Valentine has fallen under the displeasure of his father by his extravagance, and is besieged by creditors. His father, Sir Sampson Legend, offers him enough to pay his debts if he will sign a bond engaging to make over his right to his inheritance to his younger brother Ben. Valentine, to escape from his embarrassment, signs the bond. He is in love with Angelica, who possesses a fortune of her own, but so far she has not yielded to his suit. Sir Sampson has arranged a match between Ben, who is at sea, and Miss Prue, an awkward country girl, the daughter of Foresight, a superstitious old fool who claims to be an astrologer.
One of the greatest of all Restoration comedies, this knowing comedy of manners depicts the scheming of a nest of shallow, deceitful aristocrats to prevent two lovers from marrying. The play abounds with felicitous phrasing, delicious verbal battles of the sexes and a depth of feeling and sensitivity.
The play is based around the 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 her own nephew, Sir Wilful, to wed Millamant.
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