Sentimental Comedy

In 18th century Britain a new form of drama emerged – sentimental comedy.

The basic premise of all sentimental comedies was that man was good, but capable of being misled. So plays of this genre had characters that were noble, got into trouble, then found the road to salvation. Strangely, these comedies were more likely to bring an audience to tears than offer them laughter.

Sentimental comedies were considered by many to be realistic depictions of everyday life and this was part of their appeal.

The best example of the genre is Sir Richard Steele’s The Conscious Lovers (1722).

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6 Responses

  1. Horlarmelaykan says:

    I don’t understand this type of comedy.

  2. This article should say either the 18th century or 1700’s, and not 1800’s.

  3. sk mustafa says:

    what is the difference between sentimental comedy and Greek tragedy

  4. anne says:

    no sorry, all theatre students know in Shakespeare’s time it just had to end in a marraige to be considered a comedy- comedy was defined as non tragedy back then.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “Strangely, these comedies were more likely to bring an audience to tears than offer them laughter”

    If so, then why were they regarded to be comedies? Isn’t laughter a necessary end product for a work to qualify as a comedy?

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