The School for Scandal, A Comedy in Five Acts (E-Book)

The School for Scandal, A Comedy in Five Acts (E-Book) - Richard Brinsley Sheridan What a read this turned out to be! Surely the title and genre of plays will give someone a thought as to what it'll be about, but surprise, surprise! It was not only not what I expected, but it was BETTER! Better beyond what I long expected out of this time, having been privy to some of the humorous, scandalous plays and poetic works of the earlier half of the 18th Century. But nay! This play outdoes them all by a score of fields! It is not mere humor at the situation, but it is the total immersion of one's self in this play without ever needing to make an attempt at it. One is drawn in as naturally as though involved in a conversation amongst your closest friends, and though you don't know the topic, you listen willingly and are sucked in before you know it! Ah, but it is not mere humor of the chaotic, gossip-inspired mishaps that makes this play so delightful, but its atmosphere itself is light and airy, and while it boasts the title of "Comedy" it does not marr the reader with bawdiness and ungainly thoughts. Instead, it is purely rambunctious without the villainy of some comedies to make it sour and distinctly dark. In fact, even the wrongdoings come off as light-hearted and not fit to offend--with one exception in particular, but very aptly and expertly placed! But that is a surprise twist (perhaps to some) that will not spoil the play in my review!

Yet while the play carries us fancifully on its eager and boastful waves of hear-say and disguises, with honest men pulling hoods over the eyes of people pulling hoods over -their- eyes! Still the play carries within itself a noble message that makes it all the more virtuous for being set amongst its vividly animated scenes. Here we have the distinction drawn between appearances and the heart, the mere pleasant and kind wishes of people versus the crude but honest actions of others. Without once straying from its humorous tones and swift pace, a crystalline image is cut for us as the readers to discern immediately as soon as it's presented to us in the form of this message, and all the mirth and tittering characters meddling in one another's affairs cannot strike it from our thoughts throughout. Indeed, it is portrayed to us so obviously, that its honest form is carried with us easily throughout the entire play without once floundering, so that when we see -real- baseness, we know it for what it is instantly and are not capable of restraining ourselves (much as I could not) from remarking with disgust upon the atrocity being presenting in a saint's clothing.

This play is quite easily the most delightful comedic stage-works I've ever had the chance to read. It exceeds Shakespeare in its natural flow, its refreshing mix of humor and drama, and its clear, singular message that cannot be found to be anything but authentic and appropriate. It is a piece of work that gives you just as much to come away with whether you've read it, or seen it performed, which is why I highly recommend this to anyone with a penchant for comedy, plays, or anything light-hearted at the moment! It's a wonderful piece to read through for fun, as well as for the laughter. The message too, impresses strongly upon the audience! The characters change and are well-formed, with some at first giving you one impression, but by the end of the play turning about in a complete 180! It's truly a masterful, enjoyable piece, and -such- an easy read. I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't enjoy this. Even I, adverse to gossips and the like with a -great- deal of vehemence, thoroughly enjoyed this work. Really, you've got to try it out. If you don't like it in the beginning, give it at least until halfway through. By then, you can make the call on things. And just between us, if your complaint is with a certain Joseph Surface--trust me, it all pays off by the end of Act Four. But you've got to get that far to get the satisfaction! And at that point, why -wouldn't- you finish off the read?! Go for it! I think you'll really enjoy it. I absolutely did.