The Recruiting Officer (Revels Plays Companion Library) by George Farquhar, Peter Dixon
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In Farquhar's play, two recruiting officers compete for recruits in the same locale. Recruiting in those years required more than patriotism and the lure of glory: it relied on bribery, alcohol, and the whole armory of deceit. Farquhar's play makes connections explicit, further setting off their dramatic power by linking recruiting tactics to the rites of courtship. His satire is intensified by his much-admired portrayals of the characters and situations of rural life; Farquhar brought the men and women of field and village truly to the stage.