The School for Scandal

Definition

Theater

  • A comedy of manners by Richard Brinsley Sheridan,which opened on 8 May 1777 at Drury Lane. George Washington calledit one of his very favourite plays, and Charles Lamb later recalled,"Amidst the mortifying circumstances attendant upon growingold, it is something to have seen The School for Scandal inits prime." The play has survived over two centuries of changingtastes and fashions in the theater, one of the most acclaimed modernversions being Jonathan Miller's 1968 production.

    The comedy lampoons the activities of scandalmongers. Twoof the worst, Lady Sneerwell and Joseph Surface, circulate rumoursabout Joseph's brother Charles, an honest wastrel, to prevent himfrom marrying Maria, a ward of Sir Peter Teazle. The duplicitous Josephwants Maria for himself and shamelessly flatters Lady Teazle to furtherhis suit. The brothers' rich uncle, Sir Oliver Surface, dons a disguiseto find out their true feelings towards him; as a result, he choosesto reward Charles's basic honesty with his financial support.

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