What personality traits would characterize Lady Teazle in The School for Scandal?
Lady Teazle is a young, flirtatious wife, hence the name "Tease-all" to convey how she relates to men, but she is good at heart. She is married to a wealthy older man, Sir Peter, an "old bachelor" who complains that his wife has a "teasing temper." He also says she is involved too much in the "extravagant fopperies" of high society. Much of this comes from the fact that she is a simple country girl who has been temporality taken in by the London high life. She means well but doesn't yet have good judgment about the extent to which London society might lead her astray. Her personality is one that on the surface looks more shallow than it really is underneath. This is important in a play about appearance versus reality, in which the people who seem the worst can turn out to be the best and vice versa.
The malevolent Lady Sneerwell will use Lady Teazle's frivolous and flirtatious reputation against her to spread gossip that she is having an affair with Charles Surface. But though tempted to have an affair with Charles' wicked brother, Joseph, Lady Teazle's essential goodness of character saves her. She is distressed at the way Lady Sneerwell tries to ruin her, and by the end rejects the "college" (or school) of scandal London society has tried to train her in, saying to Mrs. Sneerwell she is giving back her "diploma."
By the end of the play, Lady Teazle has decided to become a loyal wife. At core a good person, she was simply led towards temptation for a time from being dazzled by the new world of London society. Once she sees how false it is, she rejects it. She says at the end that though she "was late so volatile and gay" she will now "bend" her "cares" to her husband.