The Rover Analysis Essay

The Rover Analysis Essay

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In Aphra Behn's “The Rover,” characters define relationships as a type of economy where value and use are key. This time period commodified love and sexuality, valuing financial success over meaningful relationships. The dowry system made rich women with a high status most desirable for marriage and their value was increased by their honor. Typical of seventeenth century literature, Behn plays with this ideology as “the language of love in Restoration comedies frequently draws on the language of commerce.”1 She expresses her beliefs on the “'interest,' 'credit,' and 'value'”2 associated with love and sexuality through the different prices placed on her characters. Where Behn differs from other seventeenth century writers is that she does not give in to the “world dominated by male writers working in specifically misogynistic forms.”3 She gives women the authority within this economy. Instead of having very little power in their relationships with men, Behn allows women to be dominant. They can create their own value and control the amount of access men have to them. Characters such as Moretta and Angellica Bianca are not forced into submission by their desire for marriage, they “ignore[s] patriarchal structure and exhibit[s] no remorse.”4 They force men into submission through their manipulation of the economy of love and sexuality. Aphra Behn's characterization of Moretta and Angellica Bianca using the language of commerce gives them authority that other woman did not have access to.
Behn introduces Moretta as Angellica's woman; she exists to tend to and advise Angellica. In this way, she is similar to a broker. Moretta sets up the transactions between Angellica and the men she sells sexuality to. Even when a man attempts to bar...

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...Sexual Politics of Behn's "Rover": After Patriarchy." Studies of Philology 95.4 (1998): 435-55. JSTOR. Web. .

Salzman, Paul. "Aphra Behn: Poetry and Masquerade." (n.d.): 109-29. Print.

Diamond, Elin. "Gestus and Status in Aphra Behn's The Rover." ELH 56.3 (1989): 519-41. JSTOR. Web. .

Munns, Jessica. "'But to the Touch Were Soft': Pleasure, Power, and Impotence in 'The Disappointment' and 'The Golden Age'" (n.d.): 178-196. Print.

Behn, Aphra. The Rover; or the Banish'd Cavaliers. The Works of Aphra Behn. Vol. 6. New York: Montague Summers, 1915. 218-295. Print.

Lakhoua, Khaoula Chahed. "Power Of The Powerless In Aphra Behn's The Rover." Aphra Behn (1640-1689): Identity, Alterity, Ambiguity. Ed. O'Donnell, Mary Ann., B. Dhuicq, and Guyonne Leduc. Paris: Harmattan, 2000. 177-182. Print.

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