In Haywood's Fantomina, Beauplaisir is equally important as Fantomina is. Would you say he is more or less the victim in the story? Give both sides of the argument using specific examples to...

In Haywood's Fantomina, Beauplaisir is equally important as Fantomina is. Would you say he is more or less the victim in the story? Give both sides of the argument using specific examples to support each claim.

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hannahhunt09 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The character of Beauplaisir in Eliza Haywood's Fantomina can be seen as both a victim and a villain. Fantomina herself victimizes him: she is in disguise when she meets him and sleeps with him and never chooses to be honest about her true self. Instead, she continues to be his lover while playing the character of a prostitute. When he seems to be moving on, she creates a succession of new disguises, including a widow, a maid, and a mysterious masked woman, each of which lures him again into bed. When she eventually becomes pregnant, he is summoned to her hospital bed, but he does not recognize her as her true self, and so it seems to be a ploy to force him to support a strange woman financially.

However, Beauplaisir does have many villainous character traits. He attempts to discard a series of lovers when he grows tired of them, unaware that they are all the same woman.

Beauplaisir's ignorance is not evil but shows a lack of attention and intelligence that makes him simultaneously a villain and a victim.

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