Discuss the Restoration’s sentimental comedy



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

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