The Comedy of Manner: Rhetorical Discourse of Congreve’s The Way of the World

Prof. Ishraqa Bashir Mohammed, Asst. Prof. Abbas Lutfi Hussein

Abstract


The Way of the World is abundant of rhetorical devices which are exploited to express Congreve's viewpoints and assert his humorous and sarcastic senses. William Congreve, through his characters' use of these devices, attempts to reveal Restoration's The Comedy of Manner and to convey a rational and sensible predilection to his educated audiences and readers. He seems to take an inconsistent manner; in fact, he adopts different attitudes and styles, such as direct, ironic, sarcastic, amused, etc. Like his contemporary Restoration dramatists, Congreve lays more emphasis on the manipulation of rhetorical devices to realize numerous literary dramatic functions, particularly equipping his audience with persuasive arguments ( Bruegge, 2014:1). Further, the use of these rhetorical maneuvers helps Congreve to make the events of his paly more actual, more comprehensible, more persuasive, and more emotional. In other words, these maneuvers are envisioned to stimulate, persuade, unite and sway people in the way of achieving specific ends.


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