The Double Dealer Characterization

In the previous two articles on William Congreve’s The Double Dealer, we discussed the themes and plot of this play. But, this one is concerned with Congreve’s art of characterization because characters play important roles in any drama.

As we know (through the study of previous articles) The Double Dealer is a presentation of (a) Love Intrigues (b) Coquetry, as well as (c) Cuckold. Congreve dexterously/smartly depicts the Immortality of wives as well as the helplessness of the husbands.

All female characters of the play except its heroine (Cynthia), as well as their husbands, are instances of them. Actually, the dramatist the life of Restoration society with carefree abandon. 

It seems that the writer of The Double Dealer is not at their best when he portrays the character of Mellefont who is the hero of the play. But, he is seen at his best when portraying the character of Maskwell who is the villain as Cynthia (the heroine). The characters of the two aforementioned persons even outshine the character of the hero Mellefont.

See also

The Double Dealer Plot Analysis

The Double Dealer Summary

In fact, Maskwell’s (a) Villianiy (b) Treachery, as well as (c) Lust in The Double Dealer is more powerful than Mellefont’s (a) Honesty, as well as (b) True Love. Women characters such as Lady Froth, Lady Plyant, as well as Lady Touchwood are ever ready for having other lovers. That is why all of them are categorized as adulterous as well as unfaithful wives. 

But, who is one of the main characters in William Congreve’s play The Double Dealer, remains steady as well as constant in her love with Mellefont irrespective of his living in the midst of immoral and treacherous people. At last, it can be said that  William Congreve, through this play, tries to instruct as well as reform contemporary society by exposing as well as denouncing the vices having some bearing on public welfare.

Ques: What do you know about the Prologue of The Double Dealer?

Ans: William Congreve, through the Prologue of The Double Dealer, speaks about his play. He also expects the mercy of spectators for this work. Moreover, he expects critics to judge it in a fair as well as just manner. The Prologue not only throws light on the English cuckold but pities them as well.

Ques: How does Act Four of The Double Dealer open ?

Ans: It opens with a dialogue between Mellefont as well as Cynthia, the hero, and heroine of the play respectively.

Ques: Which Act of the play presents intrigue after intrigue ?

Ans: William Congreve presents Intrigue after intrigue in Act 4 of the play The Double Dealer.

Ques: In which Act of The Double Dealer all villainous plots are revealed?

Ans: In Act V of The Double Dealer all evil plots are revealed.

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