Places Discussed

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Litchfield Inn

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Litchfield Inn. Way station for travelers coming and going from London to the country that is utterly corrupt. At the inn highwaymen plot to commit crimes with the complicity of the crooked innkeeper, who even tries to corrupt his daughter for money. At the inn beaux from London plot stratagems. It is the forces from the inn that invade Lady Bountiful’s house in an attempt to destroy it.

Lady Bountiful’s house

Lady Bountiful’s house. In contrast to the world of the inn, Lady Bountiful’s house represents the simple virtues and charity of the best of the country. At Lady Bountiful’s house benevolence and concern for others dominate. Here the sick are healed and the corrupt are converted to virtue. This world is invaded by forces from the corrupt town by means of the highwaymen from the inn and by means of the beaux from the city. The robbers attempt to steal material goods while the beaux attempt to steal female virtue as well as money from Dorinda’s fortune. These corrupt forces eventually are defeated or neutralized while the country values of Lady Bountiful dominate at last.


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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 248

Berman, Ronald. “The Comedy of Reason.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language 7 (Summer, 1965): 161-168. A brief discussion of The Beaux’ Stratagem that sees the play as having a logic that is characteristic of Restoration comedy.

Burns, Edward. Restoration Comedy: Crises of Desire and Identity. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1987. Burns’s central premise is that Restoration comedy was shaped by the pastoral mode so popular in sixteenth and seventeenth century literature. His treatment of individual plays and playwrights includes an interesting discussion of The Beaux’ Stratagem.

Farquhar, George. The Beaux’...

(The entire section contains 442 words.)

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Critical Essays