She Stoops to Conquer Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 49 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of She Stoops to Conquer.
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Appearances and Reality

Much of the comedy of Goldsmith's play depends on confusion between appearance and reality. After all, Marlow's misperception of Mr. Hardcastle's house as an inn drives the narrative action in the first place. Ironically, Goldsmith's comedy allows appearance to lead to the discovery of reality, Kate's deception leads her to discover Marlow's true nature. Falling in love when he thinks her a barmaid, he declares his decision to defy society and marry her in spite of the differences in their social class. Her falsehood allows him to relax with her and reveal his true self.

Sex Roles

In many ways, Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer satirizes the ways the eighteenth-century society believed that proper men and women ought to behave. While the play shows the traditional pattern of male-female relations in Hastings's wooing of Constance, it also reverses the era's sexual etiquette by having Kate pursue...

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This section contains 705 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the She Stoops to Conquer Study Guide
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Drama for Students
She Stoops to Conquer from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.