By Kate Aughterson
Aphra Behn: The Comedies offers scholars with an approachable and interesting research of Behn's dramaturgical talents, exhibiting fairly how she makes use of comedian and dramatic conventions to radical ends. Kate Aughterson exhibits how the playwright forces her viewers to have interaction with matters approximately gender and sexuality, when carrying on with to jot down witty and obtainable performs.
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Additional resources for Aphra Behn: the Comedies (Analysing Texts)
Both characters appropriate the sobriquet ‘inconstant’ (here l. 156; The Rover, 5, i, 489), in an attempt to characterise themselves as female libertines. What is significant about the way in which the betrothal is represented? First, it is Cornelia, rather than the man, who initiates the discussion about marriage and the radical solution. Secondly, Galliard proposes directly to her, and not through either her brother or uncle. Thirdly, unlike previous betrothals represented on stage, all the characters together present Cornelia’s hand to Galliard.
It takes place in an antechamber: a semi-public place in which all the characters meet in a semi-intimate manner. This part divides clearly into five sections: the conversation between the old men (ll. 108–29); the revelation to Feeble and Cautious that Belmour is alive (ll. 130–51); the arrival and marriages of Bearjest and Diana, Pert and Bredwell (ll. 152–73); the conversation between Sir Feeble, Lady Fulbank, Sir Cautious her husband, and Gayman (ll. 173–203); and the final seven lines spoken by Sir Cautious, which act as a kind of epilogue and moral commentary on the action of the whole play (ll.
This is more benign than the hinted paternal disapproval we noted in The Rover. The second theme is that of sexual conduct within marriage. Both Galliard and Cornelia maintain that marriage is dull and constraining, and lacks sexual excitement, echoing Galliard’s views in the opening scene, which we analysed in the last chapter. Galliard reexpresses this view here (ll. 146–9) with anticipatory horror. Interestingly, his horror is met by two responses. Fillamour continues to moralise: marital pleasures must outweigh those of ‘loose living’ (ll.