The Rivals (Brief Context)

In The Rivals Context and Prologue I was able to come to understand that impact that the plays initial failure had on the author. I think the introduction, scene and speech are all there to serve the purpose of protecting the authors feelings. I get the sense that he is a sensitive man by the way he speaks about the event and just the way he speaks in general. His rhythmic writing mimicking a sort of poem is a very feminine and gentle way to communicate his position on the event. Personally I found him hard to understand, without Dr. Jerz context I would have not understood what the situation was that he was describing. I believe adding three different prologues about the same thing and saying he sort of doesn’t care anymore what the audience did just demonstrates how much he does care and how much he wants everyone to know it hurt his feelings, “please don’t do it again”. The introduction in particular was like so incomprehensible to me, I would have to read it 3 more times to translate his way of talking. I interacted much better with the scene and the speech which felt like poetry, which I have miles more experiences analyzing. I picked up this passage for my claim:

His faults can never hurt another’s ease,
His crime, at worst, a bad attempt to please:
Thus, all respecting, he appeals to all,
And by the general voice will stand or fall.

This sounded to me like the author was saying “I’m just trying to make the audience happy, it isn’t fair what happened before (when his play bombed) and now I don’t care what you think about it, clap or boo but I stand behind my play regardless.” It’s actually kind of sympathetic because he just worked so hard on this and he appears very proud of the work and he just had to endure this dream crushing experience that is now this voice in the back of his head telling him that if he doesn’t defend himself he won’t succeed. Hence three prologues.

Source: The Rivals (Brief Context

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