The Rover Essay

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The Rover (1677) and The Second Part of The Rover (1681), both drawn from Killigrew's Thomaso, or The Wanderer (1663), are Behn's only plays to label a character a courtesan; in her wholly original The Feigned Curtezans (1679), witty virgins impersonate famous Roman courtesans and near-debauches occur, but, as befits the romantic intrigue, marriages settle the confusion of plots and the financial stink of prostitution is hastily cleared away. If courtesans figure by name in only three plays, however, the commodification of women in the marriage market is Aphra Behn's first and most persistent theme. Beginning appropriately enough with The Forced Marriage; or The Jealous Bridegroom (1670), all of Behn's seventeen known plays deal to some extent with women backed by dowries or portions who are forced by their fathers into marriage in exchange for jointure, an agreed-upon income to be settled on the wife should she be widowed.

There was a lived...

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This section contains 1,872 words
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The Rover from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.