The Country Wife

The Role of Humour in The Country Wife 12th Grade

As a Restoration Comedy humour is central to Wycherley's play. Like many other Restoration Comedies The Country Wife is characterised by farcical humour that runs throughout the whole play, generated through wit, sexual innuendo and a great deal of dramatic irony. However, Wycherley's use of humour serves more than simply the creation of entertainment for the audience. Through the use of humour Wycherley addresses some of his key thematic concerns, ultimately providing a damning indictment on the state of this "diseased" Restoration society. The social mores and values of Wycherley's stereotype characters are constantly mocked, thus while Wycherley creates entertainment through this humour he also forced his contemporary audience to evaluate the values that were at the heart of their society.

Wycherley's use of humour as a means of entertaining as well as addressing key thematic concerns can be seen through the character of Pinchwife. This is as through Wycherley creating humour at Pinchwife's expense he is able to put forward the idea that city husband's play a large role in their own cuckolding. This is an idea central to the play, as a key theme of Wycherley's is discussing why marriage as an institution had become so...

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