. After public stage performances had been banned for 18 years by the Puritan regime, the re-opening of the theatres in 1660 signalled a renaissance of English drama. Restoration comedy is characterized by its literary aesthetics and witty dialogue. Restoration comedy is generally plot focused and satirizes the manners and affections of a social class, often represented by stock characters such as the fop and the rake. “School for Scandal”, although it does not fall exactly within the time period of a restoration play, is a fairly typical example of this style of comedy, albeit purged of material considered “indecent”.

Sheridan's satire “School for Scandal” is a blatant attack on the superficiality of many of the upper class, pointing up at their lack of morals and misplaced attentions. In a restoration comedy characters are often stock, and their personalities are apparent immediately, this may be to prevent confusion and clutter in complex scenes such as the “screen scene” that has Sir Peter locked in a trunk, and Lady Teazle hiding behind Joseph's screen. The characters in “School for Scandal” are very clearly defined by their names. The gossips all have names that imply their mischievous or deceptive nature, Lady Sneerwell, Snake, Sir Benjamin Backbite. The Surface family's name is ironic because of the fact that on the surface Sir Oliver's sons appear to be the opposite of their true nature. Joseph fancies himself an man of sentiment however he is a hypocrite, and Charles appears to be a drunken wastrel however he has appreciation for his uncle and is generous.

In the words of the prologue, “Again our young Don Quixote takes the...
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