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No, but if he does rail at me, 'tis but in jest, I warrant. Alithea: He spoke so scurrilously of you, I had no patience to hear him. Besides he has been making love to me. Sparkish: Pshaw, to show his parts—we wits rail and make love often but to show our parts. Sparkish: How, did he disparage my parts? I can't put up with that, Sir. Offers to draw. Sparkish seems to believe he belongs to a group of fashionable libertines like The Court Wits, males who, as part of their manhood acquiring process, insult each other.
Sparkish: But I will not see her. Tis time to go to Whitehall, and I must not fail the drawing-room. Harcourt: Not with the worse stomach for your absence!
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Sparkish: Phsaw! I know my interest, sir. Prithee, hide me He even declares. I would not go near her now, for hers or my own sake, but I can deny you nothing; for though I have known thee a great while, never go, if I do not love thee as well as a new acquaintance 79 ,. His unwillingness to engage in a heterosexual affair and his deficient performance of gender renders his behaviour effeminate and cancels out any value his engagement may have, thus putting him at risk of losing his manhood and his position of power in the group.
Confronted with such a social prospect, Wycherley, as many of his fellow Restoration playwrights, creates a world where the weaknesses of these two systems are emphasised and exposed, warning their male audiences of the danger and vulnerable position they expose themselves to when they give in to the exigencies of either deployment.
Bruegge, Andrew Vorder. Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble. New York: Routledge, Reprint edition. London ; New York: Verso Books, Undoing Gender. New York ; London: Routledge, Vida precaria: el poder del duelo y la violencia. Corcoran, Kellye. Psychology Press, Fletcher, Anthony.
Gender, Sex and Subordination in England, New Haven: Yale University Press, Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Translated by Alan Sheridan. London: Penguin, London: Random House, Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva, Historia de la sexualidad.
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The audience is aware of the trickery; whereas other characters are left in the dark, only to have all revealed in the end. Restoration comedies also differed from their predecessors by using prose instead of the traditional heroic couplets. Restoration comedies became social commentaries; they were not a mirror of society, but rather exaggerations of society that the audience would recognize and appreciate. The typical audience was upper class, and one had to pay to see the plays since the playhouses were intimate. There were elements of Restoration comedy that were repeated for over 40 years; common themes suggest several social anxieties of the time.
Cuckolding is a recurring theme that suggests men were concerned with their reputation and the possibility of being made a fool by their wives. Shaming rituals were common and a form of public humiliation.
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Another interesting theme that is a sign of the times is the inversion of class, wealth, property, and gender; with constant political turmoil, power switched hands and those in power would find themselves powerless. In Elizabethan theatre, boys played the role of women; in Restoration plays, women played the role of men as a form of situation comedy.