Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

English, MA

Committee Chair

Maurer, D. W.

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Broderius, John R.


Coward, Noel, 1899-1973


An estimate of Noel Coward's contribution to the comedy of manners necessitates an understanding of: (1) the nature and the place of the comedy of manners in modern drama, (2) Noel Coward's background, and (3) an analysis of Noel Coward's formula for the comedy of manners. We find in the material relating to modern drama. little discussion of the comedy of manners. Occasionally plays may be mentioned as comedies of manners, but there is no discussion as to the specific nature of the comedy of manners in modern drama. The only book that discusses fully the comedy of manners in modern drama is Mr. Newell B. Sawyer's The Comedy of Manners from Sheridan to Maugham. Mr. Sawyer reviews the sporadic endeavors of playwrights in the direction of the comedy of manners since Sheridan and points out the significant social factors which explain its dearth in the various periods of the past. But Mr. Sawyer also does not give us any insight to the nature of the comedy of manners in modern drama. He says. rather, that it does not exist in England today.