Book Section #56760


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The ethical dilemma that the play attempts to resolve is the competition between the female characters (Lucre, Conscience, and Love) for mastery over the behaviour and morals of Englishmen, and by so doing it initiates a battle of the sexes. But the terms of the debate make it clear that there can only be one eventual winner: the men. The text evaluates women morally by their sexual continence, but simultaneously it demonstrates that women can achieve power only through promiscuity. The inevitable result is that the women cannot win the battle of the sexes set up as the play's central psycho-sexual dilemma. The play lays a trap: Conscience and Love participate in a competition where success on one level means certain failure on another. Performance options (how these roles are gendered) will inevitably shape the ways an audience experiences the ethical dilemma, and interprets its gender politics.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Performance as Research in Early English Theatre Studies: The Three Ladies of London in Context,
Faculty \ School: University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Early Modern Britain
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Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of History
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2016 10:00
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2019 01:17

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