Is Scandal a Comedy of Situation or a Comedy of Character?
School, though containing hilarious characters like Crabtree and Sir Backbite, creates more of its comedy through the use of hilarious events and inventive twists of preconceived notions. The most remarkable of the play's jokes, the scene wherein a hiding Lady Teazle is exposed from behind a screen, speaks volumes as to the type of comedy School is. Using characters that often aren't very funny demonstrates the writer's confidence in the capability of the joke's setting and in its inevitability. In considering the type of comedy used to express the joke, one realizes that it was not the unique and amusing personality of the characters involved but rather the situation of the scene that ensured an effective punch line.
The play's sudden and innovative disillusionment of the supposedly impossible May/December marriage offers the reader a better appreciation for the necessity of exact circumstances to the telling of School's jokes.
As previously noted, the fact that Lady Teazle and Sir Peter aren't independently funny doesn't damage the efficacy of the humorous realization made in the wake of their separation that they actually do love one another. In this case, the characters involved seem to take a backseat to the setting of the joke and its impetuous nature; School is a comedy of situation. As much as the temperaments of the play's characters lend to the success of its attempt at humour, it is predominantly the droll circumstances and the background of the jokes that make them funny.