The Setting of Bath in The Rivals

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Bath is a very important setting for the play. Bath was the most fashionable place to be seen in 18th Century england. It wa soften regarded as the city of Artifice and popular activites included taking the waters, promenading and going to the theatre. Promenading was essentially members of the upper classes walking around showing off to each other using their clothes to represent their wealth, social standing and impact on the social scene.

Bath was attractive because of the splendid architecture and elegant entertainments. Many social entertainments were regulated and kept genteel under the 'Master of Ceremonies'. As Fag points out, many entertainments were over-regulated and could be dull. There were strict codes of conduct, manners and etiquette, wanting to show the classy cohesion with a highly diverse social scene. An example of this are rues such as Country Dancing was not allowed to begin before 8pm, and all balls were required to end at 11pm sharp. It was a pleasure resort or playground for the rich, but was strongly…


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