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Comedies of manners


  • Comedies set among the sophisticated upper classes, in which the characters' machinations are veiled by their elegant manners and repartee.

  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Form

    • Comedies of manners
  • Variants

    • Manners, Comedies of
    • Restoration comedies
  • Broader Terms

  • Closely Matching Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Sources

    • found: Baldick, C. The Oxford dict. of literary terms, 2008(comedy of manners. A kind of comedy representing the complex and sophisticated code of behavior current in fashionable circles of society, where appearances count for more than true moral character. Its plot usually revolves around intrigues of lust and greed, the self-interested cynicism of the characters being masked by decorous pretence. Unlike satire, the comedy of manners tends to reward its cleverly unscrupulous characters rather than punish their immorality. Its humour relies chiefly upon elegant verbal wit and repartee.)
    • found: Britannica online, Nov. 14, 2012(comedy of manners, witty, cerebral form of dramatic comedy that depicts and often satirizes the manners and affectations of a contemporary society. A comedy of manners is concerned with social usage and the question of whether or not characters meet certain social standards. Often the governing social standard is morally trivial but exacting. The plot of such a comedy, usually concerned with an illicit love affair or similarly scandalous matter, is subordinate to the play's brittle atmosphere, witty dialogue, and pungent commentary on human foibles.)
    • found: DictionaryCentral.com, Nov. 14, 2012(comedy of manners. A form of sophisticated comedy, usually set among the fashionable upper classes, in which the characters' machinations are veiled by their elegant manners and elaborate repartee. The genre can be traced back to the Greek New Comedy but in its modern form was essentially created by Molière in such plays as Les Précieuses ridicules (1658) and Le Médecin malgré lui (1666))
    • found: Quinn, E. A dict. of literary and thematic terms, c1999:comedy (The Restoration period in England saw the development of the comedy of manners, a form that feeds on dazzling wit and the creation of an artificial world) Restoration comedy (A type of English comedy associated with the last decades of the 17th and the first decade of the 18th centuries. Indebted to some extent to the French comedies of Molière, Restoration comedies were witty, sophisticated, elegant exercises, designed to reflect and occasionally satirize the manners, mores, and taste of its elite audience)
  • General Notes

    • Comedies set among the sophisticated upper classes, in which the characters' machinations are veiled by their elegant manners and repartee.
  • Change Notes

    • 2014-12-01: new
    • 2015-12-15: revised
  • Alternate Formats

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