A brief examination of these sentimental scenes would clearly reveal that
In both his interviews with Julia, Faulkland betrays the same absurdity. In the first interview, he complains to her of the mirth and gaiety that she as been enjoying during his absence. He wants to be loved for his own sake and for no particular reason and he also expects her love to be “fixed and ardent”. In short, his whole manner of talking to her and his soliloquy at the end of this scene reveals him in a still more comic light.
The second interview again shows him a ridiculous light. He subjects Julia to a test in order to convince himself of the sincerity of her love. The author’s intention is to show the absurd length to which an over-sentimental lover can go, and the author expects us to laugh at this kind of lover.
Even Julia suffers from an excessive sentimentality and she too is made to appear absurd and ridiculous for that reason. The manner in which she describes her lover to
The manner in which the other characters have been portrayed is also evidence of the anti-sentimental character of the play. Captain Absolute is a practical man and though he assumes the name and status of Ensign Beverley, he would not like to forfeit the rich dowry which
“If I can't get a wife without fighting for her, by any valour, I’ll live a bachelor.”
Then there is Sir Lucius who is absurd but not because of nay sentimentality. One reason why he is absurd is because of his insistence on fighting duels. But he does not want to fight duels for the sake f any sentiment.
When Sheridan himself fought a couple of duels for the sake of Miss Elizabeth Linley, there was a strong emotion behind them, but here we have a mockery of dueling and we are made to laugh at the manner in which these duels are arranged.