• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'The urge to control is in all of us: it drives our lives.' In light of this view, consider the ways in which the writers explore control in 'The Rivals' and 'The Wife of Bath'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

?The urge to control is in all of us: it drives our lives.? In light of this view, consider the ways in which the writers explore control. Although written centuries apart, ?The Wife Of Bath? and ?The Rivals? both effectively embody the desire for control. By presenting their respective protagonists as sly and deceptive, Sheridan and Chaucer allow their characters to dominate and manipulate both their fellow characters and the audience to their liking. Likewise, the qualities of verbal wit presented among the female protagonists by Chaucer and Sheridan allow these female characters to assert their influence, intellectually and comically. Despite the presence of male patriarchal forces restoring the domineering women to their inferior social status; the constant shift in control amongst the characters permit Sheridan and Chaucer to draw parallels with the changes in their own societies. In particular, the deception demonstrated in the texts enables certain characters to take control over traditional sources of power. With regards to ?The Wife Of Bath?, although Medieval society condemned women to eternal servitude of their husbands; critic Marsh?s view that the Wife depends upon ?Deceit as a defence against male domination? portrays her as willing to deceive her (dominant) ...read more.

Middle

Additionally, the verbal wit of the Wife and Mrs Malaprop allows them to convey their intellect in male-dominated spheres. Mrs Malaprop in ?The Rivals? undeniably becomes powerful as a result of her ?Malapropisms?, that is, her comical verbal errors. The comedic effect of the exclamation marks and bold tone from Mrs Malaprop here, ?An attack upon my language!...Sure if I reprehend anything in this world, it is the use of my?nice derangement of epitaphs!?, conveys how the power she gains over the audience and fellow characters stems from humour. Therefore, critics Loftis? view that Mrs Malaprop?s ?Fault arises from intellectual rather than social affectation? refers directly to Mrs Malaprop?s impact through her language. Although ?fault? seems critical of Malaprop, it could also emphasize the humorous and powerful effect her verbal blunders have in the play. Meanwhile, the Wife adopts examples of textual authority to empower her arguments against those who attempt to undermine her, like the Church. Despite Medieval women not receiving an education due to their believed inferiority, the Wife calls on ?The wise astrologien, Daun Ptholome? to validate her controversial arguments. ...read more.

Conclusion

Interestingly, in Sheridan?s era, the notion of Julia breaking off an engagement with Faulkland would have been seen as outrageous by society. In Georgian times, only men were able to dissolve such engagements instead of women; indicating how men remained totally dominant, even as far as ove was concerned. Therefore, while the Wife manages to overcome the limitations of patriarchy; Julia?s inability to control Faulkland represents how the urge to control is often unsuccessful among characters. In conclusion, via an endlessly-shifting dominance between male and female characters; Sheridan and Chaucer effectively encapsulate the complex nature of control. In particular, despite the social restrictions placed on the Wife, her ability to deceive and argue her way into control regardless of opposition represents how her desire for dominance not only ?drives? her life; but the progression of the text. Similarly, the dominance obtained by the lower-class Lucy and the repression of the upper-class Julia indeed embodies the comedic elements of ?The Rivals?, yet symbolises the difficulty of becoming dominant with such gender and social limitations. For this reason, only Lucy and the Wife gain control due to their wise but cunning manipulation of the expectations imposed on them by society and their counterparts in the texts. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    The English patient also does this throughout the 1930s, refusing to let anyone get close to him in his travels, his affairs, and his friendships. He shares little about his private life, choosing to stick to only the descriptive facts when he writes about the landscape and the geography.

  2. Compare and Contrast the ways in which the Doyle and Walker present and explore ...

    but simply describes the movements of Albert as if no more than a robotic command. "What is it to like?" she announces, "He git up on you, heist your nightgown round your waist, plunge in....Just do his business, get off, go to sleep" she talks like it has been done

  1. The Pleasures of pursuit are greater than the thrill of conquest. In light ...

    The Pardoner's tale is written as a didactic satire on the clerics who took pleasure in conning people with fake relics such as a "latoun a shoulder boon". Typical of Aristotle's tragedy, Faustus starts the play with good intentions. He wishes to learn more about "lines, circles, letters and characters" however, his hamartia is his hubris.

  2. Compare and contrast how Atwood and Orwell use language in their regimes as a ...

    They use language to keep the Handmaids in their place in the hierarchy of society. Biblical elements are taken very literally, a key example being the ethos behind the primary purpose of society - to breed. This is demonstrated in the epigraph where the story of Rachel and Bilhah is

  1. Discuss this interpretation of Iagos role in the light of the critical views you ...

    Iago uses the fact of his skin colour to destroy his mind and control him. Yet, he is clever to do this and make us fascinating by what he is doing. Iago has a special relationship with the audience, and his soliloquies make the audience interested.

  2. 'Literature is not the forum for moralising'. In light of this view, consider the ...

    Interestingly, the notion of ?custom? conveys a sense of normality among the Georgians, allowing Sheridan to effectively attack such a widely accepted tradition in ?The Rivals?. Furthermore, Sheridan himself married for love, therefore by presenting his characters as marrying for financial gain; Sheridan demonstrates to his readers that marriage is being exploited to increase wealth, thus making it immoral.

  1. How do the writers present sexuality and gender in Tales Of Ovid, Streetcar Named ...

    structure and morale ambiguities of Streetcar struck a chord of truth.?[11] Furthermore, when Williams describes Stanley shouting ?Sttellah!?[12] in a ?heaven splitting voice?, we see the further power of the Kowalskis, who have rocked the status quo to the same extent as Venus? ?doomed love?[13] in Ovid, that means she has ?neglected even Olympus?[14].

  2. How far were women writers of the Romantic period constrained in their choice of ...

    However, women were continuing to give out a large output of literary forms at this time, many women wanted to first and formerly be known as a writer , they did not want to be categorised because of their sex.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work