Marriage à la Mode


Marriage à la Mode

John Dryden
Edited by Mark S. Auburn

144 pages


June 1981


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About the Book

Whether for love or ambition, for parental approval or reasons of state, marriage has complicated the lives of all who enter into it. First performed in 1671, Dryden’s Marriage à la Mode portrays the motives high and low that make marriage the pivotal institution of a nation.

Like Dryden’s best tragicomedies, Marriage à la Mode has a double plot. The hopes that marriage excites and the regrets it suffers, the possibilities it opens and the opportunities it denies, its potential nobility and its vulnerability to decay provided Dryden with plentiful dramatic material. Comedy and pathos intersect in plots that entangle and surprise like marriage itself.


"In the romantic heroic word, truth must out and the real king be discovered; in the sexual comedy the players also discover a larger design, which keeps tripping them up, bringing them to a fuller sense of human reality."—The Eighteenth Century: A Current Bibliography

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