Oliver goldsmith - she stoops to conquer


Dr. Johnson’s biographer, James Boswell , and many since have depicted Goldsmith as an “inspired idiot”, due to his whimsical sense of humour and his occasional “Irish bulls” ; however, the biting irony in The Vicar of Wakefield (often missed by commentators), the proto-socialism of his great poems, and the satirical, outsider’s view of the English in his plays and The Citizen of the World (in which he pretends to be a Chinese philosopher observing the ways of the “strange” English) reveal him to have been a wise and sharp-eyed socio-political commentator.

Hardcastle enters excitedly, asking for Marlow and offering them "hearty reception." Because of Tony's lie, they believe him to be the innkeeper. To himself, Marlow assumes aloud that the servants had given this man their first names (which he uses, perfectly acceptable for their host but impudent for a landlord). Marlow and Hastings converse with themselves about what clothes they ought to wear, which inspires Hastings to begin telling a story, which they ignore and interrupt, thinking it impudent in a landlord. Finally, Marlow cuts him off and asks for a glass of punch, which Hastings finds not only rude, but distinctly out of character from the modesty he had been led to expect.

All this might seem contrived were it not for the comic ironies and misunderstandings among the characters and the grace and wit with which Goldsmith portrays them. She Stoops to Conquer is very much a group play, as there is no protagonist in the usual sense. Tony provides most of the machinations that propel the plot. Kate brings Marlow to a crucial realization, and he suffers more than anyone from the mistaken identities and false assumptions. However, none of these characters is really central. Instead, together they draw parallels and contrasts between marriages, not only the two that come to pass but also the one of the Hardcastles and, for that matter, the fact of Tony’s opting out of any marriage.


Oliver Goldsmith - She Stoops To ConquerOliver Goldsmith - She Stoops To ConquerOliver Goldsmith - She Stoops To ConquerOliver Goldsmith - She Stoops To Conquer

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