Essay on The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

Essay on The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

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Every woman would want to be Lady Marguerite Blakeney, née St Just. Having recently made her debut at the Comedie Francois, Marguerite married Sir Percy Blakeney alias the Scarlet Pimpernel. Charming, clever, beautiful, with childlike eyes and a delicate face, Marguerite captures everyone’s attention. Yet Marguerite is portrayed as a stereotypical woman who is weak, impulsive, and whose identity revolves around her husband.

It is quite ridiculous how much Marguerite’s happiness lies in her husband Sir Percy Blakeney alias the Scarlet Pimpernel. One of Marguerite’s major struggles throughout the story is getting him to love her again, and until she did she could not sleep peacefully. Her husband who goes to France to save the aristocrats is in danger of being guillotined on his missions. Armand, her brother and a member of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel who is entrusted to bring the fugitives to Pere Blanchard’s Hut, is in equal danger of execution. Yet Marguerite cares only for the husband she realized she loved the night before, while completely ignoring the brother who helped raise her. “My brother!” she cries when Sir Andrews points this out. “Heaven help me but I fear I had forgotten.” She later screams, “No! no! no! no! Oh, God in heaven! this cannot be! let Armand's blood then be on her own head! let her be branded as his murderer! let even he, whom she loved, despise and loathe her for this, but God! oh God! save him at any cost!” The very man whom she called “the only being in the world who has loved . . . truly and constantly,” the man for whose safety she spied on the Scarlet Pimpernel, is cast aside for the foppish husband she fell in love with only yesterday. Marguerite’s life is centered on Percy to the point ...


... middle of paper ...


... is the star of London, the “fascinating young actress of the Comedie Francaise” who “glided through republican, revolutionary, bloodthirsty Paris like a comet with a trail behind her of all that was most distinguished, most interesting, in intellectual Europe.” Marguerite is the conventional picture of a fascinating young socialite.

Lady Blakeney is a feeble, irresolute, broken woman who does not take control of her life. Marguerite is seen as a weak character who is allowed to put responsibility on external forces rather than take action; when she does take action, it is only for the sake of her husband, and even then her efforts are pointless. Ruled by her feelings, she represents the stereotype of the overly emotional wife. Her appearance is set to be the ideal of feminine beauty. Marguerite Blakeney is the flawless, dutiful, good little wife everyone envies.



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