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Please help me analyze the following quotation from She Stoops to Conquer?...

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rozh | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted March 14, 2013 at 7:15 PM via web

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Please help me 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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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 3, 2013 at 8:45 PM (Answer #1)

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This quotation spoken by main character Charles Marlow in She Stoops to Conquer occurs in Act 4, when Marlow is still confused as to who is the sweet barmaid for which he is falling in love (or lust?) so quickly without knowing that she is actually his soon-to-be fiancee, the very rich Miss Hardcastle "stooping" to conquer his heart.

As we know, Marlow has a fascination with simple (lower-socially speaking) women. He feels comfortable in their presence and drawn to them immensely.

This simplicity bewitches me, so that if I stay I'm undone. I must make one bold effort, and leave her.

Here he is acknowledging his weakness, and he also owns up to the fact that he if he remains in her presence for too long, he will fall for her or flirt. He needs to move on. Especially after he openly declares that he would do something about it if he had a choice.

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

Basically here he is saying that the fact that she likes him floors him, but if he were not already promised to someone else he would return the favor.

This fascinates Miss Hardcastle, for she sees that Marlow's heart is capable of humility and also of faithfulness. She sees that Marlow is owning up to his responsibility to not fail her father in his promise to marry her the proper way.

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.

See how intensely she affects him but how, in contrast, he battles his weakness and even leaves the place because even he cannot explain how much he respect what this father expects of him as a gentleman.

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