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Country Wife

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By: (1641-1716)

Country Wife by William Wycherley is a masterpiece of Restoration comedy that delves into the themes of love, marriage, and infidelity with wit and humor. The plot revolves around the charming yet manipulative Horner, who pretends to be impotent in order to gain access to the wives of wealthy men. As the titular character, Margery Pinchwife, navigates the complexities of society and tries to resist the temptations of Horner, the play offers a satirical look at the moral and social conventions of the time.

Wycherley's writing is sharp and clever, filled with clever wordplay and double entendres that add to the comedic tone of the play. The characters are well-developed and complex, each with their own motivations and desires that drive the plot forward. Despite its focus on infidelity and deceit, Country Wife ultimately delivers a message about the nature of love and the importance of honesty and fidelity in relationships.

Overall, Country Wife is a delightful and entertaining read that showcases Wycherley's talent as a playwright. With its witty dialogue, memorable characters, and insightful commentary on society, it remains a classic of English literature that continues to resonate with audiences today.

Book Description:
One of the most notorious Restoration comedies in existence, William Wycherley’s The Country Wife is a lively and riotous exploration of courtly and city life in the seventeenth century, which was rife with unremitting sexual intrigue and conquest. For the basis of his plot, Wycherley here borrows heavily from the work of Molière, but abandons the French master’s unity and economy by introducing several interlocking storylines and characters, all of them clamoring for attention amidst Wycherley’s hard-hitting colloquial dialogue and double entendres. The main plot follows the clever town rake Horner, who feigns impotence in order to seduce women of quality and cuckold their unwitting husbands. One woman who takes interest in him is Margery, a seemingly naive country girl married to the pathologically jealous Pinchwife. Her desire to pursue an illicit affair with Horner yields a multitude of complications and misunderstandings, many of which are left scandalously unresolved by the time the final line is spoken.With startlingly frank explorations of gender dynamics, marital structures, female autonomy, misogyny, and seventeenth-century societal obligations, as well as an infamous “china scene” positively dripping with innuendo, The Country Wife remains a classic of its genre that continues to invite fresh and exciting interpretations with each new performance. - Summary by Tomas Peter Horner: Tomas PeterHarcourt: Son of the ExilesDorilant: MajorToastPinchwife: Scotty SmithSparkish: ToddHWSir Jasper Fidget: NemoBoy: Melanie JensenQuack: Alan MapstoneMargery Pinchwife: AvailleAlithea, sister of Pinchwife: Leanne YauLady Fidget / Bookseller: Beth ThomasDainty Fidget, sister of Sir Jasper: FoonMrs. Squeamish: SoniaOld Lady Squeamish: Eva DavisLucy, Alithea's maid: TJ BurnsNarrator: Campbell SchelpEditor: Tomas Peter

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