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The Rivals

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  1,074 ratings  ·  36 reviews
This volume includes a critical introduction, biography of the author, discussions of dates and sources, textual details, a bibliography and information about the staging of the play.
ebook, 0 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by ReadHowYouWant (first published 1775)
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I think it was this reading of The Rivals at age seventeen that disabused me of the notion that people several centuries back were not as fond of being entertained as we are today. Prior to that, I think I had lumped all things from earlier times into some great, depressing lump, sure that since our predecessors lacked modern conveniences that they must have found life a dreary affair indeed.

Sheridan's sparkling wit and exuberant language made short work of that notion. I've also retained a lif
"He is the very Pineapple of Politeness!"
Clever. Funny. It's been too long since I've read satire. I enjoyed this one immensely.
Lydia Languish, a Romantically minded heiress, is in love with Ensign Beverly, who actually doesn't exist. Beverly is the persona chosen by Captain Jack Absolute (yes, the name is dreamy, and he carries a sword and everything) to court Miss Languish. He wants to test her love. Will she give up her fortune to marry him?
The plan goes sideways when Absolute's father arri
The Rivals was a surprisingly difficult play to read. I think it might be Sheridan's use of language that has me checking and rechecking myself, but I can't say that that is a bad thing in this case. This comedy deals with a man who is courting a woman under a false guise; his father arranges a marriage for him, but with the exact same girl, but only under his real name, not the guise. Confusion and hilarity ensues!

Maybe this play is just a little dated in a way, but is that really bad? I don't
Dec 12, 2012 Bt rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: If you like light romantic comedies and/or Restoration (1700s) theater
Recommended to Bt by: Actor's Studio II (12th grade class)
Ok, ok, I admit it. I'm cheating. I didn't actually read this book; I watched a movie of it (this one: But if listening to the audiobook would count for reviewing it, why wouldn't watching it?

So, here's my review:

I loved this play! I read or watched quite a few for a theater class this year, and I think this was my favorite. It's funny, and the humor's not too dated either; I think many modern theater-goers would get a good laugh.

The female lead, Lydia
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in June 1999.

Sheridan's play is a classic of English language theatre, and the characters have even entered the language (malapropism is derived from Mrs Malaprop, continually trying to impress with long words but using the wrong ones). It is, in form, a parody of a conventional romance, having two pairs of young lovers rather different from the norm.

To take the less important pair first, Faulkland is an exaggeration of the sensitive, jealous lover. His girl,
Jonathan Dauermann
For a play written almost 200 years after Shakespeare's comedies, it's telling that this play feels much more dated. A marriage comedy that requires multiple characters to take the most convoluted, illogical paths to getting what they want, the plot's contrivances grow tiring after the first two acts. However, this is a distressingly common sin in most romantic comedies through history, where a playwright can seemingly only offer comic situations that arise out of a steadfast refusal on the part ...more
Loren Harway
Nov 07, 2007 Loren Harway rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 17th C. enthusiasts
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sheridan's plays use conventions of the melodrama to move his plots along, and I can't help but be entertained by them all. The entanglements of Lydia Languish and Capt. Jack Absolute, as well as the other supporting cast of ridiculous characters, play on language, mistaken/hidden identity, and miscarried letters only to peak with a climactic series of duel challenges (one of them leveled at a fictionalized suitor).

I still am chewing on this one, since there is a VERY stage Irishman in this play
he Rivals is Sheridan's first play. It is a comedic play set in 18th century Bath and was written in 1877 . I enjoyed reading this novel but i do not see the need to ever read it again.

It pokes fun at romance ideals through the portrayal of Lydia and Jack's love affair and is also satirical with the observations made about the people at Bath (and their irrational love for violence). The character i liked the most is Mrs Malaprop; she is a pompous upper class woman who makes many mistakes in her
A good comedy that is a classic of sorts (for instance, being the source of the word "malapropism") and while it's fine to read, it is much easier to understand and enjoy if seen performed (as soon s I finished I found a version I could watch online, and it's in the stage performance that the comedy really comes alive).
The Rivals is one of the best plays I know for pure enjoyment: no moralising, no convoluted plot, no tragedy, no obscure allegories or metaphors. Richard Brinsley Sheridan ran against the tide of dour Puritans in the 18th century to produce this popular comedy.

I saw a wonderful performance some time ago. When I read the play, I try to recreate that performance in my head. If I had never seen The Rivals acted professionally, I have no reason to think that my reading would have been any better tha
Ellie Lloyd
For a compulsory school play I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It brightened my day with the ridiculousness of the comedy. Love for Faulkland also!!
Laurence Li
rich people bitching--in a very (cerebrally) humorous way!
Alaina Sloo
A very funny 18th-century farce, whose characters include Mrs. Malaprop, a woman who misuses big words to hilarious effect and was subsequently the source of the term malapropism. I read the play, but I also listened to it being performed in a very good Los Angeles Theatreworks app.
Matthew Richards
This play felt really dated, through no fault of Sheridan. I was bored through most of it. Mrs. Malaprop is incredibly funny though, so I'll give it 3 stars.
William Axtell
In all honesty I feel that this is a massively over-rated play. I read it and I found the humour rather repetative and tiresome, the plot average and some of the characters difficult to like. On the other hand, Sheridan manages his themes well and in the context of the time I can see that this was an important work, in that it helped point out that comic theatre at the time was getting increasingly ridiculous.
Richard Sheridan's first play is a love comedy set in Bath, England, during the 1700s. Ringed with hypocrisy and decadence, it portrays the shallowness of life among the aristocracy of his day. It was written as a spoof. It is out-of-century for me. I did not connect with it and found it rather boring. If was popular for the day, however, and is said to be a favorite play of George Washington.
One of the few plays I know of that is as good to read as it is to see performed (the other that comes to mind is Wilde's The Importance of Being Ernest) Sheridan is witty, and some, if not all, of the jokes, especially the running gag of Mrs. Malaprop, are almost better grasped when read.
Jake B
A humourous play, enjoyed it more than I thought I would. More appreciated when performed than read though, like most plays. Very interesting and enlightening ponderings of love, especially through the character of Faulkland and his relationship with Julia.
Was a decent book, but kind of long. The play was substantially better than the book because there you could really see the comedy in a way you just can't when reading. Mrs. Malaprop was by far my favorite, and Lucy really got under my skin sometimes.
Mar 06, 2014 ☯Bettie☯ marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Anna Matsuyama
Anna said: "The play mentioned in Wilkie's No name. I did enjoy it and it is available on librivox :) ”
An old British play which introduces us to a great character, Mrs. Malaprop. Sheridan is a master at language and wordplay. This could have been a screwball comedy from the 30's or 40's/
I loved this classic, the sarcasm and irony. If you like at all Shakespeare or The Importance Of Being Earnest you should read this book, it's funny, very amusing.
Better than "the school for scandal," in my opinion. Still, just another restoration comedy piece. But a pretty good one anyways.
Actual rating: 3.5 stars. I think the play's better performed instead of read, but it's still an enjoyable story.
Um I'm not entirely sure what this was about. I paid attention but its just kind of dull.
David Grimaud
Great play! Listen to a good audio. Find out where "malapropism" comes from.
Ann Canann
1775 Also found in "Eighteenth-Century Plays" paperback by Ricardo Quintana
Rivals (New Mermaid Series) by Richard Sheridan (1980)
Sehr kurzweilig. Auf der Bühne sicher äußerst amüsant.
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Richard Brinsley Sheridan was an Irish-born playwright and poet and long-term owner of the London Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. For thirty-two years he was also a Whig Member of the British House of Commons for Stafford (1780–1806), Westminster (1806–1807) and Ilchester (1807–1812). Such was the esteem he was held in by his contemporaries when he died that he was buried at Poets' Corner in Westminste ...more
More about Richard Brinsley Sheridan...
The School for Scandal The School for Scandal and Other Plays The Critic She Stoops to Conquer/School for Scandal The School for Scandal and the Rivals

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“Had I a thousand daughters, by Heaven! I'd as soon have them taught the black art as their alphabet!” 2 likes
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