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In the country, people are forced to confront their faults and lead a more honest way of life. Consider She Stoops to Conquer in the light of this comment.

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Introduction

´╗┐In the country, people are forced to confront their faults and lead a more honest way of life. Consider She Stoops to Conquer in the light of this comment. (40) Traditionally the pastoral genre celebrates the virtues of simple, unsophisticated life removed from the city. The rural countryside hosts a nostalgic population longing for a bucolic paradise where people live in peace, harmony and honesty, similar to the existence of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before the fall. This depiction of idyllic rural life is presented by Goldsmith in She Stoops to Conquer, however the deception of characters throughout the play can be seen to distort this view of traditional country life. Goldsmith uses the character of Mr Hardcastle to epitomise the honest nature of country folk. Mr Hardcastle is presented as a traditional, old country squire, who is characterised as open and direct. He confesses honestly that he ?loves everything that?s old? and that he?s not interested in ?vanity?. ?Vanity? suggests superficiality and that true character traits are omitted by ?jewels? and ?ornaments? in order to deceive those around and promote a dishonest appearance. Hardcastle associates this ?vanity? with the town, which is seen traditionally in pastoral literature as nefarious and corrupt compared to the simple, pragmatic country setting. It could be interpreted that Mr Hardcastle?s long life spent in the country, shown through use of the name ?squire? which has connotations of a ...read more.

Middle

to ?all the fashions?, which can further be interpreted as a fault in her character which remains present at the end of the play, therefore suggesting the country isn?t necessarily a utopic landscape of retribution. Furthermore, Goldsmith characterises many of the rural characters as simple and stubborn, unwilling to change routine which is mimetic of the unyielding nature of the country, therefore any faults that they may have are irreversible. In Tony?s song at the Three Pigeons pub, he toasts ?here?s the Three Jolly Pigeons for ever?, ?for ever? has a sense of routine which cannot be altered, reflecting that his life will never change and his tricks and mischief will continue ?for ever?. Consequently Goldsmith highlights the unyielding characteristic of the country which can nourish pre-existing traits in characters instead of correcting them. The ?gentlemen? of the town Marlow and Hastings are initially presented by Goldsmith to be sophisticated and scholarly, which was how most men of the town were perceived in the 18th century. However, it soon becomes apparent that both characters possess faults underneath the posh urban veneer. Goldsmith reveals, through Hastings, that Marlow is ?such a trembler? when he is around women of high status, which is ironic considering he should be able to converse easily with facets of high society to which he himself belongs. ...read more.

Conclusion

because of their belief they were staying at an inn which they were paying for, ?bring me my bill?, the use of the imperative in Marlow?s speech highlights his insolence towards Hardcastle. Although Tony?s jest created more faults in characters and led to Marlow?s lack of respect towards Hardcastle, Tony?s trick; like Kate?s, wasn?t vicious nor did it have any lasting effects. Clive Fuller reviewed the stage performance in Birmingham and said ?there is great farce as the deception unfolds? reflecting the comedy of the situation which proves no great harm is caused. Once the ruse had been discovered, everything was settled and the characters resolved their issues, shown through the stage directions ?joining their hands? which represents unity in the household. Moreover, Tony?s deception of Marlow enabled Kate to pretend to be the ?barmaid? at the ?inn?, which ultimately resulted in her romance with him, ?he loves you?, thus Tony?s trick can be viewed as intending to amuse rather than destroy, suggesting the country does promote honest living. Throughout She Stoops to Conquer, Goldsmith illuminates many faults in each character, most of which are amended at the end of the play, subsequently ending the piece in a light-hearted manner and in the style of a traditional Shakespearean comedy, with which Goldsmith?s work was associated. Therefore overall, the country and its many inhabitants do often lead a more honest life and encourage other faulted characters to do the same. ...read more.

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