Significance of The Prologue in She Stoops To Conquer

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      The Prologue of She Stoops To Conquer was written by David Garrick and spoken by the comic actor Mr Woodward. In the opening scene Mr Woodward been mourning all the week because the comic Muse was ill and lied on death bed. It was apprehended that if comedy dies sentimental comedy that mawkish and mixed type of drama would reign supreme on the stage. But a ray of hope however streaks from the darkness that shows a bright future. A certain doctor Goldsmith by name has come to cure the comic Muse of her dying sickness prescribing five dose of medicine, that is a comedy written in five acts. And if the audience takes this medicine, the comic Muse would surely be received as the medicine has no poison mixed in it.


      The Prologue of the play gives a gloomy view of the comic stage of the time. Genuine comedy was dying the stage was dominated by sentimental comedy, which was but a pure mockery of comedy. Sentimental comedy deals with cheap and false emotions and morality and seeks to draw tears of the audience rather than excite their laughter. It is of mixed variety neither comedy nor tragedy and is totally sentimental where the actors to put on colourless and expressionless look and assume wooden audience of moralists.

      The Prologue of the play underlines The uncomic character of sentimental comedy and warns that the predominance of this dramatic genre will toll the death knell of comedy. The Prologue also shows how amidst the degeneration of comedy from which everything natural life like and element of laughter was banished.

      Goldsmith's She Stoops To Conquer attempts to revive the true comic spirit, and is just the opposite of the sentimental type which was very popular with the audience of the time. Goldsmith wants them to judge of its dramatic merit and to declare wheather he is a skillful play writer and a mare comedian. The Prologue thus shows the great historical role Oliver Goldsmith plies in reviving genuine comedy and paving the way for the decline of sentimental comedy.

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