About the BookThe Way of the World is based around two lovers Mirabell and Millamant. In order for the two to get married and receive Millamant’s full dowry, Mirabell must receive the blessing of Millamant’s aunt, Lady Wishfort. Unfortunately, she is a very bitter lady, who despises Mirabell and wants instead, her own nephew, Sir Wilful, to wed Millamant. Other characters include Fainall who is having a secret affair with Mrs. Marwood, a friend of Mrs. Fainall’s, who in turn, once had an affair with Mirabell. Waitwell is Mirabell’s servant and is married to Foible, Lady Wishfort’s servant. Waitwell pretends to be Sir Rowland and tries to trick Lady Wishfort into a false engagement on Mirabell’s command. The love expressed in the play tends to be centered on material gain rather than the love of the partner.
The Way of the World sets up a subplot and main plot in which servants mimic the behaviours of the aristocrats and their eventual followers. It is widely regarded as one of the best Restoration comedies written and is performed enthusiastically to this day.About the Author/sEnglish playwright, and the greatest master of pure comedy, William Congreve wrote some of the most popular English plays of the Restoration period of the late 17th century. By the age of thirty, he had written four comedies, including Love for Love, The Way of the World, and one tragedy, The Mourning Bride.