The Way of the World by William Congreve | Detailed Observations
Obligation, Coercion, and Economy: The Deed of Trust in Congreve's The In the closing act of William Congreve's The Way of the World (), Mirabell reveals that Mrs. Fainall, his former mistress, to prosper in his efforts to marry Millamant. The hero's ultimate control of interpersonal and legal relationships is cast in a. Mrs. Fainall says that women must find joy in platonic relationships with one does not trust his mistress and accuses her (and his wife) of loving Mirabell. Ms . Millamant toys is lovely and confusing; she toys with Mirabell by. Mirabell, a young man-about-town, apparently not a man of great weal. Mirabell is too much a man of his time to trust anyone in matters of money or love. Millamant is aware of the plot, probably through Foible. During Mirabell's card game with Fainall, it becomes clear that the relations between the two men are strained.
She later tells the plan to Fainall, who decides that he will take his wife's money and go away with Mrs.
Marriage in William Congreves Way of the World
Mirabell and Millamant, equally strong-willed, discuss in detail the conditions under which they would accept each other in marriage otherwise known as the "proviso scene"showing the depth of their feeling for each other. Mirabell finally proposes to Millamant and, with Mrs. Fainall's encouragement almost consent, as Millamant knows of their previous relationsMillamant accepts. Mirabell leaves as Lady Wishfort arrives, and she lets it be known that she wants Millamant to marry her nephew, Sir Wilfull Witwoud, who has just arrived from the countryside.
Lady Wishfort later gets a letter telling her about the Sir Rowland plot. Sir Rowland takes the letter and accuses Mirabell of trying to sabotage their wedding. Lady Wishfort agrees to let Sir Rowland bring a marriage contract that night.
Fainall tells Foible that her previous affair with Mirabell is now public knowledge. Lady Wishfort appears with Mrs. Marwood, whom she thanks for unveiling the plot.
The Way of the World
Fainall then appears and uses the information of Mrs. Fainall's previous affair with Mirabell and Millamant's contract to marry him to blackmail Lady Wishfort, telling that she should never marry and that she is to transfer her fortune to him.
Lady Wishfort offers Mirabell her consent to the marriage if he can save her fortune and honour. Mirabell calls on Waitwell who brings a contract from the time before the marriage of the Fainalls in which Mrs."The Way of the World" -- Park Scene (extended cut)
Fainall gives all her property to Mirabell. This neutralises the blackmail attempts, after which Mirabell restores Mrs. Epigraph of the edition[ edit ] The epigraph found on the title page of the edition of The Way of the World contains two Latin quotations from Horace 's Satires. In their wider contexts they read in English: Historical context[ edit ] Inthe world of London theatre-going had changed significantly from the days of, for example, The Country Wife.
Charles II was no longer on the throne, and the jubilant court that revelled in its licentiousness and opulence had been replaced by the far more dour and utilitarian Dutch -inspired court of William of Orange. His wife, Mary IIwas, long before her death, a retiring person who did not appear much in public.
William himself was a military king who was reported to be hostile to drama. The political instabilities that had been beneath the surface of many Restoration comedies were still present, but with a different side seeming victorious. One of the features of a Restoration comedy is the opposition of the witty and courtly and Cavalier rake and the dull-witted man of business or the country bumpkin, who is understood to be not only unsophisticated but often as, for instance, in the very popular plays of Aphra Behn in the s either Puritan or another form of dissenter.
Inthe courtly and Cavalier side was in power, and Restoration comedies belittled the bland and foolish losers of the Restoration. However, bythe other side was ascendant. Therefore, The Way of the World's recreation of the older Restoration comedy's patterns is only one of the things that made the play unusual. The revolution concerning the overthrow of James II created a new set of social codes primarily amongst the bourgeoisie. The new capitalist system meant an increasing emphasis on property and property law.
Thus, the play is packed with legal jargon and financial and marital contracts. These new legal aspects allow characters like Mrs. Fainall to secure her freedom through an equitable trust and for Mirabell and Millamant's marriage to be equal though a prenuptial agreement.
Marriage in William Congreves Way of the World, S - kultnet.info
Unfortunately, Mirabell had earlier offended Lady Wishfort; she had misinterpreted his flattery as love. Mirabell, therefore, has contrived an elaborate scheme. He has arranged for a pretended uncle his valet, Waitwell to woo and win Lady Wishfort. Then Mirabell intends to reveal the actual status of the successful wooer and obtain her consent to his marriage to Millamant by rescuing her from this misalliance.
Waitwell was to marry Foible, Lady Wishfort's maid, before the masquerade so that he might not decide to hold Lady Wishfort to her contract; Mirabell is too much a man of his time to trust anyone in matters of money or love. Millamant is aware of the plot, probably through Foible. When the play opens, Mirabell is impatiently waiting to hear that Waitwell is married to Foible.
During Mirabell's card game with Fainall, it becomes clear that the relations between the two men are strained. There are hints at the fact that Fainall has been twice duped by Mirabell: Fainall is Mirabell's former mistress, and Mrs.
The Way of the World - Wikipedia
Marwood, Fainall's mistress, is in love with Mirabell. In the meantime, although Millamant quite clearly intends to have Mirabell, she enjoys teasing him in his state of uncertainty. Mirabell bids fair to succeed until, unfortunately, Mrs. Fainall and Foible discussing the scheme, as well as Mirabell and Mrs. Fainall's earlier love affair. Marwood also overhears insulting comments about herself, she is vengeful and informs Fainall of the plot and the fact, which he suspected before, that his wife was once Mirabell's mistress.
The two conspirators now have both motive and means for revenge. Fainall now dominates the action. He unmasks Sir Rowland, the false uncle, and blackmails Lady Wishfort with the threat of her daughter's disgrace.
He demands that the balance of Millamant's fortune, now forfeit, be turned over to his sole control, as well as the unspent balance of Mrs. In addition, he wants assurance that Lady Wishfort will not marry so that Mrs.