Please analyze the following quotation from She Stoops to Conquer: Marlow (Aside): By heaven, she weeps. This is the first mark of tenderness I ever had from a modest woman, and it touches me. (To...
Please analyze the following quotation from She Stoops to Conquer:
Marlow (Aside): By heaven, she weeps. This is the first mark of tenderness I ever had from a modest woman, and it touches me. (To her) Excuse me, my lovely girl, you are the only part of the family I leave with reluctance. But to be plain with you, the difference of our birth, fortune and education, make an honourable connexion impossible; and I can never harbour a thought of seducing simplicity that trusted in my honour, or bringing ruin upon one whose only fault was being too lovely.
When the audience remembers the title of this play, it is clear that this quote demonstrates how Kate's plan to "stoop to conquer" is showing some hopeful signs of success. Having encountered Marlow in her guise as a servingmaid she finds herself accosted by him. Now, having pretended to cry, and engaging the pity of Marlow, she begins to discover the true character of the man she is meant to marry. Marlow treats her honourably in this quote, and instead of mindlessly trying to take advantage of her and her weakness in this situation responds towards her with honour, sensitivity and dignity. Note for example how Kate responds to this quote in an aside:
Generous man! I now begin to admire him.
However, this is not enough for Kate, and she deliberately tempts Marlow further to prove his honourable nature until he leaves the stage, determined not to take advantage of her and demonstrating his true personality. The importance of this quote lies in the way that finally Kate, and the audience, is beginning to see the true character of Marlow that lies between the two extremes of his behaviour: in reality, he is neither the incredibly socially awkward man who first meets Kate nor the sexually promiscuous man who tries to take advantage of her when she first appears in her disguise. The quote states that he could never "bring ruin" upon her or "seduce simplicity": he has shown himself to be a true gentleman, and therefore ensured that Kate will be willing to marry him.