Sir George Etherege’s The Man of Mode: Essentials of the Beau Monde in Critical Perspective

Abstract

This study is designed to illuminate the unique insight of Etherege as illustrated in his comedy The Man of Mode, or Sir Fopling Flutter. The insight given is not only appealing to its audience but also inclusive. It is meant both to amuse at the same time to educate. It exposes and mocks the foibles of so as to possibly improving them. The play hosts all social strata and mainly focuses on the hilarious essentials of the Beau Monde society in London. Their humors, ethos and trends are carefully contrived and flippantly introduced to give a vivid portrait of a morally loose society known for its artificiality and failings. Among the chief essentials, the play reveals and mocks, are the importance of wit and good breeding, reputation and honor, dissembling, love of gossip, the importance of beauty and clothes, the libertine attitude toward love and marriage, affectation and foppery, masks and masquerades, and the vanity of the elite and their disdain to lower classes. All these attributes are skillfully contrived in one smart lump, to yield an everlasting comedy able to please and perhaps awaken audiences despite time.

Keywords: Etherege, comedy of manners., man of mode, restoration society, the beau monde

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 31-46 (Download PDF)

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