What is The Comedy of Manners in literature?
The Comedy of Manners, also known as Restoration Comedy, is a genre of English drama that flourished in the late 17th century during the Restoration period (1660-1710). The genre is characterized by witty dialogue, intricate plots, and a focus on the manners and behavior of the upper classes.
The plays often featured characters who were part of the aristocracy or the upper-middle class, and who were portrayed as being concerned with fashion, status, and social conventions. The comedy of manners often satirized the foibles and pretensions of the aristocracy and featured sharp-tongued dialogue, verbal wit, and intricate plots.
The comedy of manners was popularized by playwrights such as William Congreve, George Etherege, and William Wycherley. Many of these plays were controversial at the time of their writing and were criticized for their bawdy humor and sexually explicit content.
example of the Comedy of Manners in literature:
In “The Way of the World” by William Congreve, the play satirizes the shallow, materialistic values of the upper class. The play’s characters are obsessed with wealth, status, and appearances, and engage in elaborate schemes to manipulate and deceive each other. The play’s intricate plot and sharp-tongued dialogue are typical of the comedy of manners, and it remains a popular example of the genre to this day.
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