Alright, I am sure you all have read enough about the Witlings but I still have more to share. The many liet motifs in this play seem to be nothingness and constant interruptions. I say that nothing is a theme because there does not seem to be a lot of serious discussions among the Espirit group or whenever Jack enters a room. I admit things become serious when Cecilia has lost all her money and is wanting to be comforted by Beaufort but these serious moments are few and far between.
Additionally, it is hard to find seriousness in a play where characters seem to be constantly interrupting one another in every scene. Mrs. Voluble is always interrupting the discussion in the milliners shop, Jack makes constant interruptions some needed some not, or Lady Smatter constantly cutting people off in a so called “discussion” about literature. I think this ability to not let someone finish their own thought is significant because sometimes this person could be something really important or trivial. This is seen by Codger who never seems to be able to finish a thought in the first place. Oddly enough as I am typing this and trying to finish my thoughts I am getting interrupted by the laughter of others. Also, this inability to finish one’s thoughts makes the reader wonder what they would have said if they could have finished there thought in the first place. I still am wondering if Codger will ever finish what he means to say or if Jack will ever slow down to say anything significant in the first place. The ability to voice one’s opinions is important with mass printing available in England, because a slanderous account or poem about someone could ruin their reputation. (spoiler alert)
Censor proves this when he blackmails Lady Smatter into letting Beaufort marry Cecilia because if she won’t approve that many a slanderous ballads will be spread about her throughout the coffee houses. This shows that one’s name in print can make or brake one’s reputations depending on what is being said in the first place. Lady Smatter is facing similar problems of movie stars or socialites of LA or NY , but without the worry of paparazzi. I think this also shows that when one faces a name being in print or having private knowledge turned public then no good can come of it. I think there are similar problems today through fb, and while I do love their game apps, nothing good happens when their are status changes from single to a relationship for exes, or it shows public friend fights and then people block friends or delete them. However, it is also to keep family members in touch with one another when others or sick. I just think it is plays like Burney’s The Witlings and Sheridan’s The School of Scandal that makes me wonder what knowledge should be accessible for private or public space? Why is some information deemed that it should be in private space? What is its importance? These are questions I am sure I will be thinking about as I try to work on my thesis.