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Paper Topic:

The Rivals

"The Rivals "The Rivals " by Richard Brinsley Sheridan is a comic play , and it has no true tragedy in it . So , no matter how it is produced , it is humorous . However , there are several characters and subplots that could be emphasized if "The Rivals " were to be produced as a laughing comedy or a sentimental comedy , and there are still other characters and subplots that would most appeal to a contemporary American audience These will be discussed below

First , a laughing comedy of "The Rivals " would not be complete without certain characters

. These irraplacible people are the servant Fag , Captain Absolute , and Lydia Languish--who is aptly named for her romantic dreams . Fag is such a run-around , informing his master of all sorts of things throughout the play , and getting himself into trouble in the process . Similarly , his master , Captain Absolute , is busy maintaining two identities--that of Ensign Beverley for the sake of Lydia 's romantic notions and that of himself , until he finds out his father actually wants him to marry Lydia as well . Last but not least Lydia herself is quite the romantic , or at least she dreams she is . She wants to elope with Ensign Beverley , even after his true identity is revealed , and she weeps because her dream is lost . Of course , in the end she is joyous to be marrying her lover , even though he is not a poor Ensign

A sentimental comedy needs some of the same characters , those being Lydia and Captain Absolute . However , such a production also requires Mrs . Malaprop , Bob Acres , Sir Anthony , Julia , and Faulkland . Much of the comedy in this case comes from Mrs . Malaprop , whose incorrectly sophisticated speeches are always making her sound funny , but very hard to comprehend . Bob Acres provides more comic relief , as he is convinced The Rivals ' Page 02

he can win Lydia 's love by fixing his hair and tidying himself . Next in like is Sir Anthony . This one is a serious character , until he finds out about his son 's dual identities . Then , he even goes as far as to question whether Captain Absolute is his son , and this is downright humorous . From then on , he is a merry character and funny at times Julia and Faulkland are funny , too , because they remind the modern reader of a sitcom , in which there are many misunderstandings , but which ends "happily ever after

Next , there are several characters that would appeal to a contemporary American Audience , even today . These are Fag , Mrs Malaprop , Lucy the maid , and Captain Absolute . As has been stated previously , Fag is an extremely humorous character , and his humor makes him likable and easy to relate to . Mrs . Malaprop is similar , although her sophisticated speeches could also make her frustrating . In addition Lucy the maid is very human . Most people , whether consciously or unconsciously , tend to keep track of what they have done for others Lucy does this at the end of Act I when she counts up her score for...

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