What elements of Restoration comedy are in The Importance of Being Earnest?

An example is Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Serious. The plot or story of the play consists of two young men who fall in love with two women who pretend to be other people. However, the structure of the work is much more complex. Wilde structures the events of the dramatic action in such a way that the audience wonders if the young men can marry the girls. Wilde also provokes conflict by creating an improbable situation in which each girl says she can only marry a man named Ernesto. The conflict also arises because of the character of Lady Bracknell, the mother of one of the girls and the future mother-in-law of the other, as her profile fits the social comedy. Lady Bracknell’s character has a habit of intervening or blocking the flow of events at very specific moments.

To emotionally engage the audience in the characters’ dialogues, Wilde creates breaks in the story for the audience to fill in. Although most of the details are explained as the action progresses, events that may have happened to the characters before the play begins are not revealed. Because of the inability to play out the memories in the play, the audience must fill in these gaps as they see fit. For example, what was Mr. Cardew, Cecily’s father and Jack’s guardian, like? How awful is having lunch with Mary Farquhar? And what happens after the servants drink all the champagne? All of these problems fall into the category of backstory (including, for example, how Jack and Cecily’s characters met and what adventures Jack and Algernon might have had) that are the opposite of the expected action.

In Wilde’s play, for example, the audience is so right – given the expectations of the romantic comedy genre developed by Shakespeare and later playwrights – that the Jack/Ernest character marries the Gwendolyn character, but gets married. mother-in-law will the Lady Bracknell character How will she act at the weddings of Jack/Ernest and Gwendolyn on one side and Algernon and Cecily on the other? Because of his dictatorial tendencies, how will these marriages go? Algernon says (perhaps acting as the playwright’s mouthpiece) that “a man who marries without knowing Banbury is very bored”; 124, referring to “married life.” Does this observation mean that Algernon’s character, as a married man, will continue his Bunbury manners? Will he become the “perfect husband” (the title of another Oscar Wilde work)? Although these questions will remain unresolved as they relate to the story and expected action, the task for the audience will be to identify such gaps.

What are the elements of the Restoration Comedy?

Elements of Restoration Comedy such as satire, sarcasm, and wit can be seen, especially in regards to the dialogue between Algernon and Jack. These two men never honor each other and are arguing in the majority of their conversations, embodying satire of upper class manners and dialect.

The original patent companies, 1660-1682.

Carlos II was an active patron of the arts and was interested in the theater. Soon after its restoration, in 1660, he granted exclusive performance rights, the so-called royal patents , to the Royal Company and the Ducal Company by middle-aged playwrights, led by two Carolinian , Thomas Killigrew and William Davenant . Patentees fought for the rights to perform the works of the older generation, the Jacobeans and the Carolinians, which was the first necessity for economic survival before any new work could emerge. His next priority was to build magnificent new patent theaters on Drury Lane and Dorset Gardens, respectively. Striving to outdo each other in splendor, Killigrew and Davenant eventually created rather similar theaters, both designed by Christopher Wren , both suitable for music and dance, and both equipped with moving stages and elaborate equipment for producing thunder, lightning and waves.

The audience of the early Restoration period was not exclusively courtly, as is sometimes supposed, but it was very small and could barely support two troupes. There was no unused reserve of theatergoers. Ten performances in a row were a resounding success. This very closed system forced playwrights to be extremely sensitive to popular tastes. The fashion for drama changed from week to week, not from season to season, as each company responded to the offerings of the other and new plays were urgently sought. The King’s company and the Duke’s company competed with each other for public favor, for popular actors and for new plays, and in this climate new genres such as heroic drama , pathetic drama were born and flourished and Restoration comedy.

United Company, 1682-1695.

Both quantity and quality of theater suffered when, in 1682, the more successful Duke’s Company absorbed the struggling Royal Company, and thus the United Company was formed . Production of new plays declined sharply in the 1680s, influenced both by monopoly and the political situation (see The Decline of Comedy below). The influence and income of actors also declined. In the late 1680s the predatory investors (“Adventurers”) converged on the United Company, and the lawyer Christopher Rich took over its management . Rich tried to finance the tangle of “profitable” stocks and sleeping partners by cutting salaries and, dangerously, eliminating the traditional bonuses of top performers who were stars who could strike back.

What is the Restoration Comedy What kinds of characteristics does it have?

-1660 to 1700 is a key date because the Republic ends and Charles II Stuart enters. Before this, there are Shakespeare’s successors, there is still Elizabethan theater with Beaumont, Fletcher and Massinger, but there is already a fundamental change, the theater is losing its popular character to be more linked to the court.

In 1642 there was a civil war between the Anglican Puritan Cromwell and the Monarchy. In September Cromwell closed the playhouses because they clashed with Puritanism (the theater did not fit in with Christian norms).

During 18 years all the theaters remain closed, there is some nobleman who makes a small private theater but to the public it is closed. The actors are declared beggars and evildoers, and if they were caught performing or were of any company they were flogged. People were forbidden to go to see theaters, and those caught in a theater were fined five shillings.

In 1660, with the dismissal of Cromwell, the theaters were reopened and the theater was approved. Some call this period “The Glory and the Shame of the period”. They are elaborate spectacles, a lot of scenery, painted scenes, etc. Everyday and satirical situations. It is also considered “The Shame” because they are false theaters, amoral, they did not have moral as those of Shakespeare, they look for multiple infidelity.

The fundamental changes between the two periods are: the repertoire is totally different (moral=/amoral), the public has changed (before the rich in the stands and the poor on the floor) and there had to be dances, masquerades, etc; now the public is cultured, cultivated, in Elizabethan theater women did not act, now, coming from France and Molière, women begin to act; before the theater was empty scenically; now there are sets, many elements on the stage, machinery. The theater is now monopolized by Charles II, only he gave license for companies and had them controlled, the main ones were “The King’s players” and “The Duke’s players”. Before the Elizabethan theater was circular, open, with rows; now the theaters are closed, the stage is rectangular, with roof and artificial light and a prescenium, an arch that separates the stage from the people.

What characteristics make The Importance of Being Earnest a comedy play?

Oscar Wilde’s play The Importance of Being Earnest can be seen as a comedy of manners. The play is categorized as a farce, or a humorous play or film involving unlikely situations, due to its outrageous storyline and exaggerated characters. It satirizes the upper class, depicting them as ridiculous for their folly.

What is the main theme of Restoration Comedy?

One of the major themes of restoration comedy is marriage and the game of love. But if marriage is a mirror of society, the couples in the plays show something very dark and sinister about order. Many critiques of marriage in the comedies are devastating.

What are the main features of Restoration period?

Characteristics of Restoration Period….

  • Social and Political Conflict. With the come – back of Charles II, England’s social, political and religious tenets have transformed. …
  • Opening of Theaters. …
  • Rise of Neo-Classicism. …
  • Imitation of The Ancients. …
  • Realism. …
  • New Literary Forms.


What are the main features of Restoration drama?

Restoration Literature Characteristics

  • Comedy of Manners. The Comedy of Manners is a theatrical genre that was uber-popular during the Restoration period. …
  • Satire. The Restoration writers couldn’t get enough satire. …
  • Heroic Couplet. …
  • Social Life. …
  • Politics. …
  • Faith. …
  • Restoration of Monarchy. …
  • Rejection of Puritanism.

Which of the following is an example of Restoration comedy?

Significant examples are George Etherege’s The Man of Mode (1676), William Wycherley’s The Country Wife (1675), and William Congreve’s The Way of the World (1700).

What do you mean by Restoration comedy?

“Restoration comedy” is English comedy written and performed in the Restoration period of 1660–1710. Comedy of manners is used as a synonym for this. After public stage performances were banned for 18 years by the Puritan regime, reopening of the theatres in 1660 marked a renaissance of English drama.