‘She Stoops to Conquer’ As An Anti-Sentimental Comedy

Goldsmith is a pioneer of anti-sentimental comedy. ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ is the second play of Goldsmith, produced in 1771. It is also known under the title The Mistakes of a Night’. The play practically introduces the reign of humour in comedy.

The entire play with its fun and humour, its intrigues and sparkling dialogues, its mischievous tricks and roguish attempts by Tony Lumpkin is a direct blow on the sentimental comedy. A piquant observation, elements of ingenious and new realism, a welling forth of pleasantry that never dries up. and baths even the rare moments when emotion could rise – all go to make this charming comedy an unalloyed source of amusement.

The principal characters of this comedy are Hardcastle, who loves ‘everything that is old’: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine, Mrs. Hardcastle and Miss. Hardcastle. Their daughter, Mrs. Hardcastle’s son by former marriage, Tony Lumpkin, young Marlow are the chief characters. Tony Lumpkin, a frequenter of the Three Jolly Pigeons’ is idle and ignorant, hut cunning and mischievous, and doted on by his mother; and young Marlow, is one of the most bashful and reserved young fellows in the world, except with barmaids and servant-girls. His father Charles Marlow has proposed a match between young Marlow and Miss Hardcastle. And the young man and his friend, Hastings, accordingly travel down to pay the Hardcastle’s a visit. Losing their way, they arrive at night at the Three Jolly Pigeons’, where Tony Lumpkin directs them to a neighbouring inn, which is in reality Hardcastle’s house.

The fun of the play arises largely from the resulting misunderstanding. Marlow treating Hardcastle as the landlord of the supposed inn and making violent love to Miss Hardcastle, whom he takes for one of his servants. This contrast with his bashful attitude when presented to her in real character. The arrival of Sir Charles Marlow clear up the misconception and all ends well. All ends well, including subsidiary love affair between Hastings and Miss Neville, whom Mrs. Hardcastle destines for Tony Lumpkin. At the end when truth coming to light, everyone is happy. Sir Charles and Hastings laugh together over the confusion young Marlow in. Marlow arrives to apologies and in the discussion over Miss Hardcastle claims he barely talked to her. Marlow reveals his truly good character, and after some discussion, everyone agrees to match as per above. All are happy and the Mistakes of a Night’ have been corrected. All characters are drawn very well and plot is constructed very well that generate laughter in our mind.

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The confusion and mentality or the portrait of all characters are very humorous and has many element of laughter in the play. It is a true form of comedy. We can also evaluate it. We love its characters because it feels and looks real and we laugh with them, not laugh at them.

The play is a charming one, in which the rough edges of the world are ground smooth, in which fouls turn out to be virtues and mistakes to he blessings. Its characters are particularly delightful. Tony Lumpkin is a genuine child of the soil and is said to be a monitor. Tony is loved by the readers of the comedy for his pleasant fun and nice jokes. Mr. Hardcastle is another character whom we all like because he loves everything that is old.

Like Shakespeare’s Romantic comedy, this comedy depicts how seriously young people take love, and how foolishly it takes them to behave. In ‘She stoops to Conquer Kate’s daughter of Hardcastle stooping and Marlow’s nervousness are good example of Romantic comedy. Peculiar union of intellect and emotion which colours the figures and words of Hardcastle and Tony Lumpkin and of Diggory alike makes the play Romantic comedy, similar to Shakespearian comedies

Conclusion: “She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith has element of anti-sentimentalism. Goldsmith wanted to criticise sentimental comedy of Richard Steele in his contemporary era. So, he wrote ‘She Stoops to Conquer his second play better than the first, as an example of pure comedy, comedy of humours. comedy of manners, anti-sentimental comedy.

Thus, ‘She Stoops to Conquer is the best example of anti-sentimental comedy not only because it has characteristics and element of anti- sentimentalism but also it has spirit of “anti-sentimentalism” which we can easily find in Goldsmith. It is a very intellectual and emotional comedy where Goldsmith shows his spirit of anti-sentimentalism. And make it the best anti-sentimental comedy – a pure form of comedy.



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