To what extent does the personality of Marlow from She Stoops to Conquer reflect the personality of Oliver Goldsmith?
Marlow's most interesting personality trait, what the plot of this play hinges on, is his shyness and lack of confidence around women of his own class and a sharply contrasting boldness and lack of painful self-consciousness around lower class people, men and women. Because she learns that Marlow can relate to women of the lower classes in a way he can't to upper-class women, Kate Hardwick pretends to be a barmaid so he will woo her. Many have said that Goldsmith shared with Marlow the trait of being socially inept around the upper classes. "His conversational mishaps were memorable things," says the Encyclopedia Britannica, noting the contrast between his "fluency" in writing and the way this fluency "deserted" him in polite society. However, Goldsmith, like Marlow, could be a wild man when he felt comfortable, similar to the rude Marlow who offends Mr. Hardwick because he thinks Kate's father is an innkeeper.