The Way of the World By William Congreve Study Help Essay Questions

1. Discuss the attitudes of nineteenth-century critics to Restoration comedy.

2. Discuss ideal love, as Congreve saw it, and compare it with the romantic or sentimentalized love typical of the nineteenth century.

3. Discuss the double standard of morality in The Way of the World.

4. Compare moral attitudes in this play with Sheridan's The School for Scandal or Coward's Private Lives.

5. Discuss what you might consider the structural faults in Congreve's handling of the plot and counterplots in this play.

6. Speculate on the possible reasons for the lack of immediate popular success of The Way of the World by comparing it with Congreve's plays The Old Bachelor and Love for Love, both very successful.

7. Discuss humour and affectation in the characters in this play.

8. Using examples other than those used in this volume of Notes, discuss style, wit, and irony in some of the main characters.

9. Consider the characteristics of Congreve's wit, and look for correspondences with wit in Pope's The Rape of the Lock.

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Lady Wishfort, who is __________ years old, is vain and susceptible to false flattery.




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