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What are the conditions that Kate states about rejecting Marlow in She Stoops to...

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rozh | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:22 PM via web

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What are the conditions that Kate states about rejecting Marlow in She Stoops to Conquer?

Miss Hard: Yes. But upon conditions. For if you should find him less impudent, and I more respectful, and I more presuming; if you find him more respectful, and I more importunate-I don't know-the fellow is well enough for a man-Certainly we don't meet many such at a horse race in the country.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 17, 2013 at 6:26 AM (Answer #1)

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The quote listed above comes in Act III, and features a moment of great hilarity where apparently Kate and her father, Hardcastle, have met two very different individuals both calling themselves Marlow. Hardcastle finds him impudent beyond measure and incredibly arrogant, whereas Kate finds him modest and timid. Just before Kate states her conditions, her father tries to highlight the one thing they can agree about when they think about Marlow:

In one thing then we are agreed--to reject him.

Kate responds with the conditions that she will base her rejection of Marlow on. Kate is not willing to reject Marlow out of turn, and wants to give him a chance to not act as if he were two different people. This is why she will not reject him if he is able to act in a "less impudent" and "more respectful" way towards her father and in a "more presuming" and "more importunate" way towards herself. Kate, in short, wants to find out the reason behind this behaviour of extremes, and hopes she can even Marlow's behaviour out. Only if she is unable to do that will she reject him. 

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