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Satire in She Stoops to Conquer

Satire on Comedy: Throughout the play, Goldsmith satirizes the contemporary comedy prevalent in 18th-century theater. He argues for the light-hearted nature of the laughing comedy by mocking the sentimentalist philosophy that attempts to make audiences cry rather than laugh.

Broader Satire: Goldsmith also satirizes other aspects of English society, including romantic love. Through the flipping of gender roles in the courtship between Marlow and Miss Hardcastle, Goldsmith satirizes the romance and marriage market of the day.

Satire Examples in She Stoops to Conquer:

Act The First

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"SONG..."   (Act The First)

The song contains a number of satirical references to the uselessness of education and the "evils" of Methodism, a Protestant sect that was gaining a lot of followers at mid-18th century.  Lumpkin singles out Methodist preachers because they preach against the use of alcohol.

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"The folly of most people is rather an object of mirth than uneasiness..."   (Act The Second)

This statement reflects Goldsmith's view of the kind of comedy She Stoops to Conquer is meant to represent: light-hearted laughter at the follies of mankind and very little serious condemnation.

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"As most profest admirers do..."   (Act The Fifth)

This speech is a summary of the expected parts of a speech being made by a man to a woman he is trying to convince of his undying love.

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