“So do in the light” of Congreve in brief

“So do in the world” – the last of four comedies, written by William Kongrig, the most famous of the galaxy of English playwrights of the Restoration. And though his other play, “Love for Love,” written five years earlier, was incomparably more famous, as well as a much greater stage success and a more rich stage story, it was “So do in the light” that seems to be the most perfect of Congreve’s heritage. Not only in its title, but in the play itself, in its characters there is that universality, that non-attachment by the time of its creation, to the specific circumstances of London’s life at the end of the 17th century. , which gives this play a character of genuine classics.

It is this feature that naturally causes the most unexpected parallels and associations in reading the play of Congreve. The play “So act in the light” is first and foremost a “comedy of morals”, the mores of a secular society,

known to Kongriv not by hearsay. He himself was also a very secular person, l hote du monde, moreover, one of the most influential members of the “Kit-Kzt” club, where the most brilliant and most famous people of that time gathered: politicians, writers, philosophers. However, they did not become the heroes of the last comedy of Congreve, in all of them Kontriv brought on the scene gentlemen and ladies – regulars of secular salons, dandies and wicked gossips who, at the moment of weaving intrigue, could laugh at someone’s sincere feeling or dishonor the eyes of the “light” of those whose success, or talent, go beauty out of the general mass, becoming the object of envy and jealousy. All this will develop exactly seventy-seven years later, Richard Sheridan in the now classic “Slander School”, and two centuries later – Oscar Wilde in his “immoral morality”: “The Lady of Windermere Fan”, “The Ideal Husband” and others. And the “Russian version” for all its “Russian specifics” – the immortal “Woe from
Wit” – will suddenly turn out to be “obliged” to Kongriv. However – Congriva? Simply the whole point is that “this is done in the light,” and that’s it. Do – regardless of the time and place of action, from the development of a particular story. “Are you light condemned?” But what is light? / A crowd of people, then evil, then supportive, / Collection of praises undeserved / And so many mocking slander, “- wrote the seventeen-year-old Lermontov in the poem of the memory of his father.” And the characteristic given in the Masquerade, written by the same Lermontov four years later, Prince Zvezdich Baroness Shtral: “You! impersonal, immoral, ungodly, / Proud, evil, but weak man; / In you alone, the whole age has reflected, / The present age, brilliant, but insignificant, “and the whole intrigue, woven around Arbenin and Nina,” innocent joke “, turning into tragedy – all this also quite suits the formula” so act in the light ” And the calumniated Chatsky-what if not the victim of “light”? And not without reason, having adopted quite favorably the first of Comriev’s comedies appeared on the stage, the attitude towards the subsequent, as they appear, became more and more hostile, criticism – more and more sarcastic. In “Dedication” to “So act in the light,” Contriev wrote: “This play was a success for the spectators in spite of my expectations, for it was only to a small extent appointed to satisfy the tastes, which, judging by all, prevail now in the hall.” But the judgment, pronounced by John Dryden, the playwright of the elder in comparison with the Congrève generation, warmly related to the fellow in the shop: “The ladies believe that the playwright pictured them as whores, the gentlemen are offended at him for showing all their vices, their meanness: under the cover of friendship they seduce the wives of their friends… “The speech in the letter is about the play” Double play “, but in this case it is, by God, unimportant. The same words could be said about any other comedy by W. Kongrig.

In the comedy of Congreve, there are not so many actors. Mirabell and Mrs. Millance are our heroes; Mr. and Mrs. Feinell; Whitwood and Petyulent are secular cunts and witticisms; Lady Wishforth – Mrs. Feinell’s mother; Mrs. Marwood is the main “spring of intrigue,” in some ways the prototype of the Wilde Mrs. Cheveley of the “Ideal Husband”; maid Lady Wishforte Foyble and valet Mirabella Waytwell – they also have to play an important role in action; the half-brother of Whitwood, Sir Wilfoot is an uncouth provincial with monstrous manners, which, however, makes his significant contribution to the final “happy end”. To retell a comedy, the plot of which abounds with the most unexpected turns and moves, is obviously ungrateful, therefore we will outline only the main lines.

Mirabell, a windbreaker known to the whole of London and an irresistible ladies’ man, who has a stunning success in women’s society, managed to turn his head like the elderly Lady Wishforth, and the insidious Mrs. Marwood. Now he is passionately in love with the beautiful Millend, who clearly reciprocates with him. But the above-mentioned ladies, rejected by Mirabell, are doing everything possible to prevent his happiness with a successful rival. Mirabell very much resembles Lord Goring of the “Ideal Husband”: by nature, a man of the highest order, who has quite clear ideas about morality and morality, he nevertheless strives in secular conversation with cynicism and wit not to fall behind the general tone and very much succeeds in this, because its witticisms and paradoxes are not as an example brighter, more spectacular and paradoxical, rather than the heavy-handed attempts of the inseparable Whitwood and Petülent, representing a comic couple, like Gogol’s Dobchinsky and Bobchinsky. Petyulent, however, differs from his friend in his penchant for spiteful gossip, and here comes the help that comes out in Zoryatsky’s “Woe from Wit”: “He is a man of the world, / A notorious swindler, a rogue…”

The beginning of the play is a never-ending cascade of witticisms, jokes, puns, and everyone strives to “recite” the other. However, in this “salon conversation”, under the guise of smiling friendliness, unconcealed mucks speak in the face, and behind them – behind-the-scenes intrigues, ill-will, anger…

Millameng – a real heroine: intelligent, refined, one hundred heads above the rest, captivating and willful. There is something in it from Shakespeare’s Katarina, and from Moliere’s Selimena from Misanthrope: she finds particular pleasure in tormenting Mirabella, constantly jesting and ridiculing him and, I must say, doing it very successfully. And when he tries to be sincere and serious with her, taking off the clown mask for a moment, the Millament becomes frankly boring. She agrees in everything with him, but to teach her, read her morals – no, your will, dismiss!

However, to achieve its goal, Mirabell starts a very intriguing intrigue, the “executors” of which are servants: Foyble and Waitwell. But his plan, with all its ingenuity and ingenuity, stumbles upon the resistance of Mr. Feynedle, which, unlike our hero, though he is a modest person, but in reality is an embodiment of insidiousness and shamelessness, and insidiousness engendered entirely by terrestrial causes-greed and greed. Lady Wishforth is involved in the intrigue too, this is where the author takes her soul, giving vent to her sarcasm: in the description blinded by the certainty of her irresistibility of an elderly coquette, blinded to such a degree that her female vanity outweighs all the arguments of the mind, preventing her from seeing quite obvious and unaided eyes cheating.

Generally, putting a number of noble ladies and their maids, the playwright makes it clear that, in terms of morality, the morals of both of them are the same – to be precise, the maids try not to lag behind their mistresses in anything.

The central point of the play is the scene of the explanation of Mirabella and Millanment. In the “conditions” that they put forward before marriage, with every inherent desire to preserve their independence, in one they are surprisingly similar: in the reluctance to look like the many married couples that their friends are: they looked at this ” family happiness “and for themselves they want something completely different.

A cunning plot Mirabella suffers a fiasco next to the cunning of his “friend” Feynella. However, virtue in the finals triumphs, vice defeated. Some heaviness of this “happy ending” is obvious – as well as any other, however, for almost any “happy ending” slightly gives a fairy tale, always more or less, but diverging from the logic of reality.

The result is summed up all the words that Mirabell says: “This is the lesson to those people who are foolish, / That marriage is defile with deception of mutuality: / Let both sides observe the honesty, / Or the double-cheat is found on the rogue.”

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“So do in the light” of Congreve in brief