By Kate Aughterson

Aphra Behn: The Comedies offers scholars with an approachable and interesting research of Behn's dramaturgical skills, displaying rather how she makes use of comedian and dramatic conventions to radical ends. Kate Aughterson exhibits how the playwright forces her viewers to have interaction with matters approximately gender and sexuality, when carrying on with to write down witty and obtainable performs.

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Extra info for Aphra Behn: the Comedies (Analysing Texts)

Sample text

And you were one of the devils that beat me and the 195 captain here, sir? Gayman. No, truly, sir, those were some I hired, to beat you for abusing me today. Noisy. To make you ’mends sir, I bring you the certain news of the death of Sir Thomas Gayman, your uncle, who has left you two 200 thousand pounds a year. Gayman. I thank you, sir; I heard the news before. Sir Cautious. How’s this: Mr Gayman, my lady’s first lover? I find, Sir Feeble, we were a couple of old fools indeed, to think at our age to cozen two lusty young fellows of their mistresses; ’tis no 205 wonder that both the men and the women have been too hard for us; we are not fit matches for either, that’s the truth on’t.

Cornelia’s views and intentions are given social sanction by a fictional community represented by all the characters on stage. Finally, patriarchal authority is diluted by the replacement of brothers/uncles with community. This is radical both in its visual dramatic contrast with the first two betrothals, and in its expressed content. Words and physical action combine to show an alternative model of sexual politics. Yet once this has happened, why does the play not end here? We are presented with another 40 lines of near-buffoonery.

I am undone; but, good Sir Signal, do not cry whore first, as the old proverb says. Sir Signal. And good Mr Governor, as another old proverb says, do not let the kettle call the pot black-arse. Fillamour. How came you hither, gentlemen? Sir Signal. Why, faith, sir, divining of a wedding or two forward, I brought Mr Chaplain to give you a cast of his office, as the saying is. Fillamour. What, without book, Mr Tickletext? Cornelia. How now, sure you mistake; these are two lovers of mine. Sir Signal.

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