Review Of “The Arrival Of The Actress” By Elizabeth Howe
This week, I chose to read Elizabeth Howe’s article “The Arrival of the Actress”. The portion of the article that stood out to me the most was the discussion regarding the fact that there has been great deal of confusion as to exactly what solidified women’s place onstage during the 17th century: “…while a lack of suitable boys may have precipitated an abrupt change to actresses, this does not explain why the change was considered desirable in the first place”. It seems as though women were thrust upon the stage both to follow the trend in Spain, France, and Italy admired by the royals as well as to draw in an audience to witness this previously taboo sight.
Exploring Howe’s article highlighted the interactions between men and women as I read The Country Wife. Just as Howe’s article left the impression that women were used simply to mimic other countries and attract audiences, they are objectified by men consistently, but really, what’s new? The objectification does not solely present itself in a bawdy way, but also as a system of exchange between the men of the play: through women, men acquire both relationships with and dominance over other men. Power shifts as women remain passive, being strategically used to benefit male allegiance or even instill fear. In Act I, Hoerner discusses Pinchwife’s recent marriage with him. In the same scene, fearing that Hoerner will cuckold him should he come into contact with his wife, Pinchwife does all he can to deter Hoerner from Margery: “No, no, she has no beauty but her youth, no attraction but her modesty. Homely and housewifely, that’s all. She’s too awkward, ill-favored and silly to bring to Town.” At the simple mention of the woman in Pinchwife’s life, Hoerner is able to assert dominance and instill fear. It is as though he is playing with his food. The conquest of the woman might not even be nearly as satisfying as backing her husband into a corner and watching him squirm: “But was it thy wife? She was exceedingly pretty. I was in love with her at that distance.” Horner cleverly heightens Pinchwife’s paranoia while knowing the majority of the husbands believe him to be harmless in his rumored impotence.
Just as uncertainty about the reasoning behind placing women onstage exists, so it does in regard to where Hoerner gains the most pleasure. He is not simply out to bed women, but he carefully curates his use of women and words, masquerading as an underdog, to implicate his own dominance over the women’s husbands.
Introduction Most of the debates concerning business ethics have mainly concentrated on social and ecological responsibility of organizations in the society. In the recent years ethics has increasingly become an […]
Romantic poetry can be said to have emerged as a counter-current to the 18th century intellectual and philosophical movement, the Enlightenment, which believed reason to be the predominating signifier of […]
The climax of Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire occurs in “Scene Ten,” when Stanley ultimately rapes Blanche, his sister-in-law. Many audiences and readers have debated whether or not this […]
‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of good fortune must be in want of a wife.’ The fact that Austen opens Pride and Prejudice […]
“Stories changed with each telling. Or is that the nature of all stories, the reason for their power?” Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, an Indian best selling novelist, has written an extremely […]
“No one is exempt from the possibility of a conscious connection to All That Is.” Alice Walker explores this quote through the story of Celie. Just like the color purple, […]
Propaganda advertising refers to the process of advertising, which is aimed at influencing consumers towards the consumption of products through the presentation of one side of an argument. Advertisers cautiously […]
The Significance of Violence in No Country for Old Men As is true with most of Cormac McCarthy’s novels, No Country for Old Men is replete with scenes of violence. […]
“Tommy sighed, ‘I know,’ he said. ‘Well, I suppose we’ve got time. None of us are in any particular hurry’ ” (178). None of us are in any particular hurry. […]
This week, I chose to read Elizabeth Howe’s article “The Arrival of the Actress”. The portion of the article that stood out to me the most was the discussion regarding […]