Aphra Behn Writing Styles in The Rover

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Masks

It is not surprising that, when in 1790 playwright John Kemble revised The Rover to remove its distasteful elements for the more prudish audiences of a later century, he renamed the piece Love in Many Masks. Many of the characters, but especially the roving females, wear masks in The Rover to hide their identity and allow them to move freely in a different environment. Characters in masks may cross social boundaries with ease and play-act different social roles from their usual ones. Thus, the character may live out a fantasy or intrude upon a scene to which he or she would otherwise be denied.

Behn's characters use their masks both for freedom of movement and to hide their identity. Hellena and Florinda, two noble ladies, want to explore the underworld of the carnival and experiment with sensuality, without being detected. Unmarried young ladies were not permitted to visit the...

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This section contains 803 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Rover Study Guide
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Drama for Students
The Rover from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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