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While the characters tumble over each other in this play of mistaken instructions, mistaken behavior and mistaken identity, the real story centers around Kate Hardcastle. Kate is determined to marry for love, and not for social standing or convenience. She is the title character, and she 'conquers' Marlow's heart by fooling him into revealing his generous and unbiased nature. She undergoes a change, from disliking him to truly respecting and loving him, and in that change she sees the importance of crossing the boundaries of class and society. She manipulates the situation and she wins out in the end. With the action centering around her, Kate is the protagonist.
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