The comedy of manners is a genre of play/television/film which satirizes the manners and affectations of a social class, often represented by stock characters, such as the miles gloriosus in ancient times, the fop and the rake during the Restoration, or an old person pretending to be young. Restoration comedy is used as a synonym of Comedy of manners. The plot of the comedy, often concerned with scandal, is generally less important than its witty dialogue. A great writer of comedies of manners was Oscar Wilde, his most famous play being The Importance of Being Earnest.
The comedy of manners was first developed in the new comedy of the Ancient Greek playwright Menander. His style, elaborate plots, and stock characters were imitated by the Roman playwrights Plautus and Terence, whose comedies were widely known and copied during the Renaissance. The best-known comedies of manners, however, may well be those of the French playwright Molire, who satirized the hypocrisy and pretension of