She Stoops to Conquer Suggested Essays

1898 Words Feb 28th, 2013 8 Pages
Explain the meaning and significance of the title She Stoops to Conquer.
Even without reading the play, the irony of the title is obvious, since the "she" in question is lowering herself in order to prove herself superior. In context of the play, the title could be argued to refer both to Kate's plan to trap Marlow and to Goldsmith's purpose of using “low comedy” to convince his audience to embrace it. The former is a good description of the irony of Kate's plan: in order to convince herself she is a worthy match for Marlow, she has to first convince him she is of a low class. However, the title also describes Goldsmith's purpose: he wishes to convince an audience to embrace this “low” or “laughing” comedy, and by indulging in it, he might
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Part of the lesson Kate teaches him is that the substance of a person is what matters, and not the way one gauges her behavior as high or low class.

How does the device of dramatic irony facilitate the play's major themes and comedy?
The play is a masterpiece of dramatic irony, which is a device where the audience has information and knowledge that the characters do not. From the moment Tony plays the practical joke on Marlow and Hastings, the audience learns secrets that will grow more complicated and hence create confusion that leads to hilarious situations. The best example is perhaps the way Marlow and Hastings treat Hardcastle, because they think him a landlord. Because we understand the details of the confusions, we understand the jokes whereas the characters only grow more offended. However, the behavior wrought by the dramatic irony reveals much of Goldsmith's view on humanity and class. The same example listed above is funny, but also shows the cruelty that comes from a rich man's entitlement. Throughout the play, much of the class commentary derives from the behaviors people show when they don’t' realize they are being judged. Kate exploits this to try and find out what kind of person Marlow actually is.

In what ways are the characters of the play comic archetypes? How does Goldsmith deepen these stock characters?
At the beginning of the play, it seems as though all the characters fall into
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