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Rivals - Book Report/Review Example

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The play was a success although it was not like any of Johnson's plays and lacked 'high seriousness'. Still, Hazlitt popularly pointed out that on stage it 'has the broadest and most palpable effect'.
"I was informed that Julia would return soon. I wonder what kept her away for so long. My right judgement should definitely hold my unsatisfied and restless temper in abhorrence. Still I am sure I do not indulge in such self-scrutiny in any other matter, other than the one connected to Julia, whom I love more than my own life. In other matters, I do not expect myself to be so unbelievably unreasonable and insanely fretful. I can deal with any other matter with cool reasoning. Nobody could be more aware of it, although it is beyond my power to correct myself. What kind of tender love sparkled in her eyes when we met! How delicately warm and loving her expression was! It ridiculed my gravity with which I had decided to meet her. Sir Anthony's presence bridled my otherwise overflowing enthusiasm. Anyway it was gratifying to know that she was not particularly happy in my absence. Oh, she must be coming. I can recognise that light nimble tread! She knows that her Faulkland counts every moment of her stay."

Faulkland shows all the colours of his character in this passage. I have not done justice to Richard Sheridan and I am sure he would not have been amused with my attempt, being particularly unhappy with any kinds of criticism or 'improvements'. He arrogantly attacks his critics in the preface of second text:

"As for the little puny critics, who scatter their peevish strictures in private circles, and scribble at every author who has the eminence of being unconnected with them, as they are usually spleen-swollen from a vain idea of increasing their consequence, there will always be found a petulance and illiberality in their remarks, which should place them as far beneath the notice of a gentleman, as their original dullness had sunk them from the level of the most unsuccessful author," and that is daunting.

If Sheridan had written in recent languages, perhaps he would have presented the passage as above, although it is difficult to imagine him making such a come-down. Coming back to Faulkner, one of the hilarious and original creations of Sheridan, it is important to note that this passage sums up the flaws and strengths of the character, played to the hilt many times on stage by able Actors to the delight of generations of theatre goers. Faulkner was genuinely in love with Julia and she responded to his ardent love. That was the main strength of his character. But his love for her was so unreal and bookish that he was plagued by doubts and suspicions throughout. There was nothing that Julia could do for him to convince her love as he remains doubtful of that fact. He was plagued by two psychological opposite dimensions - one the Male ego that he is definitely admired, loved and adored by Female members of society, especially by Julia. Another, he was plagued by self-doubts of his own worth and uncertainty about Julia's devotion for him. Faulkner never steps back from his ...Show more


Rivals is a play. a comedy of manners, set in 18th Century Bath and in five acts, was first performed on 17th January 1775 in this fashionable destination of the time, with rich people travelling there for the proverbial healing capability of waters. The cast included romantic Lydia Languish and dashing Captain Absolute, pretending to be poor soldier Ensign Beverley with Sir Anthony and Mrs…
Author : istoltenberg
Rivals essay example
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