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Female Gender in a Production of The Country Wife - Assignment Example

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In the paper “Female Gender in a Production of The Country Wife,” the author discusses the proliferation of restoration comedies, which symbolized the English renaissance, marking the liberation from puritanical censorship of public stage performances towards the increased sexuality…
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Female Gender in a Production of The Country Wife
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Download file to see previous pages Moreover, in contrast to the renaissance comedies of Moliere, the English Restoration audiences demanded layered plots combining drama and comedy in the common satire of the aristocracy2. As such, the restoration comedy presented the witty woman and this is particularly evident in William Wycherley’s “The Country Wife” (1675); which whilst embodying distinct parallels with French Renaissance playwright Moliere; goes further by reflecting a complex multi-layered plot, incorporating contrasting themes of feminine discontent, chauvinism and sexual intrigue3.
Therefore, from a production perspective, the portrayal of gender roles and the inherent conflicts between genders in terms of sexual desire and appropriate gender roles is imperative in any contemporary stage production of The Country Wife, which is an atypical restoration comedy about Mr. Pinchwife’s quest to avoid cuckoldry, which fails through the intertwinement of subplots seeking to satirize the aristocracy.
Moreover, the Country Wife is a classic aristocratic restoration comedy and the staging of gender (particularly female gender) would be imperative in any theatre production as the central female protagonists Alithea and Mrs. Pinchwife clearly mirror stock restoration comedy characters. Therefore, in directing these characters, the actresses playing them would have to undertake prior research with regard to gestures, movement, and speech of the restoration period, which is characteristically flamboyant, comedic and dramatic (See Figure 1). To this end, Callow highlights the need to evaluate the actual code of speech and the behavior that is implied in the text for any actor portraying the female characters in restoration comedy4. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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