Shakespeares Henry V and The Rover

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This essay examines the socially marginal characters in Shakespeare's Henry V and Aphra Behn's The Rover. The thesis states that gender is not a discerning factor for socially marginal characters since both sexes are equally vulnerable to be marginalised. It is how one conducts oneself that respect and importance can be earned.

Introduction

Behn persisted in writing plays until her works proved themselves worthy and her marginal status was somewhat reversed as she was accorded recognition as a playwright.
In The Rover, the socially marginalized characters are the women and the materialistically poor men. Act One, Scene One opens with Florinda and Hellena discussing the former's impending marriage. Florinda says that their father gives 'unjust commands' to a forced marriage against her will. Florinda pleads with her brother Pedro, saying; 'I hate Vincentio, sir, and I would not have a man so dear to me as my brother follow the ill customs of our country and make a slave of his sister. And, sir, my father's will I'm sure you may divert.' (Act One, Scene One, Lines 56-8). The daughter, sister and woman's choice fall under the domination of patriarchy. The woman is treated as a commodity in marriage. She is a marginal character because her opinion has little importance or influence, as seen when Florinda voices her choice in Belvile but is gunned down by Pedro. Florinda has a dowry provided by her deceased uncle but that is to be used to marry into a bigger fortune. Belvile is marginal character who is discredited against because he has neither wealth nor social position because he is a poor, banished English cavalier. ...
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