Anda di halaman 1dari 25

1

ANTI-SENTIMENTAL COMEDY IN

SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER

Introduction

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) was the son of an Irish protestant clergyman. In

early life he gained a reputation for wildness and stupidity. Though unconcerned with

learning he managed to take a degree from Trinity College, Dublin and then proceeded

to Edinburgh on the prefect of studying medicine. He began a life of extravagance and

poverty and tried the church, the bar and medicine showing his incompetence in all.

He undertook a tour of Europe in 1755 though he had no money, returned to

London in 1756 and began the life of a hack-writer. For some time he was an assistant to

the famous novelist Richardson. Life in London was drudgery for him. During the period

from 1764 to1773 Goldsmith wrote all his important works-two poems, a novel and two

plays. His main contribution to English prose is the group of essays entitled the citizen of

the world published in (1760-1762). Goldsmiths friendship with Dr. Johnson began in

1761. They had a warm relationship in spite of their differing nature and temper.

Goldsmith, known for his simplicity bordering on stupidity, was loved by men like

Burke and Reynolds. Goldsmith was vain Burke and Reynolds. Goldsmith was vain,

unwise, and poor but was so large-hearted, human and sympathetic to the poor that his

faults were often overlooked Johnson called him gentle master. In Goldsmiths

temperament both melancholy and mirth lay side by side. He was a poet of talent and his

prose shares several of his poetic qualities like fancy, imagination and rhythm his

whimsical nature helped him to observe the peculiarities of human nature and he

presented a number of charters in his plays and essays with great sympathy, humor and

humanism.
2

Goldsmith wrote two comedies the good nature man and she stoops to conquer.

Goldsmith is a good natured man this is a comedy of character. It has a comical

character, croaker, and many laughable scenes. Yet it was a failure on the stage. She

Stoops to conquer was not only sentimental but also moral and not only moral but also

moralizing. Goldsmith attacked the sickening moralistic atmosphere of the sentimental

comedies .In his preface to the play, Goldsmith condemns the genre of the sentimental

comedy as a mawkish drab of spurious breed. This play inordinate craving for the latest

dressing fashions of London, are realistically drawn. And so is Tony Lumpkin. With his

emphasis on epicurean enjoyment, Tony is a miniaturized Falstaff.

Hard castle, with his loved of old values and fashions, is somewhat moralistic.

But his inability to keep abreast of changing times makes him a ridiculous figure. The

play bristles with improbabilities, this aspect make it a farce. Marlows bashfulness in

the presence of aristocratic ladies is quite understandable. He had been brought of high-

born women. Naturally, he becomes nervous when confronted with such women. Mrs.

Hard castles coveting Constances jewels and plotting to marry her worth lesson in

order to grab all her jewels-these are quite understandable. But her moving round and

round the garden and believing herself to be far away from home is highly improbable.

And so is Marlows mistaking hard castles house for an inn. The drama turns on this

highly improbable incident. Since the play is replaced with improbabilities it can be

termed a farce or a slapstick comedy. The dialogue is very humorous. Mrs. Hard castle

spitting fire like a Catherine wheel when she discovers that Constances jewels are

missing is an example of humorous dialogue. The main situation in the play is

humorous. Tony rollicking in the inn, Constances jewels being restored to Mrs. Hard

castle through Marlows stupidity, Hastingss letter being casually handed over to
3

namely Mrs. Hard castle being terrorized in the garden at night all these highly

humorous situations.

Tony Lumpkin plays a pivotal role in the play. It is he who makes Marlow look

upon hard castles house as an inn. This mistake leads Marlow to treat Kate Hard castle

as barmaid. Toneys mischievous act sets the play in motion. Tony Lumpkin is a

miniature Falstaff. Like Falstaff in east heap, Tony reigns supreme in the inn, The Three

pigeons, where he celebrates a gag life with his boon companions. Tony is not an

intellectual. He is interested only in drinking ale and running after the country girl, But

Bouncer; He hates the very sight of Constance whom his mother wants him to marry for

her jewels. In order to cheat Mrs. Hard castle Constance fondles him and tracks to him.

But Tony scolds her in public and evades her. Tony is determined to promote the

Constance Hastings love. He steals Constances Jewels from his mothers bureau and

hands them over to Hastings. He drives his mother in a chaise round and round the dark

garden and makes her believe that she has travelled forty miles away from home. What

is worse he tires his mother by getting her stack up a dirty pond. She frightens that

murderers are paroling her. He makes her look upon her own husband as a robber.

Coming to know from his father that he has attained majority Tony disowns Constance

and leaves her free to marry Hastings.

His two well-known comedies that give death-knell to the sentimental comedy

are-The story of the play thus follows. Mr. Honey wood is an open hearted good natured

by foolish young man. He gives away to the importunate what he owes to his creditors.

His uncle Sir William decided to teach him a lesson by having him arrested for debt and

to make him know who his true friends are. Young Honey wood loves Miss Richland but

he recommends to her the suit of Lofty a govt. officer whom he believes to be

responsible for his release from arrest. But it is Miss Richland who has secured his
4

release. Honey wood finally understands his folly and gets married with Miss Richland.

Within the main plot there runs also a sub-plot. In the prologue Goldsmith declared with

a touch of sarcasm that he had preferred the older laughing comedy to the sentimental

type. There are many weakness in the plot, much of the dialogues are stilted.

She Stoops to Conquer or The Mistakes of a Night was produced in 1773. The

principal characters are Hard castle, who loves everything thats old; old friends, His

father, Sir Charles Marlow, has proposed a match between young Marlow and Miss Hard

castle, and the young man and his friend, Hastings, accordingly travel down to pay the

Hard castle a visit. Losing their way they arrive at night at the Three Jolly Pigeons,

where Tony Lumpkin directs them to a neighboring inn, which is in reality the hard

castles house. The fun of the play arises largely from the resulting misunderstanding,

Marlow treating hard castle as the landlord of the supposed inn, and making violent love

to Miss Hard castle, which he takes for one of the servants. This contrasts with his

bashful attitude when presented to her in real character. The arrival of Sir Charles

Marlow clears up the misconception and all ends well, including a subsidiary love-affair

between Hastings and Miss Hard castles cousin, Miss Neville, whom Mrs. Hard castle

destines for Tony Lumpkin.

The prologue of the play gives the conception of comedy of Goldsmith. It is also

a direct satire on sentimental comedy. Moreover, he has explained his ideas about the

comic art in the dedication to Samuel Johnson. In the play, he has ironically attacked

sentimental comedy through the mouth of his character. As Miss.Hardcastle observes in

Act II: Indeed, I have often been surprise how a man of sentiment could ever admire

those light air pleasures, where nothing reaches the heart. Again Tony says in the same

Act: I have often seen her and sister cry over a book for an hour together; and they said

they liked the book the better the more it made them cry.
5

She Stoops to conquer is a comedy play written by Oliver Goldsmith. It has been

loved since it was written. When it was first performed, some people did not approve of

it as it attacked the normal sort of play style at the time, which was sentimental comedy.

Even without reading the play, the irony of the title is obvious, since the "she" in

question is lowering herself in order to prove herself superior.

Although the plays contained characters whose natures seemed overly

virtuous, and whose trials were too easily resolved, they were nonetheless accepted by

audiences as truthful representations of the human predicament. The 15th and 21st

centuries are markedly different in many ways.

She Stoops to Conquer described about the comedy movement in this play,

according to this play impressed me through the minor character Tony Lumpkin.

Because he is the comedy character of this play. Apart from that he also conning toughly

personality. Goldsmith concluding is delightfully, and also ends with Anti-sentimental

comedy. Tony plays tricks in She Stoops to Conquer. He is the most essential character of

the play. He is son of Mrs. Hard castle. Tony is a mischievous, uneducated playboy. Mrs.

Hard castle has no authority over Tony, and their relationship contrast with that between

hard castle and Kate. He is promised in marriage to his cousin, Constance Neville, yet he

despises her and thus goes to great effort to help her and Hastings in their plans to leave

the country. He cant reject the impending marriage with Neville, because he believes

hes not of age. Tony takes an interest where he joyfully sings with members of the

lower-classes. It is Tonys initial deception of Marlow, for a toke, which sits up the plot.

That way impressed this particular character to me and also readers.

Anti-sentimental comedy in she stoops to conquer

The author says that we should treat life as a game and we should not take it

seriously. We should not attach too much importance to anything in life. Such an
6

attachment brings only misery. The ideal things are to take everything lightly and keep

laughing even in the teeth of difficulties. We should remember at would better with a

song; better the world with a blow in the teeth of wrong. We should laugh because the

time is brief a thread the length of a span. Hence we should laugh and be merry. Useful

proverbs -M.I.Publication. Laugh till the game is played- (109).

Sentimental comedy had its roots in early 18th century, which had a vein of

morality similar to that of sentimental comedy but had loftier characters and subject

matter than sentimental comedy. Writers of sentimental comedy included and, with their

respective plays Loves Last Shift (1696) and The Constant Couple (1699). The best-

known sentimental comedy is Sir Richard Steeles (1722), which deals with the trials and

tribulations of its penniless heroine Indiana. The discovery that she is an heiress affords

the necessary happy resolution. Steele, in describing the affect he wished the play to

have, said he would like to arouse a pleasure too exquisite for laughter.

Sentimental comedies continued to coexist with such conventional comedies as

Oliver Goldsmiths She Stoops to conquer (1773) and Richard Brinsley Sheridans The

Rivals (1775) until the sentimental genre waned in the early 19th century. In France

similar to sentimental comedy, was written principally by Pierre-Claude Neville de La

Chausses, whose Le Prejudge la mode (1735; Fashionable Prejudice) is a good

example of the genre. Sentimental comedy, a kind of that achieved some popularity with

respectable middleclass audiences in the 18th century. In contrast with the aristocratic

cynicism of English, it showed virtue rewarded by domestic bliss; its plots, usually

involving unbelievably good middleclass couples, emphasized rather than humor.

Pioneered by Richard Steele in The Funeral (1701) and more fully in The Conscious

Lovers (1722), it flourished in midcentury with the French comedies larmoyante (tearful

comedy) and in such plays as Hugh Kellys False Delicacy (1768).


7

The pious moralizing of this tradition, which survived into 19thcentury, was

opposed in the 1770s by Sheridan and Goldsmith, who attempted a partial return to the

Sentimental comedy a kind of comedy that achieved some popularity with respectable

middle class audience in the 18th century. In contrast with the aristocratic cynicism of

English restoration comedy. It showed virtue rewarded by domestic bliss: its plots.

Usually involving unbelievable good middle-class couples, emphasized pathos rather

than humor. Pioneered by Richard steel in the funeral (1701) and more fully in the

Conscious Lovers 1772, it flourished in middle-century with the French comedy

larmoyante (tearful comedy) and in such plays as Hugh Kellys False Delicacy 1768.

The pious moralizing of this tradition, which survived into19th century melodrama, was

opposed in the 1770 by Sheridan and Goldsmith, who attempted a partial return to the

comedy of manners.

Comedy that addresses itself to the spectators love of goodness rather than to his

sense of humor and emphasize the moral aspects of its situations and the virtues of its

characters.

Sentimentality originally indicated the reliance on feelings as a guide to truth, but

current usage defines it as an appeal to shallow, uncomplicated emotions at the expense

of reason is a view in according to which morality is somehow grounded in moral

sentiments or emotions. is both a device used to induce a tender emotional response

disproportionate to the situation at hand, (and thus to substitute heightened and generally

uncritical feeling for normal ethical and intellectual judgments), and a heightened reader

response willing to invest previously prepared emotions to respond disproportionately to

a literary situation "Sentimentalist", wrote is one who desires to have the luxury of an

emotion without paying for it., Stephen Devalues sends Buck Mulligan a telegraph that

reads "The sentimentalist is he who would enjoy without incurring the immense debtor
8

ship for a thing done." considered that 'Sentimentality, the ostentatious parading of

excessive and spurious emotion, is the mark of dishonesty, the inability to feel...the mask

of cruelty'.

The sentimental comedy did not last long. The sentimental soon degenerated in

to sentimentality. This change gradually manifested itself in the advent of sensibility to

replace wit and immorality in the comedy. In this sentimental comedy of Colley Cibber

and Steele there was conventional morality and sentimentality in place of grossness of

the restoration comedy. These dramatists dealt with the problems, of conduct, family and

marriage in a tone that will no longer shock decorum and by virtue of tears they cause to

flow, they contributed to the edification of souls. These dramatists aimed at preaching

some moral lessons by restoring suffering innocent virtue to happiness and converting

rogues into good characters. Thus these comedies lost the true spirit of comedy. There

are no gaiety and innocent mirth created by wit and fun. Instead, these plays served the

false morality of the middleclass.

The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were both turbulent and polite; it was

an age of virtuosos and pretenders; of libertinism and enlightenment, of reason and

romanticism. It witnessed the rise of the novel, the birth of the modern encyclopedia, the

cult of sensibility and the crafting of some of the sharpest satire in English. The long

eighteenth century stretches from 1660-1830: from the counter-revolution of the

Restoration to the era of Revolutions and Romanticism. Our research encompasses some

of those dichotomies: Dr. McGuire works on Colley Cibber, while Professor Hawley is

writing on his enemies, the Scribblers Club. We are also collaborating on a major

interdisciplinary project which aims to cover and revive the practice of private theatricals

and amateur performance in domestic spaces. Other specialism includes Spencer, Scott

and sculpture.
9

We welcome applications for PhDs in most areas of study in the long eighteenth

century, especially gender, politics, theatre history, romanticism, aesthetics, learning and

literature and literary coteries. Goldsmith completed the play in 1773. It was first

performed at Covent Garden Theatre in London on March 15 of that year. It was well

received. Over the last two centuries, it has become one of the most popular comedies in

English literary history. It is still performed often today throughout the English-speaking

world.

She stoops to conquer was first produced in London in 1773, and was a massive

success. The play is often published with a sub-title as stoops to conquer or the Mistake

of Night. The sub-title was originally its working title, but perhaps due to evoking too

strongly Shakespeares Amid summer Night dream goldsmith re-titles the play. It was

reputed to have created and applause that way yet unseen in the London theater, and

almost immediately entered the repertory of respectable companies.

Within a decade it had traveled both throughout the European continent and to

the united stat. This was particularly significant considering the lake of success

Goldsmith had with his previous comedy. The Good-Natured man. This play, which

explores similar themes without the same well mad play frame, performed very poorly

when first produced. There are many reasons for this was She Stoops to Conquer feels

natural.

The good natured man can seem stage and freed the complicated plot is far less

accessible than in She Stoops To Conquer, and the deliberate exploration of the

convection of sentimental comedy are less sharp in the earlier work. However what

perhaps influenced goldsmith most about its failure was the audience reaction to a scene

of low behavior in which the hero is accosted by buffoonish bailiffs. The near universal

disdain for the scene led it is cut from future performance. While the work of a colleague
10

Hugh Kellys false delicacy, was immensely popular. Owing to his jealous nature and

disdain for gentle comedy, goldsmith seems to have swam he would avenge his loss with

a hit play that skewered the very problem that he blamed for the failure of the good

natured man. As time has proved he accomplished his gold with she stoops to conquer.

Marlow is motherless. He has grown up in hostels without any opportunity to

move with girl of his social station. He is therefore, very shies towards them and is bold

and forward only with low-class women. To set him right, his father sir Charles Marlow

sends him from London to his friend hard castle in the village. Marlows friend Hastings

accompanies him to the village in order to sustain him in times of need. In the village

hard castle often wrangles with his wife, Dorothy.

Hard castle is conservative and old fashioned but Mrs. Hard castle is crazy after

the dressing fashion prevalent in London. Their daughter Keats strikes a via media

between these two extremes by dressing fashionably in the forenoons and modestly in

the afternoons. Mrs. Hard castles niece Miss. Neville is in love with Hasting. Being

motherless she is taken care of by Mrs. Hard castle her jewels are in the possession of

Mrs. Hard castle. Mrs. Hard castles son Tony (born to her first husband Lumpkin)is a

good for nothing booby, reveling with his boon companions in the tavern, The Three

Pigeons, Mrs. Hard castle wants Neville to Mary Tony so that her fortune will circulate

within her family itself. Tony directs Marlow to the Decayed house of the hard castle.

Describing it as an inn where he and hasting can spend the night comfortably. Reaching

that place, Marlow views hard castle as the inn keeper and orders him about. Hard castle

is aghast But Marlow talks haltingly with the well-dressed Keats, not even looking at her

face. But when she appears as the barmaid he takes liberties with her and even tries to

taste what he considers the nectar of her lips. Hard castle is stunned by his impudence

and asks him to leave the inn at once. In the meantime, Tony steals the casket containing
11

Nevilles jewels and hands it over to Hastings. He passes it on to his friend Marlow who

in turn entrusts it to the landlady (who is none other than Mrs.Hard castle) for safety.

Mrs. Hard castle scents the plane of Neville to elope with Hastings to France. She

decides to take Neville, to her harsh aunt pedigrees Tony gets the better of his mother by

riding her round and round the house and makes her believe that she is forty miles away

from home. She is rescued by hard castle. Sir Charles visits hard castle, the two men

hide behind a screen and watch Marlow kneel before Kate, thinking her a barmaid, and

propose marriage to her the two fathers tell the truth about Keats to Marlow and decide

to marry the lovers then and there. Hard castle allows Neville also to marry Hasting,

giving her jewels back to her.

The two marriages, Marlow with Keats and Hastings with Neville, Mrs. Hard

castle, Tony are very happy because he is free to enjoy the company of his sweetheart

Bet Bouncer. The second epilogue is cute and would likely be a fun was out of the play,

but does little to significantly further the play's theme. It certainly can be used as

argument for the centrality of Tony to the themes, but at best, it offers the audience a

reminder that 'good taste' should come from a spirit of liveliness and not moral

sanctimony or given assumptions about proper breeding and education, since Tony in

most ways lacks those two qualities. However, the first epilogue is a nice summation of

the goal Goldsmith set out for himself in his "Essay on the Theatre."

Though it's not explicitly stated, the barmaid whose life he describes is likely

meant to represent the theatre itself. She learned to confront her audience and demand

things of them, then was brought to high society, where she grew pretentious and lost her

edge(regressing into "sentimental comedy"), and now sits docile, waiting for someone

like Goldsmith ("the doctor" from the prologue) to see where he can lead her. He wants

tore capture her bawdy charm from her younger days, and he hopes he can "conquer" his
12

audience by doing so. So the epilogue here serves as a challenge to the audience - did he

succeed? Did he conquer them into accepting the low and bawdy nature of comedy

again, leading them to repudiate their assumptions about high-minded theatre?

It is a kind of comedy that achieves some popularity with respectable middle

class audience in the 18th century. In contrast with the aristocratic cynicism of English

restoration comedy, its plots usually involving unbelievably good middle class couples,

emphasized pathos rather than humor.

Pioneered by Richard Steel in the Funeral. And this pious moralizing of the

tradition, which survived into melodrama, was opposed in the 1770s by Sheridan and

Goldsmith who attempted a partial return to the comedy of manners.

Sentimental comedy is related to our emotions. It appeals especially to our

fallings of sorrow, pity, and compassionate sympathy. Sentimental comedies reflected

contemporary philosophical conceptions of human as inherent good but capable of being

led astray through bad example. By an appeal to his noble to his sentiments, a man could

be reform and set beckon the path of virtue. Although the plays contained characters

whose natures seemed overly virtues, and whose trails were too easily resolved, they

were nonetheless accepted by audiences as truthful representation of the human

predicament. Sentimental comedy had its roots in early 18th century tragedy, which had

a vein of morality similar to that of sentimental comedy but had loftier character and

subject matter than sentimental comedy. The best-known sentimental comedy is Richard

Steels the conscious Lovers, which deals with the trials and tribulations of its penniless

heroine.

In contrast Anti sentimental comedy returns to comedy of manners. It is kind of

comedy representing complex and sophisticated code of behavior current in fashionable

circles of society, where appearance count for more than true moral character. Its plot
13

usually revolves around intrigues of lust and greed, the self-interested cynicism of the

characters being masked by decorous pretense Oliver Goldsmiths She Stoops To

Conquer and Richard Brinkley Sheridans The Rivals& School for Scandal are from the

Anti-sentimental comedy.

Oliver Goldsmiths The Vicar of Wake field and The Deserted Village are

respectively in the front rank of 18th century novels, poems and plays. Mr. and Mrs.

Hard castle live in an old house that resembles an inn, and they are waiting for the arrival

of Marlows son of Mr.Hardcastlesold friend and a possible suitor to his daughter Kate.

Kate is very close to her father, so much so that she dresses plainly in the evenings (to

suit his conservative tastes) and fancifully in the mornings for her friends.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Hard castles niece Constance is in the old woman's care, and

has her small inheritance (consisting of some valuable jewels) held until she is married,

hopefully to Mrs. Hard castles spoiled son from an earlier marriage, Tony Lumpkin The

problem is that neither Tony nor Constance loves the other, and in fact Constance has a

beloved, who will be traveling to the house that night with Marlow. When Marlow and

Hastings arrive, they are impertinent and rude with hard castle, whom they think is a

landlord and not a host.ThenHardcastle and Kate each confused with the side of Marlow

they saw. WhereHardcastle is shocked at his impertinence; Kate is disappointed to have

seen only modesty. At the end the truth coming to light, and everyone happy. Sir Charles

has arrived, and he and Hastings laugh together over the confusion young Marlow was

in. Marlow arrives to apologize, and in the discussion over Kate, claims he barely talked

to Kate.

Hard castle accuses him of lying, since hard castle saw him embrace Kate and

Marlow reveals his truly good character, and after some discussion, everyone agrees to

the match. Allure happy and the "mistakes of a night" have been corrected.
14

She Stoops to conquer is not a pure sentimental comedy, but it was produced and

published in the 17th century when sentimentalism first appeared. Therefore, it has few

sentimental features as the middle class characters, magnanimous characters, and

simplicity in describing the good and bad characters. Those are the three elements that

are existed in the sentimental plays. However, Goldsmith didn't like sentimental comedy

and considered it hypocrisy and so he shows his attitude through criticizing it throughout

the play. Other than this, you can classify it as a comedy of manners, farce, romantic

comedy and satirical. One of the first things is making sure the play reaches out to a

contemporary audience and feels fresh and alive.

The play was written in 1771 with the first performance in 1773 and its

important to make sure that we deliver a production of this play that honors where the

play has come from, that acknowledges what the play is, and that reaches out to a

contemporary audience. The language is a couple of hundred years old; its closer to that

of the Restoration period than modern English. Its a more heightened prose than

contemporary writing, so theres the challenge of getting our mouths and our minds

round the text to release it for a modern audience. We also need to make sure that we

understand the period and where the play has come from well enough to do it justice

the manners, the etiquette and the protocol of the time. Were doing the production in

period, so its about understanding the period well enough in order to release the play.

There isnt one global question at the heart of the play, although what are clear

are the individual needs and desires of the characters. For example, Mrs. Hard castle

wants refined pleasures; she wants to transcend the rambling mansion that she lives in

and to refine it, and she wants her husband to be more refined. She wants the world she

lives in to be more fashionable. Marlow wants to find a peace in his life, and to find a

match and the pressure that hes put under is one of the obstacles to his achieving this.
15

Theyre all after something Mr. Hard castle wants peace as well. He wants people to stop

making demands on him. The type of comedy which She Stoops to Conquer represents

has been much disputed. However there is a consensus amongst audiences and critics

that the play can also be seen alone of the following comedy types. When the play was

first produced, it was discussed as an example of the revival of laughing comedy over

the sentimental comedy seen as dominant on the English stage since the success of,

written by in 1722.

In the same year, an essay in a London magazine, entitled "An Essay on the

Theatergoer, a Comparison between Laughing and Sentimental Comedy", suggested that

sentimental comedy, a false form of comedy, had taken over the boards from the older

and more truly comic laughing comedy.

Some theatre historians believe that the essay was written by Goldsmith as a puff

piece for She Stoops to Conquer, as an exemplar of the laughing comedy which

Goldsmith had touted. Goldsmith's name was linked with that of, author of and, as

standardbearersfor the resurgent laughing comedy. The play can also be seen as a, where,

set in polite society, the comedy arises from the gap between the characters' attempts to

preserve standards of polite behavior, that contrasts to their true behavior. It also seen by

some critics as a, which depicts how seriously young people take love, and how foolishly

it makes them behave; in She Stoops to Conquer, Kate's stooping and Marlows

nervousness are good examples of romantic comedy.

Alternatively, it can be seen as a satire, where characters are presented as either

ludicrous or eccentric. Such a comedy might leave the impression that the characters are

either too foolish or corrupt to ever reform, hence Mrs. Hard castle.
16

The play is sometimes described as and a comedy, because it is based on multiple

misunderstandings, hence Marlow and Hastings believing the Hard castles' house is

aninn.The dramatic technique of it employed by Goldsmith to some extent in She Stoops

toConquer.This is the one Unity that Goldsmith does not rigorously follow; there is the

inclusion of the Constance-Hastings eloping sub-plot that distracts from the main

narrative of the play. However, it shares similar themes of relationships and what makes

the best ones. Furthermore, the sub-plot disinter-weaving with the main plot, for

example, when Hastings and Marlow confront Tony regarding his mischief making. The

alternative title of Mistakes of the Night illustrates that the Unity of Time is carefully

observed. With all of the events occurring in a single night, the plot becomes more

stimulating as well as lending more plausibility to the series of unlucky coincidences that

conspire against the visitors.

Whilst some may question whether She Stoops to Conquer contains the Unity of

Place after all, the scene at the The Three Pigeons is set apart from the house but

the similarity between the alehouse and the "old rumbling mansion, that looks all the

world liken inn" is one of close resemblance; enough that in past performances, the

scenes have often doubled up the use of the same set backdrop. Also, there is some

debate as to whether the excursion to "Crack skull common" counts as a separate setting,

but since the truth is that the travelers do not leave the mansion gardens; the Unity of

Place is not violated. The title refers to Kate's ruse of pretending to be a barmaid to reach

her goal.

It originates in the poetry of, which Goldsmith may have seen misquoted bin

Chesterfield's version, the lines in question read: "The prostrate lover, when he lowest

lies, But stoops to conquer, and but kneels to rise."


17

She Stoops to conquer was written by Oliver Goldsmith in 1773. Goldsmith was

very critical of the then current vogue for sentimental comedy and the prejudice against

laughter, and She Stoops to Conquer was his response - and hugely successful it was,

and still is. We thought the comment in the programme about Goldsmith and the 'new

reality' was a little misleading. Yes, he was reacting against the fashion of the day, but

'realism' has the wrong connotations - he was setting his comedy inane unfashionable,

rural milieu, an 'everyday story of country folk, but the style is still very artificial.

Formal language brings its own problems, but more of this later. The course of truelove

never runs smoothly, and the plot revolves around the fortunes of two pairs of

loversandan avaricious aunt and stepmother, Mrs. Hard castle, who is also the doting

mother of a very boorish and illiterate son from her first marriage, Tony Lumpkin. It is

he however, who is the engine for the plot, both when it goes seriously wrong and when

it has to be set on track again. Of course, all ends happily for the lovers and the only sour

face at the conclusion of the play are Mrs. Hard castles.

A marvelously comic scene of exaggerated hysteria Eighteenth century

conversation can be formal and rather artificial-sounding to modern ears: we felt at the

start of the play that some of the cast were not always comfortable with this highly

structured dialogue.

Occasionally they spoke too fast or did not enunciate clearly enough, thereby

missing some of the sparkle of the exchanges. They could perhaps have emphasized the

artificiality, particularly in the early scenes, thereby helping the momentum of the play.

In the second half, with the plot moving forward into further complications, the action

speeded up and the cast seemed more at home and confident with the conversational

style of the 1770's. ChristineMackinven, however, had no problems at all with the 'period
18

piece' language. She wassplendidas Mrs. Hard castle, a terrible example of vanity and

avariciousness in middle age!

When, as a result of another of her son's little schemes, she thought herself

confronted by ahighwayman on Crack skull Common (it was, in fact, her bemused

husband in their own garden) she launched into a marvelously comic scene of

exaggerated hysteria. Mike New bold as her husband gained dramatic force as his anger

and frustration rosebud in his opening scene with his wife we felt the director could have

provided more domestic movement and detail - perhaps smoking a pipe, or sitting,

getting up and moving towards hears she became more irritating, even pacing the room

or putting his feet up on the table assume sort of challenge to this wife of his!

Richard Delahey was suitably lumen and churlishMr. Hard castle was

imminently expecting the arrival of the diffident son of his best friend, Sir Charles

Marlow. The young man was to pay court to young Kate Hard castle, the apple of her

father's eye, but was duped into arrogantly treating the hard castle home as a common

inn and his host as the innkeeper. The author of this piece of mischief was Mrs. Hard

castles son, Tony Lumpkin - Richard Delahey wassuitablylumpen and churlish, but he

did need more help with the clarity of his diction.

He was very convincing as the awkward, oafish and spoilt son, with none of the

intelligence and sparkle of his step- sister, but an audience does need to hear all his

grumbles and complaints! He also needed more room on the stage, which was not helped

by having several flats set at angles to provide exits. Much useful space was therefore

used up and TonyLumpkinneeds to blunder about, threatening at one point.

To draw his 'basket' (his sword), but there would never have been room for such

tantrum! The two young lovers, young Charles Marlow and his friend George Hastings

(Andy Kittle and Charles Watts respectively) handled their roles well but we did wonder
19

whether these two male leads could, with benefit, have been changed round. Charles

Marlow has to portray the well-known double standard of differing attitudes to women:

total awkwardness an inability to relate to young women of social standing but absolute

freedom to fumble any barmaid or kitchen wench who came his way! We hope Charles

Watts will not regard it as a slur on his character when we say that we felt he might have

been happier in the role of 'young man sows his wild oats', while Andy Kittle could have

been his solid and dependable friend. However, Andy managed the 'split personality' of

the character of Charles Marlow very credibly and to comic effect though he needed to

bring some variety to his depiction of total shyness when talking to Kate.

Just looking at his boots or turning sideways became too repetitious - there are

other ways of avoiding eye contact. A further small point - the wigs did cause us some

concern. One can accept that old Mr. Hard castle might have a rather ragged and

unfashionable wig, but the young and supposedly elegant Charles looked as though he

was imminently about to lose his and it seemed to be coming apart in places. Such

details are important in a costume play: we found this wig worryingly distracting.

Andy managed the 'split personality' of the character... very credibly Young

Charles,who by today's standards would be very politically incorrect, does redeem

himself to win the land of Kate, who intelligently keeps up the subterfuge of being the

barmaid at the inn. Kate and her cousin, Constance Neville, were well-portrayed by

Vanessa Braithwaite andRosSaint-Clare respectively but again, as with the young men,

we felt the girls could well have switched roles. Vanessa had the cool reserve and

demureness that would have suited Constance, while Ross could have brought the

'spikiness' and mercurial element to Kate's character. Claire McCabe was the long-

suffering servant in the dysfunctional household - a nicely-handled cameo role, while


20

Richard Jenkins doubled as the landlord of The Three Pigeons, which was Tony

Lumpkin's second home.

With regard to the set, apart from the use of flats at the sides of the stage, upon

which we have already commented, we were unhappy with the rather modernist, abstract

design and felt that no effort had been made to turn it into a comfortable, middle-class

eighteenthcenturyinterior. We realize that space is a problem and one would not want a

cluttered, fussiest, but less timbering, less Mondrian-style geometry and perhaps some

family portraits might have helped.

She stoops to conquer a beautifully constructed play where love conquers all,

despite the combined efforts of a greedy woman, her inept son and an unfortunate case

of 'pedestalisation of women' in the young male lead! As the program reader pointed out,

and even with the reservations we have made, the play can still delight an audience 200

years after it was written.

Independent Shakespeare Co. bookends its 2013 season with two witty

romanticcomedies,She stoops to conquer and Shakespeare's As you like it, to offset a

terrifyingly intense and bloody version of Macbeth during this summer's Griffith Park

Free Shakespeare Festival. Though Shakespeare pre-dates Goldsmith by about 150

years, they are perfect literary companions for an ISC summer festival. Both share a

gracefulness in their use of language and a master's dexterity in highlighting their

characters' idiosyncrasies through hilarious antics.

As befits this comedy of manners, mistaken identities provide rich fodder for

laughs when Charles Marlow, the senior, sends his son Charles Marlow, the junior, to

woo his old friend Mr. Hard castles (Danny Campbell) daughter Kate (Claudia de

Vasco). But before hand his traveling companion, Mr. Hastings (Nikhil Pay), can arrive

at their destination, they are met and misled by Kate's mischievous half-brother, Tony
21

Lumpkin (Andr Martin), into believing that the Hardcastlecountry home is actually an

inn.Marlow mistakes Mr. Hard castle for the innkeeper and proceeds to break every rule

of etiquette imaginable, much cottonys delight. Hard castle is at a loss as to why his old

friend's son is behaving so badly bathe too has created a minor deception by having his

farm hands pose as refined servants. These-up is an open invitation for physical comedy

and the ISC gang is game for it from theoutset.When it comes time for Marlow to meet

Kate we see his funniest flaw. He can do Littlemore than stutter with nervousness and

stare at the ground in the company of a lady like Miss Hard castle but his behavior does

a complete 180 when he later mistakes her for a lowly servant and pursues her like a

wanton playboy.

Meanwhile, Tony is engaged to his cousin, Constance Neville (Erika Soto), but

hed rather be partying with Betty Bouncer (Julia AKs) at the local bar.

Constance is in love with Mr. Hastings and when he unexpectedly finds her

staying attheHardcastles, they make plans to run away together. An elaborate scheme

involving the theft of Mrs. Hard castles jewels adds even more hilarity, and all the while

the audience is in the fun. Directed by the company's savvy artistic director, and

presented by an endlessly creative ensemble, Goldsmith's eccentric characters come

alive with jaunty delight. Melvilles Marlow is full of awkward extremes and his ability

to recover from every foible is a true delight. De Vasco is charming as the independent

heroine who takes her future into her own hands and Martin's playboy is an unrestrained

joker who wins the audience over through his own exuberant enjoyment of his pranks.

Plus, he's got some great hair, thanks to costumer Bishops styling for She Stoops To

Conquers a fantastic combination of 70s glam rock and18th century finery. The looks are

bright, sexy and full of figure-flattering details that are particularly beautiful on the

Griffith Park outdoor stage. Soto is luscious in pink, Paidashingin a deep magenta
22

waistcoat; Melville's arrival hat and coat will make you laugh the minute he enters the

stage and de Vasco's rich blue gown is a stunner.

The design for Mrs. Hard castle (Bernadette Sullivan) is such a perfect match to

her over-the-top personality that she is instantly recognizable as the overbearing, greedy

but ever so-polite doyenne of the dysfunctional family. Her two-foot high wig, which

only becomes more elaborate by the play's end, is a marvel, as is the detail in her over-

sized Marie Antoinette gown. Sullivan has never been better and she'll make you love

the oblivious old broad with every booming order she spouts.

Mistaken identities, curious situations, and a delicious resolution make the plays

journey to a happy end a most satisfying romp in the park. In my book, this is the way to

celebrate a summer night. Pictured above: Bernadette Sullivan as Mrs. Hard castle and

Andr Martin as Tony Lumpkin. Photo credit: Gretel Cortes.

Tony is the son of his mothers first husband, Lumpkin. After his fathers death,

heist ken care of by his step-father Hardcastlewho is a stickler for discipline. He calls

Tony good for nothing booby. The more Tony is criticized, the more rebellious he grows.

He spends almost as his time in the tavern, the three pigeons, carousing and singing with

his boon companions. He often talks of a sex bomb by name Bet Bouncer who, he says,

loves him and is loved by him. The fact that she never appears leads the reader to suspect

that she is imaginary, not real. Tony is like modern teenagers going into raptures over

film actresses whom they can never get at. In order to cheat her aunt Mrs.Hardcastle,

Neville pretends to been love with her cousin Tony.

Tony co-operates with Neville and pretentiously reciprocates her overtures. What

isomer, he steals the casket containing Nevilles precious jewels and passes it on to

Hastings, facilitating him to elope with her to France. But Hastings stupidly hands it over

to Marlow and Marlow, the stupidest man in the play, entrusts it to Mrs. Hard castle,
23

thinking her the innkeepers wife. Thus Tonis plan is wrecked. But he does not lose

heart. He sabotages Mrs.Hardcastles evil plan to take Neville, to the autocratic pedigree.

What he does towards this end is to drive Mrs. Hard castle round and round her home in

the dark, making her believe that she has travelled forty miles from home. The greatest

service rendered by Tony is to reject Neville, when he knows that he has come of age

and marry her off to Hastings. He rejoices in doing this because he is free now to cohabit

with his dream girl, Bet Bouncer. The prologue to she stoops to conquer makes it clear

that goldsmith intends to write different kind of comedy, avoiding profusion of

sententious statements and moralistic twists and turns. The Shakespearean comedy is

heavily loaded with threadbare devices such as mistaken identity, songs villains turning

virtuous suddenly, etc. goldsmith does not quit deviate from this set pattern.

There is no dearth of comic scenes in she stoops to conquer. Marlow mistaking

Hardcastle for an innkeeper and ordering him around is the first comic incident in the

play his mistaking Kate for a barmaid and trying to embrace her and kiss her nectarous

lips, causing consternation to her father, is another hilarious scene. The way the casket of

jewels passes from hand to hand and ultimately reaches the original owner, Mrs. Hard

castle, to her immense relief, is memorable comic scene. Tony driving Mrs. Hard castle

in the dark round and round her own house and making her believe that she has travelled

forty miles away from home, and leading her to mistake her own husband for a

highwayman this thehighestwatermark comedy. Thus she stoops to conquer is a

cornucopia of comedy.

A comedy writer is expected to introduce songs to entertain the audience. The

songs that Tony and his boon companions sing in the tavern express their Epicureanism

and aversion to bookish learning. Tony project himself as an unabashed hedonist in this

scene."Let school-masters puzzle their brain, with grammar, and nonsense, and learning;
24

Good liquor, I stoutly maintain, gives genius a better discerning."Tony Lumpkin's song,

Act I, Scene. II pg. 12This opening to Tonis song helps to establish one of Goldsmith's

aims to properly appreciate low behavior. Here, Tony sets two different lifestyles in

opposition: proper life versus base life. While the play has a conservative streak that

keeps it from entirely embracing baseness as the key to life, it does propose that

moderation ought accept that a life of good liquor can grant us a perspective into

human absurdity and folly, whereas a life solely dedicated to proper education would not

provide such insight. In all comedy Gordionknots are cut and felicity reigns supreme at

the end, with villains turning virtuous. Thishappens in she stoops to conquer also. Tony

comes of age and celebrates this by uniting Neville and hasting in wedlock and going

back to his sweetheart Bet Bouncer. Hardcastlecompletes the cup of joy of the lovers by

restoring the jewels to theme. The only person to mar this pleasant mood is the morose

Mrs. Hard castle who does not at all like her son Tony generosity.

Tony is an adept at running with the hare and hunting with the hound. He tells his

mother that he will help her to reach pedigrees house before dawn. But what he does is

toride her and Neville in the dark round and round her own house and delude her that she

travelled forty miles away from home. He has led them through many puddles and pits

and nearly broken their bones. He stops them at a particular place and frightens them by

telling them that the place is haunted by robbers. The Hardcastlcoming out of his house

for his routine nightly stroll is presented by Tony as a highwayman. Mrs. Hard castle

comes out other hiding place, thinking that the highwayman might kill Tony first and her

later. Only oncoming closer does she discover that the man in the dark is her own

husband. She flies into towering rage and vows to take revenge on Tony who has proved

a thorn in her flesh.


25

Goldsmith's style is wry, witty, and simple but graceful. From beginning to end,

the play is both entertaining and easy to understand, presenting few words and idioms

that modern audiences would not understand. It is also well constructed and moves along

rapidly, the events of the first act in particular, references to Tony Lumpkin's childhood

propensity for working mischief and playing practical jokes foreshadowing the events of

the following acts. There are frequent scene changes, punctuated by an occasional

appearance of character alone on the stage souls in the stage directions reciting a brief

account of his feelings. In modern terms, the play is a page-turner for readers. Goldsmith

observed the classical of time and place, for the action of the play takes place in single

locale the English countryside on a single day.

Works Cited

Goldsmith, Oliver. She Stoops To Conquer, Mani Mekala Publishing House,

Madurai.2009.Print.

Annamalai University Book. Comic Novelist. Karthik Printers Trichy. Print.

Useful Proverbs, M.L.Publication.2000.print.

www.gr.adesaver.com/she-stoops-to-conquer/study-guide/section-7.

www.gr.adesaver.com/she-stoops-to-conquer/study-guide/section-1.

http:/Andhariadarshangi012011Blogspot.in/2012/11/antisentimentalcomedy.ht

ml.

Minat Terkait