The Rover Essay

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In the following introduction excerpt, Lomax analyzes Behn's use of Carnival for her play's setting as one of escapism from the reality of the English Restoration.

Killigrew's Thomaso, on which The Rover was based, is set in Madrid in late November. There are disguises, and the Feast of St Cecilia, patron saint of music, is associated with Thomaso himself, but there is none of the pre-Lenten urgency to eat, drink, and be merry which characterises The Rover, and no mention of the pervading spirit of carnival which Aphra Behn introduced when she adapted and altered Killigrew's play. Behn also moved the action to Naples, where a carnival setting was associated with Roman Saturnalian revels as well as with opposition to the restrictions of the Christian tradition's Lent, which included a ban on sexual intercourse as well as the eating of meat.

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This section contains 141 words
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