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

The Country Wife- Contextual Section.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Country Wife- Contextual Section William Wycherley wrote The Country Wife in 1675 during the Restoration Period in England. He was born in 1641 at Clive Hall near Shrewsbury to a wealthy family, and he was educated in France where he spent most of his youth. Once Charles II was restored, he returned to England to study at Oxford, and then became a fine, fashionable gentleman in London, of strong intellectual power. There he was able to observe the attitudes and actions of similarly constituted social groups, whom would later be the basis of his plays. The Country Wife is a Restoration Comedy as it was written during the forty years after the restoration of King Charles II to the English throne. He had a particular passion for the theatre, and its development during this period was largely down to him. The civil war in 1642- the Puritan Revolution- had seen his father Charles I beheaded and Oliver Cromwell become the leader of England. This eighteen-year period- the interregnum- saw the puritans discourage and eventually completely ban drama, due to its connections with the monarchy and its immoral non-puritan values. ...read more.

Middle

Queues were extremely long to get in, as it was on a first come first served basis. It was a whole day out, as people would usually dine before the play began at around 3 o'clock. Unlike Elizabethan theatre where people of all classes attended, Restoration Theatre was aimed at the higher classes, and the audience was mainly court based. This lead to the playwrights writing plays specifically aimed at these types of people This was mainly because gentlemen of good breeding selected by the King managed the theatres, and the playwrights, whom were also of the upper classes, specifically wrote their plays for the high-quality people. This was because, as a comedy of manners, the plays would reflect on their attitudes, and satirize the conduct in which members of that society behaved. For example, the rakes, fops, and naughty married ladies claiming to virtuous present in The Country Wife, were also members of the high-class society making up the audience during that period. This mocking of their society was meant to make the audience laugh at themselves, and it pleased them that a play had been based on them. ...read more.

Conclusion

People were less interested in the play than being seen by other members of the society at a fashionable event. James Wright said, "Though a play be a generous diversion, yet 'tis better to read than see, unless one could see it without these inconveniences." The Country Wife continued to a be a popular production into the early eighteenth century, but amoral Restoration Comedies then became unpopular as the neoclassical precept of teaching morals returned. Two devised versions by John Lee and David Garrick were written to suit the more moral taste of the new audience, with the impotence plot eradicated and relationships between characters changed. In today's society, it can again be viewed comically, without the need for censorship. However, many of the themes are still as relevant now as they were in the seventeenth century. For example, the deceit and cuckolding still occurs today, with an alarming number of people having affairs. People are also still obsessed with what people think of them and the constant battle to be fashionable is still running. In addition, society still has barriers concerning the roles that women take on, and the countryside is still seen as unfashionable! The Country Wife may not directly reflect modern civilization, but its main purpose of causing the audience to laugh at themselves is still possible. Jody Crooks ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer 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 GCSE Geoffrey Chaucer essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Who are the targets for 'Wycherley's satire' in 'The Country Wife' and how does ...

    4 star(s)

    Wycherley's success in portraying this dandy led to a new trend in the theatre. The following year, in 1676, Sir George Etherege's 'The Man of Mode' the 'Sir Fopling Flutter', character, an imitator of all the latest French fashions and a blockhead who tries to be a clever fellow, was enormously popular with the London audience.

  2. William Wycherley`s "The Country Wife".

    person's true identity, but the true natures of the two plays' characters are very different. The Country Wife is a typical stage comedy; most of the characters, including the protagonist, are humorous, flawed people who wish to hide their faults from others.

  1. How do Thomas Hardy and D.H. Lawrence portray relationships between men and women in ...

    She is not so natural around men as her rival Joanna. She begins to spend time with him, and 'there was a tender understanding between them'. This tells us how the two were getting along and reveals what true relationships are built around.

  2. Restoration comedy - William Wycherley`s "The Country Wife"

    "The Country Wife" is a shriek of genius, though much of its success is probably due to the quality of the actors appearing in it. The play only runs in Sheffield until Saturday 15th of November, but catch it sweeping the pox far and wide on a tour of Britain.

  1. How is Unity Mansion like a 'microcosm' of the country?

    Tailor's wife also jumps to conclusion about the couples, when the 'accidentally' drop a plate. This reaction MAKES the readers to build a negative thought of Tailor's wife. Judgement is not only involved in this story. Power and status is also taken to great demands.

  2. Creative writing - The Disappearance.

    She was conservative and an introvert. Not a woman who would cause him embarrassment in front of friends and family. Timid...someone who needed support and he believed that he was indeed the support she needed. But her reluctance went beyond womanly modesty.

  1. Women in Elizabethan times.

    However, men below a certain social strata were not allowed to vote either. 3. Women could not enter the professions i.e law, medicine, politics. Neither could women enter the navy or the army. Women could and did work in domestic service, however, as cooks, maids etc.

  2. What is established in the opening to the 'Turn of the Screw' by Henry ...

    When Douglas talks about how the manuscript is written 'in old faded ink, and in, the most beautiful hand' the reader gets the impression that the story is almost magical. This creates even more tension because you wonder what is so special about this story that was worth the effort of writing so beautifully.

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