Download A Lover's Complaint: A Poem (HarperPerennial Classics) by William Shakespeare PDF

By William Shakespeare

A tender lady tells of her seduction and abandoment via a tender guy who proves to be unworthy of her attraction and wonder.

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Additional resources for A Lover's Complaint: A Poem (HarperPerennial Classics)

Sample text

5). More pertinent perhaps is Romeo’s standing in the darkness in the Capulets’ garden and witnessing Juliet’s declaration of love (2. 1)—a scene which, transmuted, will play its role in Persuasion. But the stage origin of the incidents in these two early novels limits their effectiveness. Is Darcy aware that Elizabeth is within hearing range? This is an important question, since it bears a good deal on his reputation for arrogance and aloofness. Does Elizabeth assume that he knows she can hear?

One would not be moved by the purity of her sincerity were one to feel that she was covertly aiming at her lover. The point, rather, is that this is both the summation and reversal of those moments of overhearing that have played such an important role in the novel. Anne, the unregarded, unlistened-to female, has lived her emotional life through overhearing, but it is now Wentworth, the active, dominant, assertively story-telling male who occupies the position of listener. Anne is eloquent as she has never been: Wentworth, the man of action, silent at the table, is dependent on what he can hear.

She is gradually given more initiative, more authority, more independent presence and volition. Here, obviously, the scene of Louisa’s fall on the Cobb (I, 12) is critical. Rather overtly and illustratively, her steadiness during the incident (in which the males collapse into “female” behavior, Charles crying and Wentworth staggering against the wall in hysterical distress) alters her position within the group. Whilst still functioning in the characteristic female role of nurse or caretaker, Anne’s presence of mind in a crisis elevates her into a position of importance.

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