The Comedy of Manners is a style of comedy that satirizes the behaviour, actions, fashions, and “manners” of a segment of society. Because it has such specific characteristics – from plot to dialogue, to characterization, to costumes – it’s an excellent era for students to learn and apply.

In this unit students are introduced to the style, learn some background, and apply the traits of the comedy of manners. The unit culminates in the creation of a modern scene.

Overview

The overview outlines the lessons in the unit and the objectives that students will fulfill.

1: Introduction

The Comedy of Manners is a style of comedy that uses satire to highlight the behaviours, actions, fashions, and “manners” of a segment of society. In this lesson students discuss the nature of comedies that make fun of a group of people and the definition of satire. They are taken through a slide deck that introduces the background and style elements of the comedy of manners. Students also complete a Viewing Quiz.


2: Manners and Codes in the Comedy of Manners

The comedy of manners is a style of comedy that uses satire to highlight the behaviours, actions, fashions, and “manners” of a segment of society. Students will explore the element of manners and codes of behaviour in a modern context, and then look at how the element is applied to a scene from The Importance of Being Earnest.

3: Verbal Comedy in the Comedy of Manners

The comedy of manners is a style of comedy that uses satire to highlight the behaviours, actions, fashions, and “manners” of a segment of society. Students will explore aspects of verbal comedy in a modern context and then look at how the element is applied to a scene from The Importance of
Being Earnest.

4: Characters in the Comedy of Manners

The Comedy of Manners is a style of comedy that uses satire to highlight the behaviours, actions, fashions, and “manners” of a segment of society. Students will explore characters in the comedy of manners and then create a comedy of manners character profile with one of the characters from The
Importance of Being Earnest.

5: Culminating Assignment

In this culminating assignment, students will apply what they have learned throughout this unit to a modern devised scene.

Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards


Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade 6

TH:Cn11.2.6.b - Investigate the time period and place of a drama/theatre work to better understand performance and design choices.

California VAPA Standards (2019)


6.TH:Cn11.2 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

6.TH:Cn11.2.b - Investigate the time period and place of a drama/theatre work to better understand performance and design choices.

Georgia Performance Standards 2017 - Theatre Arts


Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Theatre Arts


HS 117.316 LII - Historical and cultural relevance

C.4.A - analyze historical and cultural influences on theatre.

HS 117.317 LIII - Historical and cultural relevance

C.4.A - evaluate historical and cultural influences on theatre.

HS 117.318 LIV - Historical and cultural relevance

C.4.A - evaluate historical and cultural influences on theatre.

British Columbia (2018)


GRADE 8 - ARTS - Communicating and documenting

Take creative risks to express feelings, ideas, and experiences

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect

Describe, analyze, and respond using drama-specific language

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and the audience

GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate awareness of self, others, and audience

GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and audience