William Congreve, The Old Bachelor

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Congreve’s first play, The Old Bachelor, staged in 1693, proved a resounding success and launched him on a theatrical career, though it is seldom (if ever) performed today. Samuel Johnson reviewed the play decades later, when it still held the stage, admitting that it is “one of those comedies which may be made by a mind vigorous and acute, and furnished with comick characters by the perusal of other poets, without much actual commerce with mankind” (Hagstrum 32). In many ways Johnson is right: it reads like a highly accomplished apprentice work, full of stock situations borrowed from a thorough familiarity with sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English comedy. What distinguishes The Old Bachelor<…

2005 words

Citation: Grasso, Joshua. "The Old Bachelor". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 June 2019 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=23, accessed 04 June 2023.]

23 The Old Bachelor 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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