When one hears the word “comedy” one expects something amusing, something one will laugh at. I am not an exception in this list. When I heard Restoration comedy, I though “Hm… comedy in retro style”.
However, later I came to think of it and jumped on the following conclusion: would something that was funny 330 years ago be funny today, too? Bearing in mind the fact that 330 years ago there were completely different stereotypes, beliefs; even the language of that time is today considered archaic.
If I take into consideration “The Country Wife” I would probably ease myself in finding the answer to my question. “The Country Wife” being a Restoration comedy deals mainly with society, the relationships within it and norms it conforms to. If one is closely familiar with these particular features of society one would probably enjoy the comedy -as long as one is a native speaker. Otherwise, one would experience hard time understanding the plot and the hidden ideas that the text offers. To put it differently – spending hours to find the high-style words in the dictionary one would simply lose interest in the plot. This, will lead to not comprehending the main idea which in turn will lead to the loss of precious time. Then, how are we supposed to laugh?
If I should take a different look on the comedy, I would say that the main idea is not that difficult to make out as it is straightforwardly, so to say, explained in the very beginning of the comedy. We have Mr Horner (even his name remind of the adjective “horny” or of the word “horn” itself) who pretends to be impotent in order to get to know the married London ladies intimately. And this is it – a story about deception, intrigues, love (real or not). However, being a story about sex “The Country Wife” doesn’t bring anything new under the sun for today’s readers. We are all surrounded by implications of sex all around us – in magazines, in music, everywhere. So, should we be stunned that a man is...