The School for Scandal


Richard Sheridan

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The School for Scandal: Act 4, Scene 2 Summary & Analysis

In the parlor in Charles’s home, Moses says to Sir Oliver that it is a shame Charles is so extravagant, but all Sir Oliver cares about is that Charles refused to sell his portrait. Rowley enters and says that he has brought money that Charles wanted to send to old Stanley, but which should really go to pay off his creditors. Sir Oliver says to use the money to pay off Charles’s debt. Trip enters and apologizes for not showing them out, then pulls Moses aside to consult on getting a loan from him. Sir Oliver and Rowley marvel at how times have changed: in the old days a servant certainly never tried to raise money in this way.
Sir Oliver has gotten two proofs of Charles’s true character. First, he recognizes Charles’s gratitude towards himself in his nephew’s refusal to sell his portrait. Second, he learns of Charles’s generosity towards impoverished family members in his decision to send money straight to Mr. Stanley. These two actions show Charles’s loyalty towards those who help him and to those who need his help, and a special sense of duty to help family members.
Concealment and Exposure Theme Icon
The Man of Sentiment Theme Icon
Family Honor and Money Theme Icon
Literary Devices