The Rivals


Richard Sheridan

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Hairstyles Symbol Analysis

Hairstyles Symbol Icon

Staying up-to-date with the latest fashions preoccupies many of the characters in The Rivals, but it is a telltale sign that a character is a country bumpkin if he discusses his appearance. Servants from the countryside worry about the new fashion that dictates that men should give up wearing wigs, which made them feel more comfortable about their appearances, while Squire Acres has just gotten a dramatic new haircut. These discussions show that sometimes vanity and pretentions to be fashionable come into conflict with one another, while the true sign of class (as Sheridan sees it) is not to discuss such matters at all.

Hairstyles Quotes in The Rivals

The The Rivals quotes below all refer to the symbol of Hairstyles. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
Act 1, Scene 1 Quotes

I had forgot.—But, Thomas, you must polish a little—indeed you
must.—Here now—this wig!—What the devil do you do with a wig,
Thomas?—None of the London whips of any degree of ton wear wigs now.
More's the pity! more's the pity! I say.—Odd's life! when I heard how the lawyers and doctors had took to their own hair, I thought how 'twould go next:—odd rabbit it! when the fashion had got foot on the bar, I guessed 'twould mount to the box!—but 'tis all out of character, believe me, Mr. Fag: and look'ee, I'll never gi' up mine—the lawyers and doctors may do as they will.

Related Characters: Fag (speaker), Thomas (speaker)
Related Symbols: Hairstyles, Foreign Words
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
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Hairstyles Symbol Timeline in The Rivals

The timeline below shows where the symbol Hairstyles appears in The Rivals. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
...Thomas to meet him and another servant that night. They then discuss changing fashions for hairstyles: wearing wigs has gone out of style and none of the London carriage drivers “of... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
...jealous of him. Acres notes that he is dressing more fashionably and has changed his hairstyle, and that he hopes this will win over Lydia. Absolute encourages him. Acres peppers his... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
...says that those back at Acres’s home, Clod-Hall, would scarcely recognize him with his new hairstyle. (full context)