Love for Love Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 67 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Love for Love.
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Gender Roles and Sexual Behavior

Throughout Love for Love, Congreve plays with the limited roles assigned to the genders in upper-class society. Men can be cuckolds, cruel masters, rakes, or provincials, while women can be scheming meddlers, whores, or (rarely) good wives. The crucial characteristic for women is how permissive they are in terms of bestowing their sexual favors; men, however, are judged less by their sexual behavior and more by their "mastery" of the world: their children, finances, servants, and love affairs.

For the contemporary reader approaching Restoration drama for the first time, what is most striking is the "double standard" applied to sexual behavior. Men were encouraged to seduce virgins or other men's wives, while women who were too promiscuous sexually were considered disreputable. Valentine, for instance, is visited by the nurse of one of his illegitimate children and curses the mother for not killing the child...

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This section contains 1,001 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Love for Love Study Guide
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Love for Love from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.