The English sentimental comedy is a kind of comedy that achieved some popularity with respectable middle-class audiences.
- – It showed virtue rewarded by domestic bliss, in contrast with the comedy of manners
- – Its plots, usually involving unbelievably good middle-class couples, emphasized pathos (=an appeal to the audience’s all kinds of emotions) rather than humour
- – Pioneered by Richard Steele in The Funeral and more fully in The Conscious Lovers
- – It survived into 19th-century melodrama
- – It was opposed by Sheridan and Goldsmith who attempted a partial return to the comedy of manners