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She Stoops to Conquer

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  8,991 ratings  ·  242 reviews
MISS HARDCASTLE. (Alone). Lud, this news of papa's puts me all in a flutter. Young, handsome: these he put last; but I put them foremost. Sensible, good-natured; I like all that. But then reserved and sheepish; that's much against him. Yet can't he be cured of his timidity, by being taught to be proud of his wife? Yes, and can't I--But I vow I'm disposing of the husband be ...more
Paperback, 84 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1773)
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3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,991 ratings  ·  242 reviews


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Zak Al.
Dec 17, 2014 rated it liked it
أعـتـرف أنّ أكـثـر الأشـيـاء بـهـجـة -بـالـنـسـبـة لي- بـعـد مـتـعـة مـطـالـعـة الـكـتـب، هـي مـشـاهـدة فـيـلـم سـيـنـمـائي أو تـجـسـيـد مـسـرحي لـ روايـة أنـهـيـت قـراءتـهـا. مـؤخـرًا كـان الـرّب كـريـمًـا مـعي، إذ هـيّـأ لي مـقـعـدًا أمـامـيًـا في إحـدى دور الـعـرض، شـاهـدت فـيـهـا تـمـثـيـلا رائـعـًا لـلـقـصّـة الإنـجـلـيـزيّـة "تـمسكـنـتْ حـتى تـمـكّـنـت". الـنّـص خـفـيـف، مُـضـحـك، زاده الـعـرض الـمـسـرحي طـرافـة.
David Sarkies
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: comedy
A Question of Class
24 July 2017

What is it with romantic comedies? I grab a book from a second hand bookshop containing some comedies from times past, and of the fours, plays three of them are romantic comedies. Okay, the other compilation of comedies that I had was a little better, but with regards to this collection I’m sort of a little disappointed that the only comedy that I can appreciate (namely isn’t some comedy of errors surrounding mistaken identities between lovers) is a play by Ben Jo
...more
Abby
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People afraid of heavy reading, but in need of some good old fashioned humour.
This play is really unique because even though it uses 18th century language, it's pretty easy to understand, and really funny! I didn't think I'd actually laugh out loud, but I did! Some parts needed reading twice to understand, but that was fine. A very enjoyable read!
Leslie
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I still think that this play needs to be seen to fully appreciate it but I liked this audiobook recording of a live performance. It was easier to listen to this time (I have had more practice!) and thus I found it even funnier than when I heard it a few years ago.
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May 2014 review
4.5 stars. This full cast audiobook was a fun way to revisit one of my favorite Restoration comedies. However, I did find that some of the humor was a bit harder to visualize listening rather than r
...more
Lucy Banks
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Re-reading for a bit of fun - still amusing!

Considering this was written in the late 1700s, it feels remarkably fresh and very accessible, and some of the jokes are even funny by today's standards, which is an impressive thing for Goldsmith to have pulled off!

It's classic Restoration fare - bawdy humour, plenty of misunderstanding and miscommunication, and a happy resolution at the end. The characters are particularly 'larger-than-life' which helps keep the attention; think typically Shakespeare
...more
Amy
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, classics
Surprisingly funny and readable for something written in the 1700s! It relies on larger than life characters and ridiculous misunderstandings all carried off with zeal and bawdy humor. I want to see it performed!

(I'm currently toiling through Samuel Richardson's Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded, and while that book precedes this play by a good 30 years, I do believe She Stoops to Conqueror might have re-reconciled me to eighteenth century literature. At least until I pick up Pamela again.)
David
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As subtle as a thunderclap and as realistic as wax lips, this is still mighty witty 245 years after its first production. I am looking forward to seeing it on the stage.
Ana
This was a funny play about mistaken identities which I picked up because of the title. 'Stoops to conquer' is a phrase that was made popular by Aphra Behn in the mid 17th century in her play The Rover, referring to a person of the upper class pretending to be a maid/servant in order to gain the affections of their intended.
sologdin
The introduction notes that this text is part of a debate between comedians on the nature and purpose of the thalian arts. The classical theory, “which Ben Jonson had handed on to the Restoration playwrights,” contended that “the purpose of comedy was to expose, by hardheaded, satirical ridicule, the follies and vices” (vii) of fictional persons so as to correct those defects in the Real. We might think of it as a Hegelian theory of comedy, defined by the confrontation of Right with Wrong (as op ...more
Lauren
Sep 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
It’s rare that I get to review a play after both reading and seeing it in a short period of time (although I've now had the chance to do that twice within a month).

Admittedly, I’m predisposed to like She Stoops to Conquer. I like Oliver Goldsmith and consider The Vicar of Wakefield tremendously underrated. I held off reading She Stoops to Conquer simply because Mr. Goldsmith doesn’t have an extensive bibliography, and I want to savor his works.

She Stoops to Conquer was worth the wait as both a p
...more
Alice
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to an audio performance of this play, knowing very little about it or the author going in. It was a pleasant surprise. She Stoops to Conquer has aged well, and, I feel, should be studied alongside Austen.

The play predates Austen by about 30 years, but it fills in a lot of the gaps in Austen's work. She rarely acknowledges servants or employees of any kind, while this play highlights, if not the people themselves, how the gentry treated them.

Marlow is a painfully shy young man, off to
...more
Alyssa Nelson
I went into this book with very little expectation. I mean, it's a supposed classic that I've never heard of, and drama isn't my particular favorite. However, it was a free audiobook download from Sync this summer, and it was the recording of a theater production that included James Marsters (eek!). It's also only a couple of hours long (not a huge commitment at all), so I decided to give it a go.

Um, why haven't I heard of this play before? Because it's hilarious! 20 minutes in, I was laughing n
...more
Sarah
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-lit, plays
MISS HARDCASTLE: I never knew half his merits till now. He shall not go, if I have power or art to detain him. I'll still preserve the character in which I stooped to conquer, but will undeceive my papa, who, perhaps, may laugh him out of his resolution.
-Act IV

I have to be honest: I have been meaning to read She Stoops to Conquer for quite a long time, but just never got around to it until recently. Plays are in high favor for me because of their tendency to be easy to read in one long sitting,
...more
Hager
Dec 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
choose between putting your fiance in a challenege and test to see whether or not they do believe in true love of feelings and not that of emotions and find out for yourself whether or not they deserve your true love and decency or not.
is it true that a woman could win the heart of any man she wishes in such as stooping to conquer method?and what about what seems to be a saloon marriage which ends up in a modernly fashionable way of getting around fate to win more love and respect for wittiness
...more
Maan Kawas
Oct 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
A beautiful and light play by Oliver Goldsmith, which is filled with misunderstanding, practical jokes, and deceit! The play addresses various themes and ideas, such as class (the characters’ behaviors and actions are changeable according to the social status of the other person), the importance of money and property (e.g. the jewels), appearances vs. reality, the importance of keeping one’s appearance, love and courting, wittiness, cheating and tricks as means for achieving one’s goals, and par ...more
Mars
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I had to check the dictionary more often compared to when reading regular books. And sometimes, the dictionary doesn't even contain the words from this 1700's comedy! Other than that, it was pretty funny. I bet that it's more hilarious when performed. (Got to check out if there's some on YouTube.)
J
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
A very fun, very innocent comedy compared to others of the time in which there was a bit darker elements. Sort of more like a Shakespearean comedy of errors, as a prank leads to a series of misundertandings and some fooling around leads to much more trickery.
Bruce
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, arts
Oliver Goldsmith's 18th-century hit comedy of errors remains readable today, because it's timeless and funny. By timeless, I mean that its humor is far more reliant on dramatic irony than recognition of inapropos references to pop culture -- although this edition does an excellent job of annotating the few that appear -- to allow for skillful substitution to more contemporary settings.

A brief example of what I mean, from Act II (ostensibly scene 4, though the action has continued unabated in the
...more
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
If you've never read or seen a comedy of errors or farcical play like those of William Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde, then you might find this more entertaining than I did. Having studied Wilde's slightly more modern The Importance of Being Earnest in great detail as a teenager and later watching An Ideal Husband, you come to realise this genre is little more than a one-trick pony; if you've seen one, you've seen them all. Besides minimal alterations in events, only the cast and the production v ...more
Realini
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith
Funny and entertaining

This was fun.
Not very challenging, but amusement is necessary.
In fact, Barbara Fredrikson, an authority on positivity – has included amusement among the ten elements of positivity.
The other nine are Interest, gratitude, pride, joy, serenity, inspiration, awe, hope and love.
Mr. Hardcastle is a rich man who wants to see his daughter married.
This story takes place more than two hundred years ago, when girls had to marry early, or else
...more
Sylvia
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, play, fiction
A surprisingly funny and readable play with the classic Shakespeare-style mistaken identity twists but without the heavy wordplay. I quite liked it, to my surprise, even though I embarked upon reading it mostly as a sort of compare/contrast with Shakespeare thing.

Goldsmith and Shakespeare weren't contemporaries, the former being born a hundred years after the latter's death, but it seems the plot of comedic plays hadn't evolved too much in the interim. Rhyming prologue, five acts, one romance,
...more
Rebecca
It has been a while since I've sat down and read through a play but I do enjoy reading through plays so I was quite interested in reading She Stoops to Conquer.

The story line of She Stoops to Conquer was quite an interesting story. It’s typical of a romantic comedy although in reading about this play after, I discovered that there is a large debate over which type of comedy this play contains.

I was lucky enough to listen to this through audio but I found an ebook version online to read through a
...more
Lee
Jul 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: play, e-book
A comedy of manners taking place at an English country house, which several of the "guests" have been led to believe is an inn. One of these young men was supposed to go there anyway to meet the landowner's marriageable daughter. His friend wasn't supposed to go there because he was supposed to stay away from the marriageable niece, whose aunt had other plans for her (to marry the aunt's son and thus keep the "jewels" in the family - I'd like to hear Freud's interpretation of that!).

Apparently
...more
American Shakespeare Center
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fall-season-2013
One of the comic jewels of the English theatre, She Stoops to Conquer lampoons the quirks and customs of 18th-century England, from matchmaking and marriage to character and class. Aptly subtitled The Mistakes of a Night, this light-hearted farce turns several imminent romances upside-down through an absurd series of deceptions, disguises, and mistaken identities. It’s a wildly funny romp through the English countryside.

Come see it live onstage at the American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriars Pl
...more
Jessi
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
A short play about courting. Tony Lumpkin doesn't want to marry his cousin, Miss Neville, even though his mother highly encourages the act. His sister (step-sister really) is about to meet the husband picked out for her by her father. Neither lady is very excited about the match. Apparently Miss Hardcastle (his sister) has been told that her husband is "bashful," a thing she cannot abide. And for her part, Miss Neville has a suitor that she is much more interested in.
Both of the suitors are head
...more
Jaima
Mar 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay. If I was writing an encylopaedia (and why not? That sounds like a fascinating thing to do), this would be the definition of farce. It's fast, with entrances and exits, declarations of love, caskets of jewels, innuendos, and pithy wits flying back and forth as fast as the tennis balls at wimbledon. Oh, and in case that can't hold your attention, we've got plenty of mistaken identities thrown in too. It gallops along to a smashing conclusion that's as pat and fun and ridiculous as a falling ...more
Betty
Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Silly, clever little play that I did not expect to like at all and became entranced by it. It is so simple yet there are numerous twists and turns...very delightful and highly amusing. I had never heard of it, yet after reading I had heard it mentioned several times since. I guess I was alone in my ignorance but I'm delighted to have discovered this little gem. Thoroughly delightful!
Nada Sobhi
Dec 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: drama, studied
Not one of the best plays ever, but certainly a fairly good one.
It is also good to know where the quote "Ask me no questions and I'll tell you no tales" came from. Though in "She Stoops to Conquer" the quote was "Ask me no questions, I'll tell no fibs."

I liked the ending. It is fairly comic - not the Egyptian comedy but nonetheless fairly funny.
Jacqueline J
My grandfather gave me an old book of plays when I was a young teenager. This was one of my favorites. It's basically a romantic farce. It has held up pretty well since it was first performed in London in 1773. It is very accessible since I read it at probably 13 years old. So if you're at all interested in seeing what was being performed on stage between Shakespeare and Cats, give it a try.
Nick Thomas
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Don't be entirely seduced by the thigh-slapping period appeal of this magnificent play. At a deeper level Goldsmith is dealing with the eternal tension between sexual appetite and social personality. It is a truly fascinating exploration!
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18th Century Enth...: She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith 1 5 Oct 19, 2012 05:16AM  
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78 followers
The Anglo-Irish poet, dramatist, novelist, and essayist Oliver Goldsmith wrote, translated, or compiled more than 40 volumes. The works for which he is remembered are marked by good sense, moderation, balance, order, and intellectual honesty.
“Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no fibs.” 753 likes
“All is not gold that glitters,
Pleasure seems sweet, but proves a glass of bitters”
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More quotes…