Courtship Of Marriage Depicted In Aphra Behn's "The Rover" And "Oroonoko".

901 words - 4 pages

Courtship and marriage has been one of the themes used in Aphra Behn's "The Rover" and "Oroonoko". Not only is it emphasized in the plots, but also in the written characters as well. In "The Rover", Aphra Behn criticizes the idea of arranged marriages which is not stereotypical of women, who were supposed to be longing for marriage proposals from any man of high status. She also depicts romance through prostitution, virginity while giving her female characters a louder voice. In "Oroonoko" on the other hand, is known to be a heroic romance. Oroonoko and Imoinda's relationship is portrayed to be the "perfect" marriage with honesty, loyalty and virtue. Although written by the same author, these two works differ in the views on courtship and marriage.In "The Rover", the main female characters, Hellena and Florinda are both yearning for more than they are offered. Hellena on one hand is being forced into a nunnery while Florinda is being forced to marry. Angelica however, is portrayed as the courtesan or prostitute. Aphra Behn portrays the female characters with a greater sense of interiority, wit and eloquence. Hellena often stands up for herself against the male characters while showing courage and wit. This is portrayed for example, when she is defending her sister as she firmly states to her brother, "Is't not enough you make a nun of me, but you must cast my sister away too, exposing her to a worse confinement than a religious life?" Although Florinda is Hellena's sister, she does not possess Hellena's typical masculine qualities, she is a stereotypical female. They are both young women from a family of high status who are virgins which is the only boundary they possess from being classified as a lady instead of "the whore". Women were only honorable when they were sexually passive.Although Hellena is brave and fearless she is still mocked by men, for example, by Don Pedro when he finds out her feelings for Willmore he states, "Take her. I shall now to be free from fears of her honour; guard it you now, if you can."The use of instruction and demand as Don Pedro instructs Willmore to "Take her", makes Hellena seem doll-like and of no more real value than a bartering chip. His other instructions to Willmore to "guard" Hellena suggest women need to be protected by men. This quotation in all highlights the typical male attitude at that time; that women were weak and in need of male dominance."My richest treasure being lost, my honor, All the remaining spoil could not be worth, The conqueror's care or value." Here Angelica is presumably telling Wilmore...

Find Another Essay On Courtship of Marriage Depicted in Aphra Behn's "The Rover" and "Oroonoko".

Aphra Behn's Oroonoko as the First Modern Novel

1313 words - 5 pages horror and distinction to the completion of the plot.   Aphra Behn's Oroonoko deals with consequential topics such as racism, gender issues, and slaves. The story is unlike any of the seventeenth century, yet it proves to be one of the first novels. It succeeds in following the guidelines for a novel - distinctiveness, unity of design, and rejection of traditional plots. Behn's accomplishment in writing Oroonoko both paved the way for

Courtship and Marriage in 'The Taming of the Shrew'

2153 words - 9 pages Discuss Shakespeare’s Presentation of Courtship and Marriage in ‘The Taming of the Shrew’. In this comedy about relationships between the sexes, Shakespeare conveys many characters as seeing courtship and marriage as sport and presents a society in which many view marriage as a business transaction for the gain of land or money. The play is also used to create a satire of unacceptable male attitudes in Shakespearian society through themes of

The Rover by Aphra Behn

1516 words - 6 pages In The Rover by Aphra Behn the reader is shown how all a woman could do during the 1600’s in Europe was sell herself through marriage or prostitution through the characters Hellena and Angellica. Both women have different views on love, sex, and marriage. Hellena is a woman who does not want to be controlled by men. It has been determined by her father and brother that she will join a nunnery, which she rejects. Hellena doesn’t want her desires

Aphra Behn's "The Widow Ranter", similarities and parallels between the events and characters of the play and those of the English Civil War

1959 words - 8 pages Upon reading Aphra Behn's, "The Widow Ranter", it is impossible not to notice the similarities and parallels between the events and characters of the play and those of the English Civil War. These similarities may at first appear to be mere coincidences, it is true that may civil wars are innately comparable to each other; however it is not the case of The Widow Ranter. In The Widow Ranter, Behn artfully constructs and construes a story which

compare and contrast aphra Bhen's Oroonoko the royal slave and candide, or optimism

1637 words - 7 pages Write an essay of 1,500 words in which you compare and contrast the two passages below, taken from Behn's 'Oroonoko' or The Royal Slave and Voltaire's 'Candide', or Optimism.In your discussion pay particular attention to the ways in which the contexts of European colonisation and exploration inform the two passages.Aphra Bhen was a prolific female playwright and author during the restoration period of English history. Bhen herself stood by the

Defining identity in Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave: A True History

1840 words - 7 pages Throughout Oronooko, particularly in this passage, Aphra Behn focuses on identity in both specific characters, such as Oroonoko and Imoinda, and collective terms, such as “Whites” and “Negroes.” In this way, she examines the various aspects of identity, particularly the personal and cultural. Additionally, she underscores the distinctions between man and beast in relation to human identity by exploring their respective definitions. Finally

The Complications of Courtship in Pride and Prejudice

1382 words - 6 pages Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is a satirical tale about courtship in 19th century England. The novel focuses around the developing relationship between the two main characters, Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. The protagonist of the novel, Elizabeth, and the antagonist of the novel, Mr Darcy are two very contrasting characters; despite being faced with many problems and challenges, discover that they love each other and that their love is

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and Oroonoko by Aphra Behn - how tragic lives of main characters are perfect examples of the theme of alienation and its effects on man's search for identity

1708 words - 7 pages Heights and Oroonoko were written 50 and 212 years prior to the 20th century by British women, the novels exemplify a mood of alienation, while their characters search for identity, just as contemporary characters in literature carry on this theme. The main characters of Wuthering Heights and Oroonoko and their tragic lives are perfect examples of the theme of alienation and its effects on man's search for identity.Wuthering Heights is set in the

Sexual Empowerment of Women in Behn's The Willing Mistress and The Disappointment

1996 words - 8 pages Sexual Empowerment of Women in Behn's The Willing Mistress and The Disappointment     "All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn, . . . for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds." (Woolf 91) Born in 1640, Aphra Behn broke gender stereotypes when she undertook a thrilling (if unrewarded) life as a spy for the Crown, but it was her scandalous career as an author which truly achieved many

The Representation of Masculinity and Violence in Henry V and The Rover

2070 words - 8 pages . Bibliography OWENS, W.R. and GOODMAN, Lizbeth, Ed. Shakespeare, Aphra Behn and the Canon (London: Routledge in association with the Open University, 1996). BEHN, Aphra. Oroonoko, The Rover and other works (London: Penguin, 1992). SHAKESPEARE, William. Henry v (London: Penguin, 1968, 1996). Audio / Visual TV 3: The Authentick & Ironicall Historie of Henry V VC 1: A210 Approaching Literature: The Rover Audio Cassette 6: Henry V AC2125 Audio Cassette 7: Henry V AC2126

Expressionism in Machinal and the Rover - University of Saskatchewan, English 112 - Essay

785 words - 4 pages Machinal, puts Helen in a position of despair when she has no choice to marry George H. Jones. The pressure that Helen feels from her mother to marry and the pressure from being a woman in Helens time. The strain this puts on Helen causes her to murder her husband, and leads to her death. In Aphra Behns The Rover, Florinda must deal with being in an arranged marriage, which was normal for a woman of her stature. Unwilling to conform to social

Similar Essays

Politics In Aphra Behn's Oroonoko Essay

2466 words - 10 pages Oroonoko, the explicit political ideology of the narrator is that of a Royalist and a Tory, as well. Aphra Behn includes characters she most likely had personally met during her stay in Surinam, adding real-life colour to her story. However, I do not think she identifies herself with the narrator at all times. Decisions on the political meaning of the book and Behn's intentions will in fact depend on how many politically charged allusions we want to

Importance Of Carnival In Aphra Behn's The Rover

996 words - 4 pages without the carnival as a backdrop, Behn could not have as effectively pulled off the character's relationships and the myriad encounters nearly as well. The characters actions speak as much if not more than their words do and the speed of the play is determined by these actions. This could only have been achieved by the confusion and spontaneity inherent in the nature of carnivals. Thus, the importance of Carnival in Aphra Behn's The Rover was paramount to the success of the play.(1)As noted by Prof. Champ during a conference(2)

Subtle Criticism In Aphra Behn's Oroonoko

1424 words - 6 pages ethnocentric and seems to have no problem with the slave trade, only with the treatment of one specific individual (namely, Oroonoko). Occasionally, however, there will be a slip, a slight inconsistency in the narrators character, which offers a glimpse of Behn's true sentiments. For example, throughout the novel, the narrator is a strong believer in religion. She tells Imoinda ". . . Stories of Nuns and endeavour[s] to bring her to the knowledge

A Patriarchic Society In Aphra Behn's The Rover

1166 words - 5 pages A Patriarchic Society in Aphra Behn's The Rover In her play The Rover, Aphra Behn uses the treatment of women to suggest the presence of a strong patriarchic society and what harm can become of it. The main female character Florinda is manipulated, used, and treated horribly by men in instances of near-rape, battering and beating, and foul language among other things. Behn also uses Willmore, one of the main male characters, and his