comedy of intrigue



  • A form of comedy in which the humour flows from complicatedrelationships and contrived situations. It originated in the classicalRoman theater, where a typical comedy might involve a noble youthcaught up in an impossible love affair with a slave girl, only tofind that she was swapped as a child and is actually of his class.The 17th-century Spanish theater saw numerous plays about the romanticintrigues of young adventurers (see cloak-and-sword play).The genre was further developed in France by Molière and inEngland by Shakespeare and the writers of Restoration Comedy. Englishexamples include Aphra Behn's topical comedy The Feign'd Curtizans;or, A Night's Intrigue (1678).