"The play is concerned with the imputation of sinning; of sin itself there is absolutely nothing. The famous screen scene is one of circumstantial evidence only not at all of guilt Joseph Surface a villain with being demonstrably a rake." (Louis Kronenberger, "Restoration and Eighteenth-century comedy": The School for Scandal, 1973, 553).
Mr. Kronenberger states simply that Joseph is the villain in the play. Joseph is not a truthful and trustworthy man. Throughout the play, he is always trying to steal the loves from who are close to him. Joseph is also a hypocritical youth who enjoys an excellent reputation in contrast to his brother, Charles. Even though Joseph is widely perceived to be honorable and a trustworthy gentleman, it is not troublesome to see that it is not the situation.
Everyone supposes that Joseph is the best man, even though he does them all wrong. Joseph is not a truthful man as he lied to Sir Peter about a "French milliner" being behind the screen while it was Lady Teazle, "Hark"ee, "tis a little French milliner, a silly rogue that plagues me" (375). Joseph, throughout the play, tries extremely hard to win a love of his own. He though does this by attempting to thieve the loves from those close to him. He plotted to separate Charles and Maria to have Maria to himself, "However it is certainly a charity to rescue Maria from such a libertine" (335). He also pursued Lady Teazle for an illicit relationship, "Then by this hand, which he is unworthy of" (372). Joseph also has a high ego; he believes he is the center of the universe. He also is hypocritical, and enjoys an excellent reputation. Even though Joseph Surface is widely perceived to be an honorable and trustworthy man, Lady Sneerwell and Sir Peter do discover another feature of Joseph and believe that he is indeed a villain.
It is very clear that Joseph Surface is certainly a villain. He is not a truthful and trustworthy man as he hides things from people close to him.