The Rivals Essay

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Hamilton is an English teacher at Cary Academy, an innovative private college preparatory school in Cary, North Carolina. In this essay, Hamilton examines the construction of ethos as a central theme of the play and as a key issue in eighteenth-century British society.

In 1780, Richard Brinsley Sheridan's father, Thomas Sheridan, saw his much-awaited pronouncing dictionary, ten years in the making, come to print. The idea had come from Thomas Sheridan's godfather, the satirist Jonathan Swift, who had dreamt of a British counterpart to the language standards of the French Academy. After Swift died, Thomas took on the task. As Swift had anticipated, this work found an immediate audience, and ran to eleven printings in its first year. Buyers wanted a reliable pronunciation guide that would help them move into a higher social class, by adopting an ethos of intellectual prowess. Ethos is the Greek term for "character."

Aristotle...

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This section contains 2,150 words
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Buy The Rivals Study Guide
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