William Congreve's The Way Of The World

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Restoration era was between 1660 A.D and 1700 A.D. It was during the reign of Charles II. Upon the death of Oliver Cromwell (a Puritan), Charles and his entourage returned from exile in 1660. Monarchy was restored by installing Charles II as their ruler. It was during this time that theatres were brought back which was once barred by the Puritans. The literature back then painted about the life of Restoration period. From many literature works, William Congreve’s The Way of the World is one of those satire works where the social life is mirrored. Drabble (2008) said “In these Congreve shows himself the master of Restoration comedy, studying the social pressures on love and marriage with wit and subtlety” (p.228). The play depicts the life styles…show more content…
Firstly the play is a social mirror to of the Restoration period because in William Congreve’s The Way of the World two classes from five classes were depicted. Heinz (2013) classified the restoration social classes into five and there are Royalty, Lords Temporal, Gentlemen, Freeholder, Merchant class and lower…show more content…
And the play also depicted how the higher class bossed and bullied the lower class people. The high society manipulated their servants to achieve their ulterior motive. In the play Waitwell, valet of Mirabell listens to what his boss says. He accepts to marry Foible and impersonate Mirabell’s uncle to court Lady Wishfort as per Mirabells desire. Lady Wishfort uses her maid Foible as emissary to find a husband for her. The high class society women tend to be showy in nature and this is represented by Lady Wishfort. She asks how she looks before Sir Rowland comes and asks for songs and dances to be presented for Sir Rowland. Secondly, during the era the high classes uses chocolate house and park for recreational and pleasure. Being in such places was fashion then. Men indulge themselves in drinking chocolate and playing cards in chocolate house. Pepys (1661) has written in his diary that he rose and went out with to drink his morning, chocolate to settle his stomach. Women were found gossiping, playing cards in their parlor and having walks in the park with their male counterparts. These fashions are showcased

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