Analysis Of William Congreve's The Way Of The World

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Restoration as a historical period was a time when England was an established colonial power in the world. It was a time of materialism and commerce and the people of the period emphasized money, pleasure and sex. Love and marriage were judged in terms of money. Artificiality and immorality were the defining features of the age. People looked towards relaxation and pleasure and serious things mattered less to them. The play The Way of the World by William Congreve represents the real picture of contemporary society of this time. William Congreve 's The Way of the World is the best written, the most dazzling, the most intellectually accomplished of all the English comedies, perhaps of the entire world (Edmund Gosse, 1888). It is a fine flower of Restoration literature. The Way of the World exposes society of Restoration period. The play also revolves around women, love and money and use of wit in the restoration period. Congreve sets The Way of the World 's acts in places of iconic importance to London society, especially with respect to the new social mores and minor vices which had become more acceptable in Restoration English culture. Wahrman (1992) argues that the new urban elites included two types: the gentlemanly capitalist, who participated in the national society, and the independent bourgeois, who was oriented toward the local community. By the 1790s a self-proclaimed middle class, with a particular socio cultural self-perception, had emerged. The society depicted
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