The Rivals - Prologue Part 2 Summary & Analysis

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Prologue Part 2 Summary

In this short prologue, the actress who played Julia in the original production discusses the differences between comedy and tragedy. Tragedy, or the Sentimental Muse, would snatch the dagger from the hand of comedy and have all plays end in blood and tears. Can a comedy, she asks, "Charm the fancy and yet reach the heart?"

Prologue Part 2 Analysis

This prologue was added after the show re-opened and had reached its tenth night. For a play to run that long in the English theatre of the day was quite an accomplishment. This is why Sheridan says, "Our suit and trial are over."

Through this prologue, Sheridan defends the Comedy of Manners in general and his play in particular against the idea that a play ought to have some moral weight. When Sheridan wrote "The Rivals," there was great debate about what...

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This section contains 228 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Rivals Study Guide
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The Rivals from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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