William Congreve is one of the greatest playwright of restoration period. The way of the world is a world famous comedy of manners. It deals with the theme of love and marriage. In this play, we find love affair. We meet true love making and false love making. Unhappiness in marriage and desire for divorce for the sake of money and property are also obvious.
we find that wait well is married to foible, Mr. fainal and Mrs. fainal are leading a conjugal life.Mr.Mirabell is going to marry Mrs. Millamant. Actually, money and property are based on love and marriage. But love and marriage are based on property.
The love affair between the hero and heroine is the central figure in the play.Mr Mirabell loves Mrs millamant with all her fault.He says that All the fault of Mrs. Millamant have become familiar to him. Yet he loves her.On the contrary, Mrs. Millamant knows that her husband, Mr. Mirabell is not perfect.
There is a good relation betweem them. From the very begining , Mr. Mirabell loves Mrs. Millamant and tries to come close to Mrs. Millamant. As a result their love develops in marriage.
The love affair between Mr.Mirabell and Mrs. Millamant is one sided.Mrs. Marwood loves Mr.mirabell and tries to win her love. But Mr. Mirabell does not response . so she becomes his enemy.
Mr. fainal and Mrs. fainal are husband and wife. Their marriage is very interesting. In ‘the way of the world’, we see that Mrs fainal is the daughter of lady wishfort. She is at first married to languish. Unfortunately her husband dies.After the death of her husband, she becomes Mistress of Mr. Mirabell. So she becomes pegnant by him. Mr. Mirabell condrives her marriage with Mr.fainal with her money. By tempting with money , Mr. fainal agrees to marry her.Mrs. fainal also agrees to marry him so that her child can get its father name. Mr. Mirabell also tempts mr.fainal that after the death of lady wishfort, he will inherit the money and property of lady wishfort. Mr. fainal becomes greedy after wealth. He demands the wealth of his wife and threatens if lady wishfort does not pay , he will divorce his wife.
Mr. Mirabell is the hero of the play. He is young. He arrange another marriage for his own interest. waitwell is married to foible who is the servant of lady wishfort.Mr.waitwell is the maid man of Mr. Mirabell. Actually waitwell does not attract to Foible. He does not marry her as his own choice but the choice of his master, Mr. Mirabell. He is ordered to marry her by Mr. Mirabell. He does not feel any attraction to her. He only wants to meet his sexual hunger.
Thus congreve wants to show that such marriage is unable to bring happiness too.
In the play , we find that Mr. mirabell and Mrs. Millamant are engaged in love makin.we see that the lady wishfort is an aristrocratic lady of fifty five. she is humiliated and left by her lover, Mr. Mirabell.so she wants to take revenge upon him and arrange the marry between Sir rowland and Mrs. Millamant. when it is known to her the real identity of Sir Rowland, he arrange the marriage between Sir willful witwound and Millamant.
To sum up, we can say that Congreve has expressed his philosophy about love and marriage.