She Stoops to Conquer does indeed satisfy the definition of satire given, "the use of instruments such as sarcasm, irony, wit, and humor in literary compositions that hold up follies and vices for criticism, ridicule, and scorn." Within the play, Goldsmith uses the different characters and their relationships with one another to "hold up" the issue of the differences of the various classes that existed during the era in which She Stoops to Conquer was written.
The most notable use of satire within She Stoops to Conquer comes from the relationship that develops between the young Charles Marlow and Kate Hardcastle in which the main plot of the story revolves around. Sir Marlow, being timid when it comes to women of his own class, but not with women of lower classes, is not only unable to court Miss Hardcastle, whom was the reason for his seeking out the Hardcastle estate, but was also unable to even look upon her face.
"Ha! ha! ha! Was there ever such a sober sentimental interview? I'm certain he scare looked in my face the whole time. Yet the fellow, but for his unaccountable bashfulness, is pretty well, too. He has good sense, but then so buried in his fears, that it fatigues one more than ignorance. If I could teach him a little confidence, it would be doing somebody that I know of a piece of service..." - Kate Hardcastle (pg 22)
Due to Marlow's extreme timidity during their conversation with each other, Kate becomes determined to look deeper into Marlow's character. Through talking to a maid, Kate finds out that Marlow would unable to recognize her if she was not dressed as one of a higher class. Kate then hatches a plan where she pretends to be a mere servant in order...