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MonkeyNotes-The Way of the World by William Congreve
Key Literary Elements

Setting

The Way of the World reflects Congreve’s special view of the
"the world" of Restoration society. Congreve follows the
practice of the earlier Restoration dramatists by setting Act I in
a public place, a fashionable chocolate-house where Mirabell
and Fainall are engaged in a game of cards. Act II is set in St.
James’ Park, which is again a fashionable outdoor location of
the kind frequently used by the earlier dramatists. The
remaining three acts are confined to a room in Lady Wishfort’s
house, which results in the creation of a sort of domestic
atmosphere. The urban setting of the play is very important. For
Congreve, "the world" means the polite eighteenth-century
society of the city with its artificiality, rigidity, and formality.
This limited setting serves to provide a flat background against
which the complex plot with its innumerable twists and turns is
acted out.

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MonkeyNotes-The Way of the World by William Congreve
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