The Rivals Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How does the play begin?

The play opens with a sergeant of the law being bribed by a lawyer. The sergeant was not going to help the lawyer until money magically appears in front of his face.

2. How does Sheridan immediately begin his story?

Sheridan's play immediately takes on a humorously light tone. This tone carries on throughout the rest of the play.

3. What type of play is Sheridan weaving?

Sheridan is weaving a Comedy of Manners. He wants to show that comedies are just as important as dramatic plays. To him, comedies ask the audience for sincerity and laughs.

4. Did Sheridan ever rewrite the script? If so, why did he rewrite the script?

Yes, because the original was too long and cumbersome.

5. Who presents the prologue of the play to the audience?

Julia, Sir Anthony's ward, delivers the prologue to the audience.

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