Written by William Wycherley, The Country Wife qualifies as a captivating informative piece of chef-d’oeuvre that tables the characteristics of the contemporary society that range from intimacy and hypocrisy amongst others.
Harry Horner believes that his impotence would permit him to gain access to high-class women and have liaisons with them with the whole deal remaining secreted. He convinces ladies for instance in scene four where he manages to liaise with lady Fidget though “Mistress Squeamish enters too late and is disappointed to have missed her opportunity” (Wycherley 50). He argues that the liaisons with women would help them retain their honor before the public due to his condition.
As Wycherley observes, “Inferences from Horner’s impotence rumors make Sir Jasper Fidget to make arrangements for Horner to become his wife’s chaperone and also her companion, later to turn out a secrete affair” (57). Upon the departure of Sir Fidget and his wife, two of Horner’s friends: Mr. Dorliant and Frank Harcourt enters, chat with him about friendship, wine and women.
Amid the debate, Mr. Sparkish arrives who on boring the three men by his pretentious wit is exited by force. Jack Pinchwife portray his contempt for women when he ignorantly leaves Horner and his friends as Horner mentions that he had seen his wife, Margery at theatre.
Margery complains to her sister in law about the Pinchwife’s jealousy, which render her forced to remain indoors. “On inquiring about the reason, Pinchwife laments that a licentious man had sighted her at the theatre and fallen in love with her” (Wycherley 60). Since Margery has developed interest on actors at the theatre, she gets delighted on hearing this.
Later in scene three, Horner managers to hit on her, leave with her and later to return to her husband loaded with gifts from Horner: something that in scene five saw her visit Horner’s lodge. In scene four, consequently Pinchwife locks up her in a different room.
Despite the fact that, Sparkish was to marry Alethea, his friend Harcourt in a witty way makes advances to her before his friends very eyes something that in scene three ,make Harcourt declare that he fell in love with her at first glance. In the end, Margery turns out to be the villain.
The villain Margery
Inexperience and innocence’s puts Margery far from being the heroin of play. She poses a question, “jealous? What’s that?” (Wycherley 61), which proves unfamiliarity with characteristics of men and women dominating the country when it comes to issues of emotion and affection. Unlike other women, she naturally does not subscribe to deceit implying why she did compose a love letter to Horner.
Horner shed light that Margery’s love letter was “the first love-letter that ever was without flames, darts, fates, and destinies, lying and dissembling in it” (Wycherley 82). She seems to judge a book by its cover, and objects the belief that people who claim to be in love with her are up for missions to ruin her. She believes in guarding whatever that she holds and loves passionately.
She tells Pinchwife “You are mine own dear bud, and I know you; I hate a stranger” (Wycherley 91). This indicates her strongly ingrained subscriptions to customs that dictates that wives should always remain kind to their husbands despite treating them with lots of dismay.
Her kindliness and the ideologies that she subscribed to, resulted to her being caught up by her husband when she decided to adopt the lifestyle of her female counterparts in the country. Despite the intimacy characterizing other women of the country, who only subscribed to infidelity and adultery for sexual services only, Margery is still carrying the load of affection and idealism.
These explain why in scene four Margery thought of dropping Pinchwife and take Horner for her husband. Margery stands out as a sympathetic character to the extent that sees her rejection by the society in the country, which does not accommodate people with such magnitudes of ingeniousness, simplicity and honesty that she poses. In conclusion, The Country Wife presents a society that is full of intimacy, infidelity, hypocrisy, loveless sexual encounters arrangements and one sex solidarism with intents of deceit.
Wycherley, William. The Country Wife. London, Holloway: Oberon books, 2005.