The Rivals Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Prologue Part 1

• The play begins with an attorney bribing a sergeant of the law.

• The sergeant says the play will take place in the court of public opinion.

• The worst crime the author can be blamed for is trying to make the audience laugh.

• Sheridan immediately sets up a humorous tone for his play.

• Sheridan shows he is ready and willing to make fun of himself and his peers.

Prologue Part 2

• Julia discusses the differences between comedy and tragedy.

• She asks whether or not a comedy can reach people and also make them laugh.

• The prologue was added after the show's tenth night.

• Sheridan insists that not all plays have to have moral weight.

• This was during a time when the comedy of manners was not popular.

Act 1, Scene 1

• Thomas, the coachman and Fag, a footman unexpectedly meet in Bath.

• Fag works for Captain Absolute while Thomas works...

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