The Country Wife
A&C Black, 13.02.2014 - 184 Seiten
'He's a fool that marries, but he's a greater fool that does not marry a fool.'
This bawdy, hilarious, subversive and wickedly satirical drama pokes fun at the humourless, the jealous, and the adulterous alike. It features a country wife, Margery, whose husband believes she is too naïve to cuckold him; and an anti-hero, Horner, who pretends to be impotent in order to have unrestrained access to the women keen on 'the sport'. A number of licentious and hypocritical women request Horner's services – the country wife among them.
The Country Wife has provoked powerfully mixed reactions over the years. The seventeenth century libertine king Charles II saw it twice, and is said to have joined the 'dance of the cuckolds' at the end of one performance; the eighteenth century actor-playwright David Garrick declared it 'the most licentious play in the English language'; the Victorian Macaulay compared it to a skunk, because it was 'too filthy to handle and too noisome even to approach'. Twentieth century productions heralded it a Restoration masterpiece. Sexually frank, and as ready to criticise marriage as infidelity, the virtuosity, linguistic energy, brilliant wit, naughtiness and complexity of this ribald play have made it a staple of the modern stage.
This student edition contains a lengthy, entirely new introduction, by leading scholar, Tiffany Stern, with a background on the author, structure, characters, genre, themes, original staging and performance history, as well as an updated bibliography and a fully annotated version of the playtext.
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ALITHEA andthe brother Cambridge University Library canonical hour china Comedy Country Wife CountryWife Covent Garden cuckold d’ye DAINTY dear Dixon DORILANT double entendre e’en Enter PINCHWIFE eunuch Exeunt Exit PINCHWIFE faith fool frank gallant gamester gentleman HARCOURT hate honour HORNER Nay husband impotence in’t innocent inthe jealous jealousy King’s kiss LADY FIDGET letter libertinism lodging LUCY madam man’s Manof Margery marriage marry Master Horner Master Sparkish meaning mistress never ofthe OLD LADY SQUEAMISH on’t parson PINCHWIFE Nay PINCHWIFE O Lord PINCHWIFE Yes Pinchwife’s play play’s pleasure poor pray prithee QUACK reputation Restoration Comedy rogue SCENE servant sexual SIR JASPAR Ay Sir Jaspar Fidget sister SPARKISH Nay SPARKISH Pshaw stay sure t’other tell Theatre thee there’s thou tobe tothe town twas virtuous Volpone what’s wife’s William Wycherley wives woman women write Wycherley’s youare