Comedy: The Beaux Stratagem by Geoge Farquhar Essay

980 Words 4 Pages
Divorcing the Sullen Squire
The Beaux Stratagem is considered to be the best play written by George Farquhar. Jonne C. Thornton exclaimed, “The Beaux Stratagem is the epitome of Restoration comedy” (4). Unlike its contemporaries, Farquhar uses more theatrical devices, sub-plots, characters, and surprises in the play (Thornton 4). Farquhar has a unique sense of play structure causing a combination of carefree comedy with serious underlying social problems. A social problem that is the main theme in the play is the acceptance of divorce. He is able to write a comical play while also addressing a serious social issue. Farquhar uses his relatable main characters to express his opinions and themes. George Farquhar attempts to reform society in
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Their reasons and answers convince the other characters to follow through with Sullen and Mrs. Sullen’s divorce.
By the end of the play Sullen and Mrs. Sullen agree to separate. The one thing they both can fully agree on is to get a divorce. Sullen claims he will not give Mrs. Sullen her fortune. He plans on keeping her money when they separate. Sullen is tricked because Archer has a hold on Sullen’s important documents including his marriage and estate documents. Sullen is left without Mrs. Sullen’s fortune. Sullen proves he never loved Mrs. Sullen by his adamant efforts of keeping her fortune. Mrs. Sullen gives her husband a chance to prove his love for her. She has trouble to believe his rejection of their marriage. Mrs. Sullen tricked Sullen by flirting with Count Bellair while Sullen was listening. She attempts to make her husband jealous. If Sullen truly has feelings for his wife, then he would have surely put an end to Mrs. Sullen’s exchange with Count Bellair. Instead he admits to Mrs. Sullen, “Look’ee madam, don’t think that my anger proceeds from any concern I have for your honor, but for my own; and if you can contrive any way of being a whore without making me a cuckold, do it and welcome” (3.3.429). Sullen could care less for his wife. He provides Mrs. Sullen with the proof she needs to understand Sullen’s feelings towards her. By being separated, both Sullen and Mrs. Sullen can avoid social embarrassment (Bier 163-165) Once Mrs.

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