Illustration of Kate Hardcastle in high society attire on the left, and dressed as a barmaid on the right

She Stoops to Conquer

by Oliver Goldsmith

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Last Updated on June 8, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 169

The first epilogue is delivered by Kate Hardcastle. It is an imagined account of the life of the bar-maid she was pretending to be, told in “five acts”. The first act finds the bar-maid timidly hoping to get hired somewhere. The second act finds the bar-maid presiding over a country inn, now livelier and more assertive. The third act finds the bar-maid in town, engaging with friends and lovers. The fourth act finds her married to a squire, aspiring to be wiser and more sophisticated. Finally, the fifth act finds her grown old, spending her days contentedly playing cards.

The second epilogue is delivered by the actor playing Tony Lumpkin. He describes what he plans to do now that he is free from his engagement with Constance. He wishes to move to town and marry Bet Bouncer. He also plans to spend his inheritance on not only cheap pleasures but also artworks, if only to prove to the landed gentry that he is as capable of sophistication as them.

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Act 5