This free essay (all of my essays are free! Check to get them) deals with the following querstions:
1. The play as a brilliant specimen of the comedy of manners,
2. Show how Congreve offers a witty, satiric exposition of “the way of the world” of a morally loose and artificial fashionable society,
3. Justify the title of the play.
"It was perhaps sheer pedantic myopia that, when Jeremy Collier published his essay A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage in 1698, he made Congreve a particular target of his criticism. That Collier had a case is undeniable, but he forgot that a true artist does have as sincere obligation to society as a churchman. Had he waited before publishing his essay till the production of The Way of the World (1770), he could have perhaps understood that truth; for, in the play The Way of the World Congreve seems to understand the “immorality and profaneness” of a society, upon the matrices of which Restoration plays were made. He was seriously thinking of an alternative pattern of behaviour and an alternative set of codes of conduct. The very title of the play, The Way of the World points to the ‘way’ the hero and heroine (and by implication the spectators) should adopt in order to come out of the grip of the fashionable society. The whole story is an illustration of the process, by following which Mirabell and Millament seek a resolution, that is, to gain their own world by using and manipulating the existing social norms, through the winding lanes of that society..."