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The Rivals Summary
Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Everything you need to understand or teach The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan.

  • The Rivals Summary & Study Guide
  • 1 Encyclopedia Article
  • 2 Literature Criticism
  • ...and more
  • 30 The Rivals Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
  • 20 Essay Questions
  • Pre-Made Tests and Quizzes
  • ...and more

The Rivals Summary

Introduction

The Rivals, a comedy in five acts, established Richard Brinsley Sheridan's reputation in the London theatre in 1775. When the first performance was not well received, Sheridan cut it by an hour, strengthened the idiosyncratic characters, and produced the new version in a highly successful second performance that proved his merit as a great comic playwright. The Rivals is one of a small handful of eighteenth-century plays that continues to be produced to this day. While the plot is complex, the characters are stock comic caricatures of human folly, aptly named.

A Comedy of Manners, the play satirizes sentimentalism and sophisticated pretensions, without the typical eighteenth-century moralizing. The dialogue crackles with wit even today, over two hundred years after it was first penned. This play is the source of the term "malapropism," named for Mrs. Malaprop, whose delightful "derangement of epitaphs" consists of using sophisticated-sounding words incorrectly. The Rivals is...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The The Rivals Study Pack contains about 130 pages of study material in 7 products, including:

The Rivals Study Guide

Lesson Plan

All teaching products sold separately.

The Rivals Lesson Plans contain 95 pages of teaching material, including:

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