She Stoops to Conquer Acts 1-3
She Stoops to Conquer Acts 1-3 ENG 2301
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah Fretheim on Sunday October 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ENG 2301 at Baylor University taught by Rachel Lee Webster in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views.
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Date Created: 10/02/16
She Stoops to Conquer Acts 1-3 “She Stoops to Conquer” by Oliver Goldsmith - Not the level of language that Shakespeare had, but it gives social commentary - Goldsmith wanted this play to be less raunchy and more personal than political. - Goldsmith noticed that as people started to become wealthier and spend more time on family relationships, those relationships became closer. Background- 18 century England - King James had been less involved with the people but Charles came along after him and thought he could do whatever he wanted. Charles didn’t involve parliament in anything which led to an uprising and ultimately his execution. - After Charles was executed there was a period with no king that was parliament led. Oliver Cromwell took over and established himself as king, leading to a time of military rule. This was called the “protectorate” and Cromwell was known as “Lord Protector.” Cromwell’s son took over after him but was not a good ruler. - Restoration- In 1660 Charles II returned to England to rule. Theater had been taken away under the previous rule, but was brought back. - There was lots of social and political change during the Restoration—women were allowed to act and be playwrights, plays were openly sexual and raunchy (but were toned down later in the time period) - During the enlightenment writing became more political. - People at this time would hang out and talk about literature. This was different from what past generations had done. - In the Glorious Revolution William and Mary were appointed by parliament. Mary was the daughter of the king and her and her husband William became the first joint rulers. This was called the “bloodless revolution” because little blood was shed. Characters: - Hardcastle Family: o Mr. Hardcastle- head of central family in the play, traditional and does not like high society life o Mrs. Hardcastle- Mr. Hardcastle’s wife whose first husband died (Mr. Lumpkin), socialite who likes the high society culture that her husband hates o Tony Lumpkin- the son of Mrs. Hardcastle from her first marriage, likes to play tricks on people o Kate- the Hardcastles’ daughter, likes high society life like her mother but also wants to please her father o Ms. Neville- niece of Mrs. Hardcastle (her guardian), she has a fortune in jewels but it will go to her husband when married, Mrs. Hardcastle is pushing her to marry Tony - Other Characters: o Sir Charles Marlowe- war buddies with Mr. Hardcastle o Charles Marlowe- Sir Charles Marlowe’s son who is supposed to marry Kate, shy around high class girls but a player among low class girls o George Hastings- Marlowe’s best friend who has secretly been courting Ms. Neville Family Relationships: Mr. Hardcastle and Kate - Kate likes to be a socialite but her father wants her to be more traditional. She is torn between being young and having fun and her sense of duty to her father. - They make compromises o Kate can dress how she wants and do what she wants during the day, but at night she must dress and act in the more formal way that her father approves of o Her father wants to get rid of Marlow but Kate asks him for a second chance, he gives Marlow an hour - Kate and her father have a relationship of mutual respect which is rare for the time - Different views on marriage o Mr. Hardcastle likes it when Marlow is reserved, Kate does not want a reserved husband (because she thinks he will be suspicious) Tony and Mrs. Hardcastle - She is very protective of him, spoils him and makes excuses for him - Tony does not listen to or respect his mother. He kind of walks all over her. - She does not listen to what he really wants - She wants to force him to marry Ms. Neville so that he can have her fortune, but he is very opposed to this - She treats him like a sickly child and gives him medicine when it is not necessary o She tries to keep him needing her and he does not like it at all The relationship between Kate and Mr. Hardcastle clearly works better. Goldsmith seems to be saying that more effective family relationships include compromise and mutual respect. Romantic Relationships: Ms. Neville and Hastings - They plan to run away together - She goes along with the Tony relationship so that Mrs. Hardcastle will not know her true feelings Kate and Marlow - When he first meets Kate, she is dressed as a high class person and Marlow is therefore afraid to talk to her - Kate meets the “version” of Marlow that her father would like, while her father meets the version of Marlow that Kate would like - Kate dresses as a maid so that she can see what Marlow is really like. She hopes that if she can find the balance between the two different sides of Marlow, then she can have someone who is both fun and pleases her father What is Goldsmith saying about friendship? - Hastings and Sir Charles Marlow- Hastings did not tell Marlow that they are actually at the Hardcastle’s house because he is afraid that Marlow will be embarrassed and leave and then Hastings cannot run away with Ms. Neville - Tony and Hastings- Tony agrees to help Hastings so that he will take Constance away and Tony does not have to marry her, apparently doesn’t like Constance because he thinks she is in love with him even though he does not like her and he does not like her lifestyle Is Mrs. Hardcastle the antagonist? - She makes Tony the way he is - She tries to force marriage to get a fortune for her son which is not what others want - She is trying to be high society and is kind of a pathetic character who values what she cannot have What is the author saying about social class? - Marlow and Hastings thinking the house is an inn and being offended- there are certain ways people are expected to act around people of different classes (expectations of host vs. guest) - Hardcastle’s servants talk back to him and exchange banter rather than simply submit to him. He treats them like family- this was weird at the time because he does not draw the “appropriate” lines between the family and the servants, the servants don’t know how to do their jobs and he has trouble “reeling them in” - Materialism- all the material that people value is pointless, material does not make you a good person - Kate dressing as a maid- probably would have been considered offensive Examples of Comedy: - Tony pranks with the wig - Hardcastle makes fun of his wife by calling her old - Kate saying “I have been threatened with a lover” - Hastings and Marlow thinking the Hardcastle house is an inn - Tony telling Mrs. Hardcastle to pretend the jewels are stolen when they actually have been What is being revealed about women during this time? - Kate’s father talks with her about who she is going to marry and gives her a say - Kate and Hardcastle’s mutual respect and compromises - Kate did not find it awkward that Marlow hit on her while she was dressed like someone else Comedy of manners- what rules are respectable people meant to live by?
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