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He Play Is Not Celebrating Free Love But, Condemning and Showing Punishment of Mercenary and Loveless Marriages

Autor:   •  February 5, 2016  •  Essay  •  262 Words (2 Pages)  •  545 Views

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The play is not celebrating free love but, condemning and showing punishment of mercenary and loveless marriages.

During the course of the play, Wycherley portrays a series of flawed marriages and relationships, such as the marriage of the stock characters Margery and Pinchwife suggesting that Wycherley is not in favour of the conventions and ideals of marriage, in the Restoration Era. One could infer that the marriages depicted may symbolise the lack of trust and morals in relationships during the Restoration society. Moreover, this is further emphasised by ‘he is a fool that marries but, he is a greater fool that does not marry a fool.’ The use of the adjective ‘fool’ suggests Pinchwife does not respect and value his wife, as he believes that Magarey is intellectually inferior to him due to her ‘country’ status. Wycherley heightens this distinction through her dialect as the other characters, in the play, are not from the country and thus speak more eloquently. Wycherley has constructed this discrepancy in order to emphasise Magarey’s ignorance and naivety, enabling the audience to sympathise with her because she is constantly being manipulated and humiliated by her husband. Wycherley explores the theme of town versus country depicted through the reference ‘you’re a fool’ implying that Magarey is inflicted with abuse from her husband and she is trapped in a loveless and mercenary marriage. Wycherley explores Magarey’s loss of freedom through her inability to socialise with the other characters in the play, ‘he will not let me see anyone but himself,’ revealing Pinchwife’s insecurity of him being cuckolded.


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