What is the play The Busie Body, by Susanna Centlivre, about?
The Busie Body, written in 1709 by Susanna Centlivre, an English poet, actress, and playwright, is a comedic play performed in five acts. The Busie Body originally ran for thirteen nights, which was a huge success for the time, and was then performed again the following year. The play is considered to be both clever and comedic in its interpretation of love and marriage.
As it goes, Miranda, one of the lead characters, pretends to be in love with Sir Francis, who really does love Miranda, but is secretly in love with Sir George, who is also in love with Miranda.
Isabinda, another important lead, is in love with Charles, who loves Isabinda in return, but is promised to a wealthy Spanish merchant.
Marplot, the comedic character, is a good friend to Miranda and Isabinda. He attempts to assist them, but is often the reason for their unsuccessful plots, hence the name "Marplot"--he mars their plots.
The play essentially follows Miranda as she attempts to end up with Sir George and Isabinda as she attempts to end up with Charles, all while Marplot foils their plans and makes a mess of everything.
Susanna_Centlivre’s 1709 play, The Busie Body, is essentially a romantic comedy. There are two pairs of lovers. The first pair is Sir George Airy and Miranda. Sir Francis Gripe, Miranda’s guardian, objects to Sir George because he himself wants to marry Miranda for her fortune. Sir Jealous Traffick is a rich English merchant who lived in Spain for many years but now has returned to England; he follows the Spanish custom of allowing his daughter, Isabinda, little freedom. Charles Gripe, poor but virtuous, wants to marry Isabinda but Sir Jealous wants her to marry a rich Spanish merchant. Marplot (the `busie body`) and Miranda scheme to arrange the marriages despite the objections of father an guardian, and succeed.