Summary This is how things are done in the light
William Congreve Do
It in the Light
“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 although the incomparably greater popularity (both during the life of the author and subsequently), as well as a much greater stage success and a richer scenic story, had another of his plays – “Love for Love”, written five years earlier, namely “So do in light “seems to be the most perfect of Congreve’s entire 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. (one of the numerous fin de siecle, to the surprise of similar in many significant signs,
It is this feature that naturally causes the most unexpected (or, to be more exact, the most unexpected
In the comedy of Congreve, there are not so many actors. Mirabell and Mrs. Millanment (Counterwine calls “Mrs.” all her heroines, equally married ladies and girls) 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 well-known London fanatic and irresistible ladies ‘man of stunning success in ladies’ society, managed to turn his head (even outside the play) as old (fifty-five years!) Lady Wishforth and the insidious Mrs. Marwood. Now he is passionately in love with the beauty Millman, who clearly responds to him in return. But the above-mentioned ladies, rejected by Mirabell, are doing everything possible to prevent his happiness with a successful rival. Mirabell is very reminiscent of Lord Goring of the “Ideal Husband”: by nature, a man of the highest order, with clear ideas of morality and morality, he nonetheless strives in secular conversation with cynicism and wit not to lag behind the general tone (so as not to be seen as boring or ridiculous saints) and is very successful in this, because its witticisms and paradoxes are not more vivid, more spectacular and paradoxical than the rather heavy attempts of the inseparable Whitwood and Petülent, which are a comic couple, like Gogol’s Dobchinsky and Bobchinsky (as Whitwood says, “… we… sound in a chord, as a treble and a bass… We are thrown in words, like two players in a shuttlecock… “). Petyulent, however, differs from his friend in his penchant for malicious gossip, and here comes the help that comes out in Zoryatsky’s “Woe from Wit”: “He’s a man of the world, An outlandish 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.
In general, 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 – more precisely, the maids try not to fall 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.
Mirabella’s cunning plot suffers a fiasco next to the cunning of his “friend” Feynella (“so act in the light” – this is his words, which he explains in cold blood – does not justify, by any means – his actions). 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 end” 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 between the two: Let both parties observe honesty, Or the double-cheat is found on the rogue.”