Four Great Restoration Comedies

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Courier Corporation, Apr 3, 2012 - Drama - 352 pages
When England's theaters reopened in 1660, 18 years after being closed by an act of Parliament, audiences embraced the witty and satirical dialogue spoken by "plain folks" characters—it was a new era in drama. The four comedy classics featured in this one convenient collection are typical of the works popularized during one of the most exciting and innovative periods in English theater.
Brimming with bawdy and satirical comedies and rampant with notorious womanizers, amorous adventure, and marital discord are works by William Wycherley (The Country Wife), Sir George Etherege (The Man of Mode), Aphra Behn (The Rover), and Sir John Vanbrugh (The Relapse).
 

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About the author (2012)

Wycherley is best known for his dark comedy, which is strong, ironic, and complex. The character of Manly in The Plain Dealer (1677) was taken to be a portrait of the author, although Manly is clearly based on Alceste in Moliere's Misanthrope. The Country Wife (1675), Wycherley's most popular play, has a cynical vitality. Taking a hint from a comedy by Terence, Horner pretends that he is impotent in order to have his way with the ladies, but his success does little to please him. The play demonstrates curious contrasts between truth-speakers and feigners, neither of which can be classified as entirely good or bad. Wycherley's other comedies are Love in a Wood (1671) and The Gentleman Dancing Master (1673).

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