• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Goldsmith introduce us to comic situations in Act 1 of 'She Stoops to Conquer'?

Extracts from this document...


Sarah Jackson How does Goldsmith introduce us to comic situations in Act 1 of 'She Stoops to Conquer'? The first act of 'She Stoops to Conquer' by Oliver Goldsmith sets foundations for the comedic plots and themes which run through the play. Act one focuses on exposition - that is, giving the audience and idea of what is to come later in the play, and introducing them to the characters and their relationships with each other, setting the scene and so on. The central ideas of deception, disguise, reality and appearance and status are presented in the first act. The initial theme we encounter is very relevant to the context in which the play was written - whether town (London), with all its airs, graces and 'fopperies' was superficial in comparison with the country, and whether one (or one's wife, Mrs. Hardcastle) should indulge in such culture. She disputes with Mr. Hardcastle that they, like everyone else, should make a trip to the social epicentre to 'rub off the rust a little.' ...read more.


Mrs. Hardcastle's disillusioned belief that her son may be tamed by studying Latin is humorous both to the audience and to her husband, 'Latin for him! A cat and fiddle.' She also talks of how she believes 'we shan't have [Tony] long among us. Any body that looks in his face may see he's consumptive.' Her husband sees through Tony's supposed ailments, and realistically perceives his personality, whereas Mrs. Hardcastle makes Tony sound like a mummy's boy. This conflict of opinion is made more ironic when Tony enters and is referred to by his mother with affectionate names such as 'my charmer' and he appears to be more individual and rebellious (rowing with and defying his mother) than his mother - with her rose tinted spectacles - admits. It is obvious that her indulgent treatment of her son is a contributory factor to his behaviour. His prankster temperament really comes to the fore when he leads a conspiracy to misdirect Marlow and Hastings and convince them that the Hardcastle residence is in fact an inn. ...read more.


Hardcastle regards as a major attribute. Goldsmith is thus satirising sentimental comedy's perception of virtuous characteristics through this mock-sentimental reference, 'and to crown it all...' Kate, however, claims he has 'frozen [her] to death,' by unveiling this factor of his personality, because she regards this as undesirable quality for a man to have. Although she has this newly adopted reluctance, she still states that 'if he be so young, so handsome, and so everything as you mention, I believe he'll do still. I think I'll have him,' as if she would be doing Marlow himself a favour. The fact is that 'it's more than an even wager... he may not have [her].' Kate is also enlightened to another aspect of Marlow by Constance later in the Act - that he has a dual personality, i.e. he is a respectable gentleman in good company, but not so with 'creatures of another stamp.' This hints at how we will see a contrast in Marlow during the play. The description of Marlow imbues the audience with a sense of comic anticipation - we want to know what will happen, and there seems as though there will be some comic moments when the two of them meet. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Plays section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Plays essays

  1. A Midsummer Night's Dream - Discuss the comic techniques used in Act 5 Scene ...

    When Thisbe finds Pyramus dead, she delivers a touching speech that isn't quite right. 'These lily lips, This cherry nose, These yellow cowslip cheeks...' These images and comparisons aren't particularly attractive or flattering. She goes on to use similes to compare his eyes to leeks and say his hands are the colour of milk.

  2. My England by Clifford Oliver

    His attitude changes from being cheerful to resentful. From the moment police officer says the word "Boy" it is obvious Tony has heard this sort of jargon before. It affects the audience by them becoming aware of seeing what Tony says from his point of view.

  1. Theatre Crit - Comedy 'She Stoops to Conquer' by Oliver Goldsmith.

    other and have no intention to marry, but so that Mrs Hardcastle stays happy Tony and Connie trick her into thinking that they really love each other. The audience thinks that the difference between their actions and their words of love is quite funny so laugh again; the fact that

  2. How does act 1 of 'the crucible' prepare us for the rest of the ...

    Parris is astonishes at the Putnam's accusation towards Tituba. The girls; Abigail and Mercy, the Putnam's servant who has entered during the scene convince Parris to go downstairs to address the crowd who have formed wanting to know what is going on.

  1. Performance StudiesCoursework DramaYear 1

    believable or realistic and that is what we set out to achieve. I think this really helped us show the audience we were in a lift. We used a very small space, which was our lift, and I think that really gave the effect that we weren't just acting, there

  2. Macbeth: Act 1 Scene 1, Film Version.

    Hence, my opening camera shot would be an panning shot, sweeping over the city of Edinburgh, with thunder, lightning (as dictated in the play) and torrential rain pelting the city. Shakespeare's inclusion of thunder and lightning would have highlighted his intension to convey the sense of supernatural evil that the witches' appearance creates.

  1. "The paradox of Artaud lies in the fact that it is impossible to carry ...

    In order to decide whether this theory was possible we tried a number of different ideas upon an audience. We used different pieces of music to see how it made the audience feel, we used our voices in different pitches and tones to see what kind of reaction we could

  2. Directing Act 4 Scene 1 of Macbeth

    This would add effect to the sound and lighting of the play, therefore causing a more dramatic and more enjoyable feel to the audience. I think in Shakespeare's time the stage needed to be quite dense or else you wouldn't get the feel of the witches being scary and everything

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work