COMEDY OF MANNERS

Good morning! Congreve’s Way of the World, Love for Love and The Old Bachelor; Thomas Shadwell’s Bury Fair; John Dryden’s Marriage a la Mode and Charles Sedley’s The Mulberry-Garden and the racy Bellamira are examples of some of the works of the Restoration Comedy.

Restoration comedy refers to English comedies written and performed in the Restoration period from 1660 to 1710. Also called Comedy of Man-ners, it is a style of comedy that reflects the life, ideals and manners of up-per class society in a way that is essentially true to its traditions and phi-losophy.

The English comedy of manners began with Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and then can be seen at its best in Restoration comedy and in the work of Wilde, Shaw and Pinero. In more recent times, work by Coward, Orton and Rattigan encaptured the elements whilst in more mod-ern day drama, Neil Simon and Edward Albee provide worthwhile exam-ples.

The period is characterised by a flamboyant display of witty, blunt sexual dialogue, boudoir (in French for bedroom) intrigues (scheming), sensual innuendoes (suggestions) and rakish behaviour.

What made the Restoration period so valuable was its honesty. Characters were shown as sexual, flawed, and sometimes greedy. Things were just what they were, not hidden behind private doors while a false face was shown in public.

I am sure you’ll love to know more about different genres of English lit-erature. We could pick up a book from a particular period and read it to-gether. What say?

Moving on to a few queries:

Anil Parmar says:

In my humble opinion, ‘Though’ and ‘yet’ will not go together as men-tioned above. If I am wrong, kindly advise.

Anil, when ‘though’ is used with a verb in the subjunctive mood; (ex-pressing doubt, a condition contrary-to-fact, a wish, a concession) it is fol-lowed by ‘yet’.

Example:

– Though he is not a singer, yet he sang well.

– Though I am not too fond of him, yet I’ll go for his wedding.

Dhwanil Naik says,

I want to read, but every time I pick up a book and start reading, I feel sleepy. What should I do?

Dhwanil, choose a book of a subject that you like and don’t lie down; sit and read. Read at a time, which is your MPT, that is, Most Productive Time — it could be late evening or early morning.

Shika Vyas says,

I was reading an article, when I came across the word ‘Ebonics’. Could you explain it in detail please?

Shikha, Wikipedia defines ‘Ebonics’ as “Ebonics (from the words ebony and phonics) is a term that was originally intended to refer to the language of all people descended from enslaved Black Africans, particularly in West Africa, the Caribbean and North America. Since 1996, Ebonics has primarily been used to refer to African American Vernacular English (AAVE), a dialect distinctively different from Standard American Eng-lish.”

The term got its name from Robert Williams, an African American social psychologist. Simply put, ‘Ebonics’ is the vernacular (everyday) language of the Afro-Americans.

Some examples (the first word is in Ebonics and the second word in the Standard English):

You for your, dat for that, dis for this, da for the, ain’t for am not…

Have a happy weekend.

Keep smiling…

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