Comedy of Manners


Comedy of Manners

The comedy of manners is a technique of comedy that reflects the ideals, manners and the ideals of upper class society in a way that is essentially true to its philosophy and traditions. The characters have to strive to maintain the mask of social artifice whilst revealing to the audience what lies behind such manners.

The Importance of Being Earnest is such an example of comedy of manners. This is because it makes fun of the behavior of Victorian aristocracy which attaches great value to frivolity, artificiality, superficiality, hypocrisy, and money mindedness. We are shown that the Victorian upper class society used to judge things by appearance and the play makes us express amusement at those values through a satirical, witty and funny language. Through character development in the play, there are values that give us an insight into the upper class of the Victorian period.

In what ways have the Greeks influenced the history of playwriting?

Throughout history, Greeks have influenced our lives in more ways than we can imagine. It was during the golden age and the Renaissance period that the Greeks produced many great and important playwrights that could enhance the arts of drama and writing forever. It was during this period that the Greeks did establish the formula that is used by most playwrights today. Playwrights began with the Greeks and from there many plays have become some of the greatest works of literature there have been.

The ancient Greeks held drama competitions with winners for playwriting. In such ways, the Greeks really did establish the formula that is used by most playwrights today. An example is tragedies, satire and comedy.

Most of the modern playwrights largely borrowed from the Greeks. When one reads a Greek play, it feels largely the same as a modern play (within reason). All the classic elements are there and the experience does not differ in any really significant way. In fact, Greek playwrights were the forebears of most modern playwrights.