Find a few examples in the play A Flea in Her Ear that describe the status of women, their relative equality with men, their “power” within society, and especially their “power” within marriage and the household. Would you agree that the female characters are written more richly than Feydeau’s male characters?

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In A Flea in Her Ear , women’s relative equality with men is shown through the hypocrisy and deceit displayed by characters of both genders, especially in regard to marital fidelity. Women’s power in society is represented almost exclusively through the control they exert within marriage; this power is concentrated...

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In A Flea in Her Ear, women’s relative equality with men is shown through the hypocrisy and deceit displayed by characters of both genders, especially in regard to marital fidelity. Women’s power in society is represented almost exclusively through the control they exert within marriage; this power is concentrated in their ability to manipulate their husbands, playing on their insecurities in order to obtain advantages or exact revenge. Especially in the married couple, Raymonde and Victor Emmanuel, the playwright shows that both are preoccupied not only with fidelity but with reputation. Raymonde considers having an affair but would not want it publicly known that her husband had cheated on her.

Because Feydeau’s work is a farce, all the characters are types, and specific characteristics are exaggerated to create specific effects or to advance particular plot points. For example, Tournel is a bachelor in love with a married woman, and Don Carlos is a hot-tempered Latin American man. Lucienne is a devoted wife, while her best friend is devious and manipulative. Both male and female characters are equally presented as caricatures rather than round, dynamic individuals.

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