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ACampolattano - Millamant's conditions
[author: Alex Campolattano - postdate: 2008-04-19]

1)Do you think marriage can limi one's personal freedom?

No, I don't think so.

2)What does Millamant want from mariage?What doesn't she want?Say whether the following are true (T) or false (F) and corrext thefalse statementsMillamant wants:

a.to get up late whenever she fells like. True
b.to be called names. False. Correct sentence:Not to be called names
c.to be seen with her husband in fashionable places. False. Correct sentence:Not to be seen with her husband in fashionable places.
d.to mutually respect each other as strangers or as an old married couple would. False. Correct sentence:Not to mutually respect each other as strangers or as an old married couple would.
e.to be free to choose her own friends. True
f.to let her husband enter her private quarters whenever he likes. False. Correct sentence:Not to let her husband enter her private quarters whenever he likes.

3) Re-read the passage and find examples of the following:

c.words of Latin origin


a.In my opinion Millamant personify in her choice of lifestyle,in others words she recognize herself in the conditions she is imposing to Mirabell.
b.First of all the reader shuold know the  meaning of the word "epigram",it is a short sentence that expresses an idea in a clever or amusing way.So i think the epigram is present in the extract in th second line of the dialogue when Mirabell answers to Millamant in a way that, in my opinion, makes the reader laugh.The epigram also expresses the sexual nature of the man.
c.There are not too many words of Latin origin.The first I found is "adieu" , that is a french word which derives fron Latin "adeo",which means to go away.Another word is "subscribed" which derives from the the Latin verb "subscribo" which means to write below.
d.First of all the reader shuold know the  meaning of the word "repartee",it is a conversation which is fast and full of intelligent and amusing remarks and replies:witty repartee.The only repartee I found in the extract is the cue of "Mirabell:Names!",this is an amusing cue because Mirabell recalls with the eco-effect the last word that Millamant said: "names".In  the text is not very amusing but you have to consider that the aim of the text is the one to be represented on the scene.

4)Cosider Millamant's character: What's she like?Choose from the following:

a.sophisticated: Yes
b.intelligent: Yes
c.dull (tarda): No
d.witty (spiritosa): No
e.naive (ingenua): No
f.wise (saggia): Yes

5)In Congreve's time (and for a long time after),women were expected to submit to their parents' or their husbands' authority.Do you think Millamant conforms to the idea og the time?Why or why not?
I think Millamant is exactly the opposite figure of the woman in  Congreve's time. In my opinion in the episode the situation is overturned,as a matter of fact seems that the figure of the man,in this case Mirabell, is submitted to the authority of the woman. This is very important in my opinion because it reveals the satirical vision of Congreve.

6)Notwithstanding (nondimeno),Millamant accepts the institution of marriage.How does she manage to protect her rights to privacy and indipendence?Which of the following statements is correct?

a. Her acceptance of marriage is based on a mutual agreement. Yes
b.she trusts Mirabell's good nature completely. No
c.she thinks love is incompatible with common sense. No

7)Are you able to explain the meaning of the comedy's title and how it is connected to the passage you have read?

The tile is "Millamant's conditions", and it is a perfect title for the passage I've just read. As a matter of fact in the text is theoman Millamant to imposo the conditions for the marriage,that must to be respected by Mirabell in order to get on well each others, and so the marriage will happily go on.

8) Imagine you were to prepare a TV talk with experts on REstoration comedy.Here is a suggested list of topics:

a.the context
b.the new theatre:stage,actress,French influence;
c.the style and themes of restoration comedy
d.What The Way of the World is about
e.how restoration comedy differs from Elizabethan comedy
f.intersting aspects of Congreve's life:his political ideas and how they influenced his work.

Stundents should gather information from the Resource Book as well.


The Comedy of manners were plays generally played during the Restoration age with the return in England of the king Charles II from the court of Louis XIV the king of France,here the reason why the plays were influenced by french culture."Comedy of Manners" were based on a satirical obseravtion of the behaviour (=manners) of the upper classes.The plays dealt with the amorous conflicts of men and women and humorosly exposed the licentioness,hipocrisy,doubledealing and moral weaknesses of the aristocracy and the new bourgeoisie in matters of love and marriage. So the aim of the plays was the one to encourage rationality in social behaviour by exposing irrational behaviour rather than a focus on moral values . The most striking features of the character's language were:wit,word-play,epigram,use of words of Latin origin and repartee.The plays were written in prose. English theatres were officially closed when Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans institued a rebublic with the name of
"Commonwealth".When Charles II restored the English throne and one of his first actions was to re-open the theatres in order to satisfy his love for theatres. But Restoration plahouses were a quite different from the Elizabethan one.It was an indoor (al coperto) theatre lit with candles.Painted scenery at the back of the stage,actors played in fron of the audience.All social classes went to the theatre bu sat in different areas.
Technically, the Restoration period ended with the death of Charles II, but theatre historians usually extend the period to about 1700.The Way of the World is a play written by William Congreve.In this work two lovers Millamant and Mirabell and wish to marry. Mirabell was courting Millamnt' aunt to hide his love for her niece,but Mrs Marwood rejected by Millamant reacts by telling Lady Wishfort (Millamant's aunt) about Millamant and Mirabell relationship,so Lady Wishfort forbids the marriage. But the two lovers got marry,so Millamant loses her inheritance (eredità),but in the end Mirabell wins Lady Wishfort'favour and her permission to marry Millamant.
The play conveys the values of a new age,which saw also a marriage based on contracts,you can understand the reason of a contractual vision,considering tha Congreve was a Whigh (in the parliament they represented puritans), so he (Congreve) is able to understant the importance of wealth.