What is the central theme in The Way of the World?

The central theme in The Way of the World is the effect of scheming. In the story, characters launch several deceitful plans as they pursue marriage partners and wealth.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

At first, it seems sensible to argue that marriage is the central theme in William Congreve’s play The Way of the World. After all, marriage seems to be what most of the characters are after. It’s their primary activity and occupation. Mirabell not only finds a marriage partner for Lady Wishfort’s daughter, but he also finds a spouse for himself.

Yet if the central theme were marriage, the play would be rather simple and short. Mirabell could marry Millamant, and that would be that. Marriage is not the central theme....

(The entire section contains 277 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on