Homework Help

Explain Lucy's character in The Rivals ?I'm having a hard time understanding her part...

user profile pic

strawberrylost20 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 7, 2010 at 10:12 PM via web

dislike 0 like

Explain Lucy's character in The Rivals ?

I'm having a hard time understanding her part and to whom does she actually work for?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

tehsia9nile | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 11, 2011 at 10:22 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

in being the cunning and rougish maid,Lucy is the female counterpart of Fag. she is thye maid servant in mrs. malaprop's household whereshe serves both her and lydia. she is a confidante of her mistress' secrets like fag, but unlike him she cannot be trusted with them nor does she care wether they flourish or are thwarted. she beleives in exploiting her employers, and others too,her motive being the extraction of as much money from them as possible, even if it requires the use of ubnfair means.

Lucy plays false to those who rely upon her, and laughs heartily at the fact that the so-called superiors beleive her to be a simpleton. mrs. malaprop lives under an illusion and even says in the play, "sure, lucy cant have betrayed me!- no the girl is such a simpleton. had she been one of your artificial over, i should never have trusted her."

she receives money from lydia and captain absolute to keep silent over their secret romance and from mrs malaprop to the same and also to know tyhe secrets of others. even from the cunning old  old lucius she manages to squeeze money by duping him into the beleif that the 'delia' who has been writing letters to him, is not mrs malaprop but her neice, lydia. from mr. acre she gets money and gifts for carrying some letters which have to be deliverd to lydia but she never deliverd them to her.

as far as lucy's services ae concerned, she gets books from the circulating luibraries without the knowledge of her aunt, who would never approve of the novels that she was fond of reading. and lucy's services to mrs. malaprop include carrying l9ove lettee from her to Sir lucius o'trigger, the irish baronet. she draws money from lydia promising to assist her in her elopement with beverly, and at the same time, exctracts money from the aunt by betraying the plan to her.

to sum up, lucy, is one of those timeless, immortal characters that have been created by sheridan that is the most perfect example of the caricatured double, even triple agent. 

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes