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The Rivals

  • Date Submitted: 11/23/2013 07:53 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 50 
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The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan
The Prologue was written by Richard Richard Brinsley Sheridan, There is not a review, and his prologue to Richard Sheridan's first play begins with an attorney bribing a sergeant at law. The attorney hands the sergeant at law a piece of paper and the sergeant replies that he has forgotten his glasses and cannot read the handwriting. As the attorney continues to hand the sergeant money, the writing suddenly becomes more legible.
After the attorney exits the stage, the sergeant at law presents Sheridan's play to the court of public opinion. In the last lines of his brief statement, the sergeant welcomes all critics and reporters to judge the play for themselves. The worst crime the author could be guilty of, the sergeant at arms claims, is a bad attempt to please.
Sheridan immediately sets the humorous tone for his Comedy of Manners with the light-hearted bribery scene in the prologue. The play has five acts
The author uses conflicts and debates in order to demonstrate situations in which conflicts between the characters of the play result in the characters also becoming rivals with themselves. The premise for the conflict between characters is the deception in their relationships, which not only causes hostility among one another, but also within themselves, forcing characters to become “subject more fit for ridicule than compassion.” Captain Jack Absolute, because of his deep love, is the cause of his own problems, for he is unable to simultaneously accommodate his father, Sir Absolute, and his love, Lydia Languish. Lydia, in search of an ideal romance, causes her own troubles, as her skewed view of love perplexes the situation. Lucy, the servant, through her greed and feelings of opportunism, further complexes the situation in attempting to gain from the struggles of others. In The Rivals, Richard Brinsley Sheridan uses satirical conflicts between Captain Jack Absolute, Lydia Languish, and Lucy,Conflicts are along the...


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