This article seeks to review and comment on a restoration comedy play by John Crowne. This play “City Politics” reflects the events that surround the newly elected chief magistrate (Sneidern and Douglas 987).It concentrates on the betrayal and the deceit that entangle Paulo Camillo, the new chief magistrate. The author shows the development, progression, and the consequences of deceit and betrayal in the story.
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This play starts when Paulo Camillo becomes the chief magistrate of Naples, Italy. Paulo’s friend Florio is happy with the news. This is because he anticipates being with Rosaura when Paulo is at work. Rosaura is Paulo wife. In addition, Paulo has a son, Craffy from another marriage. Despite of several people being happy, the town viceroy is not happy with Paulo’s election as the chief magistrate.
Therefore, the viceroy refuses to inaugurate Paulo. When they get to Paulo’s home, Florio pretends to be sick. He remains in the house when the chief magistrate leaves for work. Florio has an illegal relationship with Paulo’s wife, Rosaura. Paulo comes home unexpectedly and finds the two embracing.
The two manage to fool him by pretending that Florio is sick. Further, Artall who is Florio’s acquaintance has an affair with Lucinda, Bartoline’s wife. Bartoline is an old lawyer who is famous for his flawed speeches due to lack of teeth.
In the political sphere, things are heating up. There is a misunderstanding between Paulo and the viceroy. The viceroy warns Paulo not to involve the militia in his fight with the French. Paulo disregards the warning and proceeds with his plan. This leads to a legal battle between them. The two seek Bartoline’s advice on how to counter each other.
The lawyer conspires with both parties without their knowledge. In fact, Bartoline misleads Paulo who makes rush and inappropriate decisions. These decisions result to Paulo’s arrest. This story focuses on betrayal and deceit. The story ends with the truth coming out and the governor arresting the offenders (Crowne and Horald 68).
The scene under consideration takes place in Paulo’s home. Artall, Lucinda, and Bartoline are all in the house. The play starts when Rosaura, the doctor, and Florio enter the house. Artall is acting sick and pretending to be in his deathbed. Bartoline unsuspectingly asks his wife to escort Artall to the bed and asks her to sit by him. In the midst of all this Craffy discovers Florio’s illicit relationship with Rosaura.
Craffy informs his father about this illegal relationship. Unluckily for Craffy his father does not believe him. Craffy’s stepmother Rosaura and Florio manage to escape as Paulo and Bartoline concentrate on what is happening to Artall. Later, Craffy tries to convince his father of Rosaura’s deceit. Rosaura acts innocent and falsely accuses Craffy. Rosaura says that Craffy is trying to take advantage of her. Consequently, Paulo dismisses Craffy’s story and locks up Craffy in a room in the house.
Afterwards, Bartoline discovers that Lucinda has an affair with Artall. Eventually, the truth of these affairs comes out. Further, the governor exposes Florio’s plot of letting the French into Naples. Consequently, Artall exposes himself. Finally, the governor enters and arrests all the concerned parties (Crown and William 185 ).
This scene is significant to the entire play. It helps the author in developing an overall plot for the story. A reader can relate the styles of writing, the themes, and character development in the entire play to those used by the author of the play in this scene.
In character development, the author manages to capture the strengths of each character effectively. This scene brings out Artall, Rosaura, Lucinda, and Bartoline as traitors. It paints Paulo as a committed chief magistrate aimed at fulfilling his duties effectively.
The author paints Craff as a concerned son who informs his father of the malicious acts of his stepmother, Rosaura. In addition, he brings out Bartoline as a smart and cunning lawyer. This is evident in the way he conspires with the two warring parties. Further, the author paints the governor as dutiful when he comes to arrest the law offenders.
This scene is essential as it brings out themes of the entire play. For example, the themes of betrayal, commitment, ignorance, dedication, patriotism, jealously and deceit come out.
The major theme visible in this scene is betrayal. For instance, Artall and Lucinda betray Bartoline by having an affair behind his back. Rosaura and Florio are also having an illicit affair, betraying Paulo. In addition, Bartoline betrays both Paulo and the viceroy. In spite of him knowing the two are fighting each other, he collaborates with the two parties.
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Overall, this scene acts as a mirror to the whole story. The reader gets a clear idea of the plot of the play just by reading this scene. The plot, theme, and character development in this act are perfect. Moreover, they relate efficiently to themes, subplots, and charters of the rest of the entire play. Therefore, it is correct to conclude that this scene is a reflection of the entire play.
Crown, John and William Hugh. The Dramatic Works of John Crowne (1873). san Francisco: H. Southeran and Co, 1873. Print.
Crowne,John and John Harold. City Politics. Omaha: University of Nebraska, 1967. Print.
Sneidern, Maja-Lisa and Douglas Canfield. The Broadview Anthology of Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Drama (Broadview Anthologies of English Literature). Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2001. Print.