Characterization of Women as Empowering Figures in The Country Wife and Pygmalion

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In The Country Wife, women are treated as mere objects and are viewed by the men of the play as being inferior. Sparkish views Alethea as an object that should be flaunted around and is only interested in marrying her for her wealth. Sparkish revels in the idea that he be envied for his wife because he believes that allowing more men to love her and envy him for owning her will increase her worth. In viewing her as something that gains value, Sparkish likens her to a treasure at an auction, whose value goes up as the number of bidders rises. Mr. Pinchwife also does not view his wife as a person because he refuses to let his wife go out and enjoy the sights and wonders of city life and instead keeps her confined to the house. Like Sparkish,…show more content…
iii. 100-105) While Sir Jasper believes that his wife is talking about obtaining a china vase from Horner, she is actually using the word china to represent something sexual. In the china scene Lady Fidget is given symbolic power over men because she is the one who is in control of the situation by having her husband deceived and Horner complying with her wishes. Lady Fidget makes use of her sexuality to obtain attention because as she says earlier, “Indeed, as the world goes, I wonder there are no more jealous since wives are so neglected.” (II.i.342-343) Lady Fidget is not receiving the attention should would like from her husband and because of this she is taking matters into her own hands and making sure she obtains attention by participating in liaisons with Horner. Lady Fidget’s refusal to allow her husband’s neglect affect her enjoyment of life demonstrates that she is an independent woman who does not have to rely on her husband to achieve what she wants. As well as being characterized as clever, Lady Fidget is also shown to be hypocritical because she constantly boasts of her honor and virtue in amongst people and yet in her private life she is anything but honorable and virtuous due to the affair that she has with Horner. When Lady Fidget says, “‘Tis not an injury to a husband, till it be an injury to our honours, so

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