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The Way of the World by William Congreve

Foible is lady Wishford servant who seems to be closest to her. Mistress uses her to enquire more about what is happening to the servants. She at one point advised her mistress on who should marry her. “Lady Wishford who is encouraged to marry ‘Sir Rowland’ – Mirabel’s supposed uncle – by Foible”.

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Great tension arise here as this can never happen bearing in mind that Lady Wishford was married to another man. Her marriage may lead social disgrace as her counterparts and friends are aware of her current marital status and more to her husband. Lady Wishford is a member of the ruling class while her husband to be, Sir Rowland is just a mere service man, a situation that seemed to surprise everyone and caused a lot of tension among those who received the news.

Foible envy s her mistress Lady Wishford

Foible is envious of her mistress, Lady Wishford. This is clearly reflected in the play where Foible engages in a conversation with Mrs. Fainall on an issue concerning her mistress. It is said, “Mrs. Fainall discusses this plan with Foible, but this is overheard by Mrs. Marwood.”

Foible’s plot is to see the mistress embarrassed as her information spreads out to everyone in public. Everyone gets to know that Lady Wishford intends to get married to Sir Rowland. This can never be acceptable as she was popular to everyone, thus she had to beg by giving out some of her fortune. This brought the whole issue to confusion as Sir Rowland accuses his uncle of trying to spoil their marriage and hence his fiancé accepts to forward the marriage contract.

All of the servants are more knowledgeable than their masters

Servants in the whole episode are known to be knowledgeable than their bosses. It has clearly portrayed that all masters make their judgment on various issues from the information they receive from their servants. Mirabell’s servants informed him that should Lady Wishford marry, he stood a chance of losing a given portion of dollars of Milamants inheritance. Mirabell goes ahead to follow the guide offered to him by his servants in fear of losing out in the inheritance.

According to the play, “Mirabell is informed that should Lady Wishford marry, he will lose £6000 of Millamant’s inheritance.” In addition, from the play it is said, “In the home of Lady Wishford, we are introduced to Lady Wishford who is encouraged to marry ‘Sir Rowland’ – Mirabel’s supposed uncle – by Foible.”

Lady Wishford’s servant advises her on whom she should marry; this episode brings out the characters of all masters being informed by their servants on what they should be doing. The immense tension portrayed in the two scenarios is that what is currently happening is the reverse of what is expected. This is where the masters should be knowledgeable than their servants.

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How far can some servant go just to please or do not please their masters

It has been evidently noted that some servants can go to any extreme in order to please, their masters who might urge of various information. In one of the settings, two of Mirabell’s male servants are found advising their master on what he stands to lose if things were to proceed in that manner.

It clearly shows the effort they are applying to ensure that their master get pleased with what they have to inform him. In the other set up, Foible is speaking with her master on matters regarding her marriage partner. This shows her foremost concern in ensuring that she has pleased her master. Thus, the issue of servants pleasing their masters shows how one seem to be entrusted by the master who spares his or her precious time to pay attention to the servant.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, May 1). The Way of the World by William Congreve. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/the-way-of-the-world-by-william-congreve/

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1. StudyCorgi. "The Way of the World by William Congreve." May 1, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/the-way-of-the-world-by-william-congreve/.


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StudyCorgi. (2020) 'The Way of the World by William Congreve'. 1 May.

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