The Changeling Analysis

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The Changeling by William Rowley and Thomas Middleton is Jacobean tragedy that revolves around a character called Beatrice Joanna who is the daughter of the wealthy Vermandero. Beatrice Joanna is a beautiful, smart lady that has attracted the affections of Alsemero. Her troubles arise when she falls in love with Alsemero although she has already been promised to Alonzo. Beatrice Joanna tries solving her problem by enlisting the help of De Flores, a servant but it unfortunately ends tragically. Her social structure greatly impacted the choices she had and also the outcome of the events. Beatrice Joanna can be said to be a victim of her social structure with regards to her father Vermandero, Alsemero and De Flores. Beatrice Joanna is a victim of her social structure with regards to her father Vermandero. This is because Beatrice Joanna has to marry Alonzo because was told by her father to do so. "How well were I now if there were none such name known as Piracquo, nor no such as the command of parents! I should be but too much blessed."(2.2.18-21). Beatrice had no choice in choosing her who she marries. Also even though she does not love Alonzo and does not want to marry him, she cannot say no. This is because as a daughter living under a patriarchal system, she must follow her father's wishes. Being the daughter of Vermandero restricts her from breaking free from the obligations and also the perceptions that go hand in hand with being the daughter of a high status man. Since fathers and children, husband and wives, and kings and subject modeled each other in the early modern system of patriarchal social hierarchy, Beatrice-Joanna's feigned obedience to her father positions her not only as an ideal daughter and wife but as an idea... ... middle of paper ... ...serpent, who goes and tempts the "broken rib" to commit a sin. To summarize, Beatrice-Joanna is a victim of her social structure with regards to Des Flores due to her high status and her status as a woman. In conclusion, the social structure that Beatrice-Joanna lives in is rigid and rather unforgiving. Due to where she stands in the society and as a woman, her choices and actions are limited. She is also put into certain situations and instances due to this and is unable to escape. It is unfortunate for her, because no matter how hard she schemes and plans to have things go her way, her social circumstance renders her powerless at times. Although at time she seems to be the one causing trouble as she is the one who made the decision to kill Alonzo, I believe she is more of a victim. After all, she loses not only her honor, dignity and chaste but also her life.

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