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Analysis of School for ScandalA Well-Crafted Comedy of Manners Sheridan, Richard Brinsley (1751-1816), British dramatist whose work

is considered the finest develo ment of the comedy of manners in 18th-cent!ry "n#land$ %t is a olite world of fashion &!t Sheridan makes its vices a ear foolish &y e'a##eratin# them in h!moro!s ortrait!re$ (is lot is !s!ally from everyday life$ (e ossesses e'cellent ver&al talent and sense of theater$ Sheridan)s School for Scandal is considered to &e his master iece$ %t consists of a series of #ossi y and fast- aced scenes that e' oses contem orary foi&les thro!#h the actions of the characters$ %t is an attack on artificiality of h!man &ehavior and sentiments$ *his lay is remarka&le for five feat!res+ ,lot -onstr!ction, -haracteri.ation, /ialo#!e, Settin# or Sta#e -raft, and 0ision or ,hiloso hy$ Scandal: 1 yo!n# #irl married to an old man who has money &y which he kee s this yo!n# #irl and others en#a#ed$ 2ady Sneerwell makes f!n of s!ch marria#e and that)s why she makes the lot$ *he lot is a cons iracy which deals with how to make a s!s icion in the mind of Sir ,eter to se arate him from his wife 2ady *ea.le$ 2ady Sneerwell and her com any r!n the school for scandal$ /!rin# the !ncle)s a&sence, they make s!ch lot Wit: 3it means ri#ht thin# at the ri#ht time$ -aricat!rin# is a art of scandal mon#erin#$ 4ne starts and other ends$ *r!e wit is from nat!re$ 1nd the intention &ehind s!ch wit is to im rove the erson$ 5or instance, the conversation &etween -ra&tree and Sir Ben6amin a&o!t 7definin#) a woman shows wit at its &est$ -ra&tree remarks that it is 8the oddest co!ntenance9, and 8it is a collection of feat!res$9 Sir Ben6amin tells it to &e 8an %rish front$9 Repartee: %t is :!ick &!t intelli#ent res onse$ *he conversation &etween Sir ,eter and 2ady *ea.le is nice e'am le of re artee$ Damnation Scene: ((!mor and %rony of Sit!ation) ; 1ct %0-scene %0 1. Plot Construction *he lot is se:!ential arran#ement of events or cas!al ca!se and effects$ "vents are arran#ed &oth se:!entially and cas!ally which makes the lot erfect$ *he lot of the lay is interestin# and well-constr!cted$ Some eo le make a lot to &reak the relationshi &etween Sir ,eter and 2ady *ea.le$ *he lot is made &y 2ady Sneerwell and others which is e'ec!ted &y <ose h S!rface &y l!rin# 2ady *ea.le$ 2ady *ea.le leaves the old h!s&and and makes love with <ose h$ *he lot is e'ec!ted well &!t #ets discovered at last$ . Characteri!ation Both -harles S!rface and Sir 4liver rovide contrast$ *hey are rather caricat!res$ *hey are the ! dramatist$ *hey erform what their characteristics resented &y their names$ ets in the hands of the

*he characters of the lay have their own si#nificance &y their names$ Sheridan)s characteri.ation draws ! on the theory of Ben <ohnson$ (e chan#es Ben <ohnson)s theory$ (e makes one artic!lar characteristic or weakness a ear and lays on it$ 5or instance, <ose h is totally e' osed= there is no de th and ro!ndness which rovides h!mor$ *he h!mor is created &y s!ch characters &eca!se of their limitations s!##ested &y their names$ -haracteri.ation is caricat!re$ (!mor comes from the characters, their ec!liar characters$ 1ct-iv ; c!rtain e isode ; is sit!ational comedy$ Ma"or characters -ra&tree+ -ra& can clim& on the tree and can stin#$ (e has :!alities as his name s!##ests and he e' loits and kills 6oy and all ha iness &y his witty remarks$ <$ S!rface+ (e o erates on s!rface level &y leadin# s! erficial life$ (e is a scandal mon#er$ (e is a sentimental hy othetic, a most eli#i&le &achelor$ 1s ,eter says, 8a model for the yo!n# men of the a#e$9

-harles S!rface+ (e is an e'trava#ant fellow$ (e contrasts with his &rother <ose h$ *here is loyalty and sincerity in his character$ (e cares for his !ncle$ 2ady *ea.le+ She is a sim le character$ She is from villa#e and yo!n# who marries an old man for money and for livin# in 2ondon$ #. Dialo$ue 3itty dialo#!es are crafted one after another :!ick and fast$ 1nd witty re artees rovide h!mor$ %. Sta$e Craft Sta#e craft is very rare$ %t re:!ires #ood direction and skilled laywri#ht to mani !late it$ %n this lay *he School for Scandal, it is very well mana#ed$ >o character is seen who has no role to lay$ *he characters disa ear as soon as the characters) work #ets over$ *he scene &ehind the screen and the damnation scene are well arran#ed in acts$ &. 'ision

*here is no hiloso hy, sim le f!n in the lay$ *he laywri#ht delivers the messa#e that we act foolishly as we are h!man &ein#s then why !nishment?
(opics for )urther Study Sheridan is a male writer who writes a&o!t marria#e and women in School for Scandal. Research the role of women in 2ondon society$ /o yo! think that Sheridan acc!rately ortrays women? %s the marria#e de icted in this lay an acc!rate reflection of marria#e in the late-ei#hteenth cent!ry? Sheridan@s &io#ra hy indicates that he made a lot of money from writin# lays$ %nvesti#ate lay-writin# and other theatre work as money-makin# vent!res$ (ow s!ccessf!l financially was actin#? 4r the writin# of lays? 4r ownin# a theatreA School for Scandal foc!ses on #ossi and slander as a social disease$ (ow serio!s a ro&lem was slander in 2ondon society %n yo!r research did yo! find that Sheridan was !sin# slander as a sym tom of a more serio!s social iss!e? *he ei#hteenth cent!ry was a$$$$$

Critical *ssay +1 In this essay, Metzger discusses the merits of viewing a production of School for Scandal as opposed to merely reading the play. She also discusses the cultural problemsBnotably the anti-Semitism that is woven throughout the drama Bthat prevents a wider contemporary audience from embracing and fully appreciating Sheridan's work. % often tell my st!dents that a lay needs to &e seen and heard to &e ro erly a reciated$ Readin# a lay re:!ires an a&ility to vis!ali.e, and it is very diffic!lt to mana#e this vis!ali.ation witho!t a caref!l scr!tiny of the sta#e directions and some e' erience readin# drama$ *his notion is es ecially tr!e for Richard Brinsley Sheridan@s, School for Scandal, which makes the reader wish for a fine rod!ction to view$ %n the fo!rth act when 2ady *ea.le and Sir ,eter are each eekin# o!t of their res ective$$$$$

Critical *ssay + opeland reviews a Stratford !estival production of Sheridan's play. "hile finding the te#t as theatrical and resilient as ever, the critic was less than impressed with the production.

1s conceived &y Ro&in ,hilli s, $he School for Scandal dis lays a harsh and #litterin# world of e':!isite &ea!ty and vicio!sness, where sentimental so&rietyBwhen #en!ineBis the only ref!#e from the sava#ery that lies in wait for vitality and virt!e$ ,hilli s has read the lay as a iece of seno!s social criticism, with decidedly mi'ed res!lts- his version of this classic comedy of manners is tho!#ht- rovokin#, vis!ally st!nnin#, &!t finally a fail!re$ Sheridan wittily e'hi&its the machinations of the hy ocritical <ose h S!rface, who 6oins with the malicio!s 2ady Sneerwell in a cam ai#n of slander ori#inally desi#ned to o&tain his !ncle 4liver@s fort!ne and the hand of the wealthy Caria &y the$$$$$

Critical *ssay +# lifford e#presses disappointment at being denied the full pleasure of Sheridan'splay. omplaining of poor technical values and a general lack of enthusiasm, the critic feels that the play deserves better attention. *o a writer a theatre like the Royal 2yce!m is a ma#ic &o' f!ll of enticin# ossi&ilitiesBto all of which, almost invaria&ly, yo! are denied access$ *o an 1rtistic /irector, on the other hand, s!ch a lace m!st more often feel like a &lack holeBwith row after row of em ty seats that somehow, m#ht after ni#ht, have #ot to &e filled$ *he theatre@s !nderstanda&le res onse to this has &een to mo!nt two classic comedies in re ertoryBa revival of their immensely s!ccessf!l rod!ction of $artuffe in tandem with a new rod!ction of Sheridan@s School for Scandal. *his o ened recently to an almost !niformly hostile ress, which$$$$$

Critical *ssay +% In this uncredited review, a %&'( production of School for Scandal receives a favorable appraisal. $he critic terms the play as )iridescently enchanting, contagiously amusing.) $he Shoolfor Scandal, &y Richard Brinsley Sheridan, is a kind of dramatic har sichord$ %t has s!rface vivacity rather than inner stren#th$ %t has ele#ance of style rather than rof!ndity of s!&stance$ *h!m ed &y realism@s heavy hand, it wo!ld 6an#le and #o m!te= stroked with e':!isite artifice, it enchants and am!ses$ *he resent im ort from Britain, to -star- @ rin# Sir 6ohn Diel#!d and Sir Ral h Richardson, is iridescently enchantin#, conta#io!sly am!sin#$ Diel#!d is <ose h S!rface, the hy ocrite as moral sno&, a kind of holier-than-tho! heel$ Richardson is Sir ,eter *ea.le, a cr!sty, crestfallen &ride#room in his 5Es, lovin#, &!t not loved &y, yo!n# 2ady *ea.le (Deraldine Cc"wan), a redatory co!ntry kitten so$$$$$

School for Scandal , -ntroduction School for Scandal o ened at the /r!ry 2ane *heatre in 2ondon, "n#land, in Cay of 1777$ %t was an enormo!s s!ccess$ Reviews heralded the lay as a Areal comedyA that wo!ld s! lant the sentimental dramas that had filled the sta#e in the revio!s years$ 3hile wildly o !lar in the ei#hteenth cent!ry, the lay has not &een as s!ccessf!l with contem orary a!diences$ 4ne si#nificant ro&lem is the anti-Semitism that r!ns thro!#ho!t the lay$ ,ost-3orld 3ar %% a!diences are !nderstanda&ly sensitive to the dis ara#in# remarks made a&o!t moneylenders, who were often <ewish$ *hat the character of Coses is ortrayed as honest and concerned is de icted in the lay as an a&erration$ 3hen Sir 4liver is learnin# how to dis#!ise himself as a moneylender, he is told that he m!st ask 1EEF interest &eca!se it is e' ected that he m!st &ehave as an A!nconsciona&le do#$A

B!t anti-Semitism is not the only ro&lem with modern sta#in#$ By c!rrent standards, the lay a ears artificial in the characters@ s eech, dress, and motivations$ 1 comedy a&o!t manners is not as interestin# to twentieth cent!ry a!diences &eca!se manners and the r!les of society are far more ermissive and wide-ran#in# than they were in the 17EEs$ 3hen School for Scandal was revived on the 2ondon sta#e in 1GGE, the director stated that another ro&lem with sta#in# was the lack of any one stron# character to drive the lay$ ,erce tions re#ardin# the nat!re of drama also lay into contem orary erce tions of Sheridan@s work$ ,eter 3oods, who directed the 1GGE revival, stated in an interview in Sheridan Studies that Atoday@s a!dience s! oses itself to &e watchin# 1R*$ Sheridan@s a!dience was lookin# at the f!nnies$A 3oods &elieved that a!diences takin# themselves and historical lays too serio!sly are what revents Sheridan@s comedy from &ein# as s!ccessf!l today$ >evertheless, School for Scandal remains a standard for comedies of manner and is considered Sheridan@s definin# work$ School for Scandal Summary Act School for Scandal o ens with 2ady Sneerwell and her henchman, Snake, lottin# a means to &reak ! the romance &etween -harles S!rface and Caria$ %t is Snake@s6o& to assist in disseminatin# the #ossi that 2ady Sneerwell creates, and when he asks why she wishes to destroy this romance, 2ady Sneerwell reveals that she wants -harles for herself$ Caria@s hand wo!ld then #o to -harles@s &rother, <ose h$ %n the first act, the a!dience is introd!ced to the characters who s!rro!nd 2ady Sneerwell, and their tr!e nat!re is revealed$ Dossi and slander fill their time= they consider the destr!ction of marria#es and re !tations as entertainment$ Caria is the e'ce tion in this #ro! $ She condemns their #ossi and ref!ses to &e ers!aded that -harles is !nworthy of her$ Sir ,eter and his servant, Rowley, arrive on sta#e at the chan#e of scene$ Sir ,eter is o enly :!estionin# his wisdom in marryin# s!ch a yo!n# wife$ (e tho!#ht that &y marryin# an innocent co!ntry #irl, his ha iness wo!ld &e ass!red$ %nstead, Sir ,eter reveals to the a!dience that his wife s ends too m!ch time with her friends and too m!ch money on dresses and e'trava#ances, Rowley tells Sir ,eter that -harles and <ose h@s !ncle, Sir 4liver, is ret!rnin# to 2ondon after a lon# a&sence$ *he a!dience also learns that it is Rowley@s o inion that -harles has more otential than Sir ,eter reco#ni.es$ Act -*he second act o ens with an ar#!ment &etween Sir ,eter and his wife, 2ady *ea.le, a&o!t the money she is s endin#$ (e foc!ses on her e'trava#ant !rchase of fresh flowers d!rin# the winter$ She is not intimidated &y his an#er$ 3hen her h!s&and reminds her of how he resc!ed her from a sim le &!t oor life, 2ady *ea.le nearly admits that she wo!ld wish her h!s&and dead as his ne't ste toward resc!in# her$ %n the ne't scene, the #ossi s are &!sy slanderin# everyone they know as they re are for a card #ame at 2ady Sneerwell@s$ 2ady *ea.le 6oins them and in a few moments is 6oined &y her h!s&and$ Caria is also there and is 6oined &y <ose h, who resses his s!it for her attention$ She is clearly annoyed and leads with him to chan#e the s!&6ect$ %n the followin# scene$ Sir 4liver has ret!rned and is &riefed &y Rowley and Sir ,eter$$$ H -om lete School for Scandal S!mmary

.oo/ Summary of (he School )or Scandal Sheridan@s most s!ccessf!l lay, *he School for Scandal is a ointed satire a#ainst hy ocrisy and scandal revolvin# aro!nd two &rothers, -harles (honest) and <ose h (schemin#), Caria, who is in love with -harles &!t is &ein# wooed &y <ose h for her money, and the s!dden a earance of the wealthy !ncle of the two &rothers$ 4ften considered the a e' of "n#lish comedy$