The Way of the World - Research Article from World Literature and Its Times

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by William Congreve

Born in 1670 in England but reared and educated in Ireland, William Congreve became a popular figure in the London literary circle of the late 1680s. After publishing a work of prose fiction, Incognita (1692), and several well-received translations of classical poetry, he achieved success on the London stage when his first play, The Old Bachelor, ran for two weeks in the spring of 1693. Congreve wrote another three successful plays before presenting The Way of the World to a lukewarm reception. Though he never wrote another play, he continued to compose literary works: poems, translations of classical works, operatic songs, and journal articles. Throughout his writings, and especially in The Way of the World, Congreve critiqued English society by showing how greed, artificiality, and dishonesty infected social interactions and family life.

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This section contains 6,905 words
(approx. 24 pages at 300 words per page)
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World Literature and Its Times
The Way of the World from World Literature and Its Times. ©2008 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.