The rumour is also meant to assist his mass seduction campaign by helping him identify women who are secretly eager for extramarital sex, because those women will react to a supposedly impotent man with tell-tale horror and disgust.
John Harold Wilson argues that the famously virile stage presence of Hart as Horner must be taken into account when interpreting the play. During the reign of Charles II —playwrights such as John DrydenGeorge EtheregeAphra Behnand William Wycherley wrote comedies that triumphantly reassert aristocratic dominance and prestige after the years of middle class power during Oliver Cromwell 's Commonwealth.
He shows his dominance over the men he cuckolds. This sentiment suggests that Horner may not be given over entirely to cynicism, and indeed the impression that he is capable of valuing including women for the right reasons will be substantiated later in the play, when he expresses his regret over the impending marriage of Alethea to Sparkish rather than to Harcourt, who loves her.
English Restoration playwrights, such as George Etherege and John Dryden, also celebrated the masculine, libertine ideals of the period and portrayed real-life Restoration celebrities as characters in their work. The action of the play has shown that not all forms of trust are admirable: Sir Jasper, like Sparkish in an earlier phase, has displayed excessive trust arising from self-centeredness, and in both cases this negative form of trust has led to the defection of the lady in the case.
To achieve the much denser texture and more complex plotting that pleased in London, Wycherley would combine several source plays to produce bustling action and clashing moods, ranging from farce through paradox to satire. We will not go into details. Wycherley, William New Mermaid ed.
During its long banishment from the stage, The Country Wife continued a shadowy existence in the form of David Garrick 's cleaned-up version The Country Girlwhere Margery is a virgin and Horner her romantic lover.
But they are called forth into full energy by a virtuous passion. Charles' choice of actresses as mistresses, notably Nell Gwynhelped keep the interest fresh, and Wycherley plays on this interest in The Country Wife by having Mr.
Themes and analysis[ edit ] The dynamics of marriage[ edit ] People marry for the sake of outward appearances, for example Alithea feels that she has no choice but to marry Sparkish because her status in society expects her to.
Wycherly took up residence at Oxford on his return but left Oxford for London in