Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Richard Sheridan's The Rivals. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Rivals: Introduction
The Rivals: Plot Summary
The Rivals: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Rivals: Themes
The Rivals: Quotes
The Rivals: Characters
The Rivals: Symbols
The Rivals: Literary Devices
The Rivals: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Richard Sheridan
Historical Context of The Rivals
Other Books Related to The Rivals
- Full Title:The Rivals
- When Written:1775
- Where Written:London, England
- When Published:1775
- Literary Period:Georgian comedy, “new” Comedy of Manners, Genteel Comedy or Laughing Comedy
- Setting:Bath, Somerset, England
- Climax:Absolute is forced to admit to Lydia, Sir Anthony, and Mrs. Malaprop that Ensign Beverley is a false identity he created.
- Antagonist:Sir Lucius O’Trigger
Extra Credit for The Rivals
Pronunciation was paramount.Sheridan’s father Thomas became a leading force in the elocutionary movement, a trend in education that emphasized the importance of correct pronunciation and good delivery. Sheridan even worked for a time at the school his father founded in in Bath, teaching men like Squire Acres how to sound more genteel.
Biopics galore.There had already been a play written about the love life of Elizabeth Linley. Samuel Foote’s 1771 The Maid of Bath, which was based on Elizabeth’s broken engagement to the rich and elderly Walter Long, was still being staged when The Rivals first appeared.