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Patriarchal Pursuit Essay

1545 words - 7 pages

There are a number of elements to my board game, which were designed to reflect both the Restoration time period, and the play The Rover by Aphra Behn. The game is called “Patriarchal Pursuit” and it was created as a fun and interactive way to understand societal and theatrical changes of the period, as well as the role of female characters in the play. Significant aspects of the board game include the purpose, question mark cards, the “Libertine Lockup” space, as well as the trap door.

The purpose of the board game is for the players to see who can reach the finish first, while earning the most points. Female characters move around the board as their game is influenced by gender ...view middle of the document...

This act of opposition is one of advancement for women’s independence, and so the player moves ahead.
In a small pocket on the board game there is a stack of cards flipped upside down and on the playing spaces there are several question marks. When a player lands on a question mark space, they must pull a card from this pocket and perform what is indicated on the card. These cards were inspired from study cu-cards I made for the midterm and are designed for both trivia and quote analysis to test the players’ knowledge and affect the game. There are many cards that have quotes and the player may move up if he or she can identify the speaker. There are also a number of cards that relate to setting, themes, and the play’s plot. An example of this is one of the cards, which pertains to the theme of disguise. The card reads, “What is the disguise Hellena wears to fool Willmore and convince Angellica that he is seeing another woman? Name
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the disguise and receive 3 points”. This card draws on the player’s knowledge, and on the theme of disguise.
Disguise is a central theme of The Rover as it blurs the distinction between men and women. Women are often portrayed in masculine ways such as in this example where Hellena dresses as a man. By using masks, the setting of carnival, and disguise, the women of the play abandon their prescribed roles. During the Restoration, this display of equalization marked feminist ideals and progress for women. As a reflection of this, players advance in the game by naming the disguise.
Although the cards often use parts of the play to advance players, as a reflection female advances in society, they also draw on patriarchal obstructions. Throughout the play, Hellena and Florinda are faced with the authority of their brother Don Pedro, as well as the frequent danger of sexual dominance through rape. These obstacles for female progression in society are reflected in the game by events printed on the cards. If a player pulls a card pertaining to male dominance, they are instructed to either move back spaces on the game board, or be sent to the “Libertine Lockup” space on the board. An example of this is a card, which reads: “Willmore is drunk and attempts to rape Florinda. You must go to Libertine Lockup.” Through these cards the obstacles women faced during the play and in the Restoration period, are replicated in board game by moving them back in the game.
An important space on the game board is “Libertine Lockup”. This serves a similar purpose as the “Jail” space in Monopoly. When players are sent to “Libertine Lockup” it is due to male dominance in the play, replicating society holding women back
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from liberation. A libertine is usually a male who is sexually unrestrained and embodies superiority. Events in the play that embody the libertine image, such as when Willmore attempts to rape Florinda, are typed on the cards and the player who draws this card is instructed to go to the “Libertine...

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