February 24, 2014 – English
Part of the court of Charles the II, French influence. Most popular was The Plain Dealer (1676) –
gave him a nickname: Manly. He was interested in sex.
The Country Wife: sex comedy, London society in the late restoration period. Comedy of wit.
Play is cynical. Commentary on marriage, sex, human nature (civilized society).
• Influences on the play:
o Moliere, L’Ecole des Femmes (gets style from moliere)
o Terence, Eunuchus (gets stalk characters and plots from Terence)
Eiron (ironic opponenet) : Horner
Alazon (boastful imposter)
o comedy of manners: love plot, centered on the upper classes (fashionable
o Sex comedy: adultery is committed in this play, sex happens, sense of bedroom
o Comedy of humors: stalk characters, influence of roman comedy
• Central character is a cuckholder: man who sleeps with other men’s wives, main
character is a pleasure seeker.
• Prologue: sets up the audience expectations, playwright is backstage (defending the
play), poet backstage trembling. Actor is trying to get favor from the audience. Playwright
is worried about his play not being accepted sends actor to the audience. Actor allows
the audience backstage, want