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Act one of the rover opens with two scenes which indicate that men and women occupy very different spheres. Compare and contrast the men and women in Act 1 scene1 and Act 1 scene 2. Aphra Behn sets the first scene of her play within a chamber

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Introduction

Act one of the rover opens with two scenes which indicate that men and women occupy very different spheres. Compare and contrast the men and women in Act 1 scene1 and Act 1 scene 2. Aphra Behn sets the first scene of her play within a chamber in order to introduce a domestic sphere, allowing the audience to gain direct information about the characters and their inner views and ideas as they are hidden from the outside world. Consequently Behn is able to communicate to the audience the difficulties of a patriarchal society, this is portrayed by Helena and Florinda's behaviour towards their brother, Pedro, who although maintains status due to his gender and possesses power over his sisters, he is challenged and opposed by Helena, which becomes clear through her use of language in addition to her actions and behaviour in scene 2. We are instantly provided with the differences between men and women within society; where Pedro views the purpose of marriage to gain status and the importance of marrying a well known man, Florinda challenges his opinion as she is in love with Belvile and therefore desires to follow her heart and remain faithful to him, regardless of his background and place in society. ...read more.

Middle

moreover, Helena may possess more power through her language than Pedro and as a result he is unable to silence her as he does not obtain the ability. Behn almost sets the first scene in preparation to what happens in scene two, as we predict that sisters, but in particular Helena will go against the patriarchal beliefs and views as she states she is 'resolved to prepare myself this carnival', again portraying some power maintained by her as she will fulfil her desires no matter the consequence. In addition by her refusal to remain a virgin she is demonstrating the power she has, eventually the sisters agree to outwit their brother by joining the carnival, undermining his authority. Therefore, where one interpretation of the play is to illustrate the lack of power women are provided with in society, another demonstrates that Behn empowers the female characters with some control; she further portrays this Callis when she disobeys the orders given to her by Pedro and allows Helena and Florinda to attend the carnival as she claims she 'has a youthful itch of going myself' hence there is no doubt that the women maintain some power as well as men. ...read more.

Conclusion

The whole scene is concerned with sexual acts carried out by almost all characters. We are aware of the power held by women in this scene, Lucetta gains power over Blunt as the stage direction describes that 'he strut's and cocks and walks and gazes on her', evidently she has trapped him as she states 'if I understand my trade he's mine', thus although she is a prostitute she has power over him as he thirsts to make love to her. Similarly Angelica Bianca is said to be in town, she possesses a lot of power over all men due to her beauty, Frederick states ''tis pretty to see how much love men regard her', however, whether or not this is to be referred to as power can be argued, as men exploit her to receive sexual satisfaction, nevertheless the fact that they pay for her can be interpreted that she does have power over them due to the idea that she is gaining money from them. Furthermore, throughout this scene we are enlightened that Helena has conducted a sexual act with Willmore, thereby emphasising that she possesses power as she has gone against her family and her society as she is to be transformed to a nun. ...read more.

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