Outlook On Marriage During Restoration Times

1350 WordsMar 9, 20166 Pages
Heather Murcin Professor David Alff English 317 5 March 2016 Outlook on Marriage in Restoration Times Marriage is the union of a man and a woman (or, in some jurisdictions, two people of the same sex) as partners in a relationship. In Restorations times marriage was a bit more complicated. The way we think of marriage nowadays and the way the general public thought of marriage in restoration times are different and in some ways, the same. Everyone’s ideas on marriage are different, no doubt. However, if you go back to restoration times there certainly is a general consensus on marriage. ‘The Country Wife’ by William Wycherley is a play in the Restoration period that certainly develops many themes. The theme at the forefront of this…show more content…
Restoration comedy was certainly a type of theatre that catered to its specific audience. When the monarchy was restored in 1660, the aristocracy was able to recover much of its infamy as well as its security. Subsequently, for them, much of their own import was taken away as well. With less purpose and more social standing, the aristocracy began to languish and use their time on pursuits that were far less moralistic. Perhaps as a way to compensate for this lack of morals, the aristocracy began to place more and more store in things such as outward appearances and quick wit. For the aristocracy, sexual exploits of scandalous natures were revered while marriage was simply disdained. In these plays, women seem to be eternally frustrated emotionally and sexually by their husbands, while men seem to be in a perpetual state of fear, trying to avoid becoming cuckolded. The way these plays unfold seemingly always confuses the audience. The men that are rewarded in the end are crude and promiscuous, while the women constantly fool their absurd and oblivious husbands all the while carrying on explicit sexual affairs. If the plays are supposed to send a message, the message is cloudy at best making the aristocracy’s newly returned security seem exceedingly unstable. The general opinion of marriage was skepticism and a certain loss of faith in the institution. ‘The Country Wife’ is a perfect embodiment of the political and social turmoil
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