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Analyze the following quotation from She Stoops to Conquer: Marlowe (Aside): This...

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Analyze the following quotation from She Stoops to Conquer:

Marlowe (Aside): This simplicity bewitches me, so that if I stay I'm undone. I must make one bold effort, and leave her. (to her) Your partiality in my favor, my dear, touches me most sensibly, and were I to live for myself alone, I could easily fix my choice. But I owe too much to the opinion of the world, too much to the authority of a father, so that-I can scarcely speak it--it affects me. Farewell.

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This quote comes from Act IV and is said by the character Marlow to Kate, the character of Miss Hardcastle, whilst she is in her disguise of a servingwoman. This is particularly significant for a number of reasons. Firstly, it shows the way in which Marlow is attracted to Kate as a servingwoman, and secondly it shows that in spite of that attraction and his own feelings towards her, he does the noble thing and refuses her, when, based on his actions earlier on in the play, the audience at least half expects him to take advantage of Kate and sleep with her. This quote therefore signals an important change in Marlow as a character, and in particular the way in which both the audience and Kate come to think of him. Note how this is shown in what Kate says after Marlow delivers this speech and leaves the room, fighting his desire for her:

I never knew half his merit till now. He shall not go, if I have power or art to detain him.

Having used her disguise to learn more about the true character of her potential suitor, Kate has decided that this generosity and determination to do what is right rather than what he wants to do shows significant strength of character and goodness, and this is something that attracts her, and helps her to realise his worth as an individual. She decides that he is definitely somebody she could be married to and share her life with, and determines to use all of her arts to gain him.


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