In this essay we will be discussing Lady Windermere's Fan as a Comedy of manners and how it fulfils the requirements for this genre. We will also look at what comic relief is provided by the Duchess of Berwick and her daughter.
Definition of a Comedy:
The term comedy defines a literary (play, novel, film,...) work which provides laughter and entertainment. Comedy usually entertain through “criticism and ridicule of man's customs and institutions”.
Comedy's in the Middle Ages was associated with jargon language, despite any complications or confrontations which occur during the literary work, the story will always end happily.
Different types of Comedies:
Comedy of humours: ...view middle of the document...
We are already introduced to the dandy of the play Lord Darlington, who provides laughter, along with The Duchess of Bewick and her daughter. Oscar Wilde concentrated on the portrayal of how The Duchess of Bewick controls her daughter, The Duchess also shares gossip about her husband's peculiar relationship with a woman of ill-reputation, Mrs Erlynne. Mrs. Erlynne is really her runaway mother who for 20 years has been presumed to be dead.
Lady Windermere shows jealousy over Mrs Erlynne. Lady Windermere is unaware that
Her husband, to her consternation, insists that she extend an invitation to one Mrs Erlynne. Lady Windermere refuses to reach out to her. Lord Windermere protests and invites Mrs Erlynne anyway.
Thus the opening pages elaborates an imaginable situation, treats of social weaknesses and artificialities, which are stimulated by the recurring witty lines, all of these are the qualities of the genre “comedy of manners”
Description of the four sections of the comedy Lady Windermere's Fan:
The exposition takes place in Lady Windermere's home in London and sets the scene in terms of the society we are being exposed to and the attitude and personalities of the characters in the play. All major characters are exposed in this scene. One of the themes or motifs which run throughout the exposition is the threat posed by Mrs, Erlynne to the apparent harmony of the Windermere’s marriage and to the general harmony of society er have been introduced to.
The complication occurs in Act 2, when Mrs. Erlynne arrives to the birthday ball. The complication comes to a head when Lady Windermere decides to run away with Lord Darlington. At the end of the Act Mrs. Erlynne reveals herself as Lady Windermere's mother, through the soliloquy towards the end of the act.
The crisis takes place in Lord Darlington rooms. Lady Windermere goes there after the ball since...