In this defense of the 17th century play, The Country Wife by William Wycherley, an in-depth exploration of the concept of wit is used to contest the opinion of many critics that the play holds no value. One of the most desired traits of the time, wit was a definition that could not be pinned down; authors such as Alexander Pope, William Congreve and Abraham Cowley allow this elusive term to be examined in detail. Although it was greeted with enthusiasm upon its first rendition, The Country Wife lost popularity due its promiscuous theme. The morals that Wycherley desires to imprint on his audience are clarified using the dialogue of major characters demonstrating that the use of comedy as a conductor allows the play to regain its status as a masterpiece.
Montell Edgar, ’10 LeClaire, IA
Sponsor: Shannon Reed