Alright, this is a first for me. The whole alternating between writing and typing up a whole post at a sitting. I’m more used to and prefer working it out on paper for a while – even days – before posting online. So I’m buzzing right now and trying to figure things out and make them as plain as possible.
What we have today is a short summary on the first scene in the first act of She Stoops To Conquer. Here we go again.
The scene opens up in the classic style, romantic walk shared between a man and wife ( Mr. and Mrs. Hardcastle ) into the chamber of their old-fashioned house. The play was first performed in London in 1773, so no mutants and zombies in post apocalyptic America for us. *sigh*
After a short discourse between them about how everyone follows the trend of going to town to let loose and look young and dressy and extravagant again, followed by a shift in subject to their marriage with a little flirtation, their son Tony charges onto the scene, in a rush to visit his friends “the Pigeons” at the alehouse ( that’s what we call a Drinks Bar in old, 17th century talk ). He came up in earlier conversation too ( speak of the devil, right? )
We see Mr. Hardcastle’s character unfold through his thoughts and same for his wife, in some ways. After Tony and his mother leave the scene Miss Kate Hardcastle, their daughter, comes in. She’s dressy and headstrong and you kinda get this empowerment and feminism vibe from her. Of course, as a father, Mr. Hardcastle tried to reason with her about her mode of dressing shortly before dropping a bomb on her. He was arranging a marriage between her and the son of one of his friends ( Mr. Marlow ) – without her knowing. I know what you’re thinking. And oh yes he did!! But after he told her he was intelligent, sophisticated, young, brave, very handsome and rich, she was totally down with it. Like if that was her supply as a human baby factory for life, she’d totally go for it. Except when he told her that he was reserved. She didn’t like the idea because she was confident and outspoken – but after a little more persuasion, she came back around ( Well, it’s more like she’s open-minded but still keeping her options open, y’know).
So Dad’s left the scene now. It’s just Kate and her thoughts. Then, as all girls have done since the dawning of time … She called her best friend over so they’d talk. Don’t act like you didn’t see that coming. We all saw that one coming. Constance Neville is her name ( Yup. Cute, isn’t it? Longbottom, anyone? #HarryPotterReference ).
They first check each other out and talk about how on fleek they were – Yas honey! – before the question of “Are you alright?” and others such came up – in Victorian English of course. What followed was talk about relationship issues.
We find out that Neville is crushing hard on Kate’s suitor’s best friend since forever, and is not interested in marrying Kate’s brother, whom Mrs. Hardcastle is grooming Neville for. Just read the play. There’s something unruly about Tony, I’d say. Neville doesn’t truly like him either. At all. Page 6 says it all. Looks like Miss Harcastle wants her grubby little hands on Neville’s wealth – or maybe a share in it – through her son’s marriage to her. She’s in custody of Neville’s jewels which she will hand over only if Neville marries her son. Bitch maybe??
The scene ends with them complaining of their afternoon walk they’d have to take with Miss Hardcastle after the bell is sounded. And the adventure continues.
Well that was fun, wasn’t it? I thought it was… How about you? Was there anything you saw differently in the play? Anything I might have overlooked? Feel free to share in the comments, email me or subscribe to the blog, you alphabet soup loving fearless eater, you. I’ll be back real soon. Chao Chao!