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The dialogue in this play is everything. I don’t believe that if this play were written without the “Shakespearean style” it would hold its meaning or its comedic qualities together. The dialogue is very fast paced and sometimes hard to understand, but that is what makes it so entertaining. The plot really doesn’t become clear until the 3rd act of this play. We are finally informed on pg. 477 of what the point of this play is. Sir Oliver says “before I form my judgment of either of them, I intend to make a trial of their hearts-and my friend Rowley and I have planned something for the purpose. ” …
later on the same page they explain this plan for testing the two brothers. Through exposition we learn more of what is to happen to these brothers as Sir Peter comes up with another idea on how to test them on pg. 478 ” Now then, Sir Oliver, you may have a better opportunity of satisfying yourself than by an old romancing tale of a poor relation;- go with my friend Moses, and represent Mr. Premium, and then I’ll answer for ‘t, you will see your nephew in all his glory. ” Sir Peter thinks that this plan will surely show Sir Oliver how bad of a person his nephew Charles really is. The idea of this play obviously revolves around gossip.
Every character in this play is attacked by this gossip at some point. No one is immune. Mrs. Candour says it several times in different ways that in fact everyone gossips and everyone is gossiped about and there is no way to stop it. She says on pg. 469 from several different places in the conversation.. “but there is no stopping peoples tongues. ” ” What’s to be done? People will talk-there’s no preventing it. ” “But the world is so censorious, no character escapes. ” I think that she knows it’s wrong and says many times that “tale-bearers are as bad as tale-makers” but then she goes and starts telling another story about someone.
Her constant contradiction of herself is absolutely hilarious. A surprising character in this play is Lady Teazle. Although it plainly says that she is from the country and from this we would assume that she is not well educated, she doesn’t sound uneducated from the dialogue. I really liked her character, she is so strong willed and bullheaded. This forceful attitude is the only thing in the dialogue that suggests that she is from a lesser social circle. This is shown on pg. 472 when she says “Sir Peter, Sir Peter, you may it or not, as you please; but I out to have my own way in everything, and what’s more, I will too.
– What! though I was educated in the country, I know very well that women of fashion in London are accountable to nobody after they are married. ” Unfortunately for her, her husband, Sir Peter, does not agree with this philosophy. But he does love her and she knows it, that why she also knows that she can get away with anything she wants with him. I think she really did marry the old man just for his money, but in the end she realizes that she loves him too. I think Sir Peter on the other hand lets her get away with these things out of sheet boredom and the need to have something to talk, or gripe about.
On pg 471 he says to Rowley “But the fault is entirely hers, Master Rowley. I am, myself, the sweetest-tempered mad alive and hate a teasing temper- and so I tell her a hundred times a day” This is funny because on the very next page he is the one who goads Lady Teazle into an argument. The dialogue in this play holds so much of the play together. There is almost no action, other than entrances and exits so the scenes have to pushed by the dialogue so that it doesn’t drag. I think this is the main reason behind the fast paced conversations, that and humor.