Women as commodities, marriage as prostitution in Aphra Behn's The Rover.
Lim, Seok Peng.
Date of Issue2013
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
In The Rover, Aphra Behn uses the carnivalesque form to show that women are perceived as commodities, whether moral and social hierarchies are supposed to be in place or not. Looking at how women are perceived as commodities-- by men and themselves-- I argue that marriage is like prostitution in The Rover, and the root of gender inequality lies in society’s ingrained perception of women as commodities that are vulnerable to men’s violence. This then draws attention to the male privileges advocated in a patriarchal society and provides ground for criticism of people’s unquestioning perception of women as commodities in creating such relativity and ambiguity in defining chaste and unchaste women. Concluding, I will relate the gender representations in The Rover to those in today’s society, focusing on an episode from US musical drama Smash, and then show how a play from the seventeenth century is still relevant and allows us to contemplate critically to issues in the world we live in today.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University