What is the structure of the play She Stoops to Conquer?

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mlsldy3 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

She Stoops to Conquer is a play that was written in the 18th century and in still performed today. It is a great comedy and still has relevance in this day and age. The structure of the play is entertaining and easy to understand. It moves along at a fast pace and the audience is held captive throughout the entire play. The events in the first act set up the events in following acts of the play.

Charles Marlow is a young man who is on his way to the country estate of Mr. Hardcastle. Mr. Harcastle is a wealthy man who has a daughter Kate, who he wants Charles to marry. Charles has a hard time with women of wealth and is shy around them, so Kate pretends to be a maid. She changes her way of talk and becomes very bawdy in her behavior, trying to get Charles to fall in love with her. Tony Lumpkin is Kate's half brother and likes to play jokes on people. Charles and his friend get lost while trying to find the Hardcastle place and Tony overhears them. He tells them to go stay at the inn which is, in fact, the Hardcastle home. Jokes and misunderstandings soon follow.

The play is a comedy and leaves the audience feeling good when they leave. It is much lighter than some of the other plays of the same time period. The structure of the play is one that is lighthearted and very enjoyable.