Innkeeper Characters

Introduction to Character Type | List of Plays | Up One Level

Introduction to Character Type

The characters grouped as "Innkeeper" characters represent a specific profession, unlike most of the other groupings in this collection. The "Innkeeper" characters do not all fit a recurrent linguistic profile. However, it is useful to have a group of "Innkeeper" characters for comparison with Mr. Hardcastle in Oliver Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer (1773), who is a gentleman mistaken for an innkeeper. In contrast to the other innkeepers of the collection, Hardcastle speaks in Standard English.

The language varieties of the "Innkeeper" characters can be divided into two groups: grammar errors in otherwise Standard English, and regional dialects. The Man of Business (1774), by George Colman the Elder, contains an innkeeper named Snap, who makes consistent grammar errors. Cumberland's First Love (1795) also fits into this group, as it has a family of innkeepers that speaks in mostly Standard English with a few deviations (e.g. "two gooses"). However, In Foote's The Maid of Bath (1771; published 1778) and A Trip to Calais (1776; published 1778), Fillup and Tromfort speak in Southwestern and Franglais dialects respectively, demonstrating a trend of regionality among innkeepers in this collection.

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List of Plays

The Man of Business (Colman)

First Love (Cumberland)

The Maid of Bath (Foote)

A Trip to Calais (Foote)

She Stoops to Conquer (Goldsmith)

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©2008 Arden Hegele