Explore the lexical choices that Sheridan has made to present the relationship between father and son and create humour.
Act three scene one shows a conversation between Jack Absolute and his father, Sir Anthony. After a dispute before, Jack seeks out his father to apologise and submit a choice of a bride to his father. “I am come sir, to acknowledge my error and submit to your will.” Jack is forgiven by Sir Anthony, shown by the change of an insult ‘Well puppy?” to ‘you shall be Jack again.’ The use of humour in this scene is done through Sir Anthony’s drastic changes in behaviour. The juxta-position of Sir Anthony lengthy rants with Jacks calm, short responses shows Sir Anthony’s strong-headed views and gives a comedic effect on Sir Anthony. The long rants are of simple, monosyllabic wording, “Why sirrah, you’re an anchorite!” this gives a stronger phonological effect, also the use of exclamative sentences adds to this. Use of sibilants such as ‘Sirrah’ and ‘Stock’ adds to the phonological effects of Sir Anthony’s speech. The use of pre-modifiers in Sir Anthony’s insults gives added effect to them “why, you unfeeling, insensible puppy” This makes his speech more angered and therefore giving humour to his quick temper. The change in the way Sir Anthony addresses Jack “O’ Jack!” with “you puppy!” gives a comedic effect, also the use of pronoun ‘You’ when angered shows the change of bonding to singling out Jack and adds effect to the insults. In the deep descriptions of Lydia, Sir Anthony’s speech uses alliteration with polysyllabic wording and pre-modifiers “Her cheeks! Her cheeks Jack! So deeply blushing…” gives humour when the un-provoking response from Jack, “If I please you in this affair, ‘tis all I desire” contrasts with quick tempered insults “I despise you” from Sir Anthony. Humour is also shown in the contradiction of Sir Anthony, which is pointed out by Jack. Jacks’ agreement to marry anyone of his father’s choosing to please him angers...
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