The Man of Mode has ratings and 31 reviews. Dominick said: Meh. Perhaps if I had read this through instead of setting it aside periodically, I’d feel. Complete summary of George Etherege’s The Man of Mode. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Man of Mode. Author: Etherege, George, Sir, ? Title: The man of mode, or, Sr. Fopling Flutter a comedy: acted at the Duke’s Theatre / by George Etherege.

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Around the mid seventeenth century, England, renowned for its theatrical genius, introduced a new, astounding feature to its public stage: However, were these productions presenting actresses as autonomous female subjects, which women authors like Aphra Behn described, or were they just making use of the actresses as traditional, oppressed objects? Premiering several years after the addition of women to the stage[s] of the London theaters, The Man of Mode depicts women within Restoration society as oppressed, inferior objects.

The Man of Mode revolves around the life of Mr. Dorimant, a witty, seductive man involved with Mrs.

The Man of Mode

Loveit, Bellinda, and Harriet, but subplots concerning other characters such as Emilia also exist. She and her love interest, the also virtuous Young Bellair, avoid the scheming activities of their peers, but do not censure them either. In actuality, she has grown to enjoy the conversations. Language of and about seduction seduces Emilia. The narration pleases and interests her, not the immoral geprge of the words.

Because she lacks insight and possesses a reserved demeanor, she does not respond to the gossip or ethherege the initial flirtations of Old Bellair.

The Man of Mode – Wikipedia

She is unaware and undesiring of anything except identifying herself with her husband in a joyous marriage. For her, the play ends happily; she and Young Bellair are joined. Blinded by innocent passion, Emilia willingly assumes the role of conventional compliance.


Infatuated with Dorimant, she wishes for him to sacrifice his old mistress, Mrs. Loveit, for her even though she knows that he is a moee, and she will just be one in a series of interchangeable women Gill Was not her ruin enough to fright me from danger?

In spite of this, she allows georhe to gain ehterege advantage over her and defeats herself Young A previous conquest, the passionate Mrs. Loveit refuses to accept geirge by her lover, Dorimant. She rejects remaining a passive object and actively seeks revenge, first through the avenue of jealousy, using foolish Sir Fopling: But I design not so much the reviving his, as my revenge. Nonetheless, Dorimant uncovers her plan. According to Pat Gill, while trying to even the score, Mrs.

Loveit, who seems more victim than victimizer, is exorcized by the play as if she were a sinister menace.

Her behavior becomes a threat that must be repudiated. Unlike Bellinda, she attempts to gain an advantage and does not amn to her gender She is punished for engaging in the male activity of assertiveness regarding her wild, uncontrolled desires.

By refusing to settle for the man her mother has selected for her to marry, Harriet demonstrates independence.

Harriet is one of the few characters who prefer to shun hypocrisy; she proudly publicizes her true persona, wild yet virtuous and witty. Her true feelings, however, are hidden throughout the entire play.

In order to georgd this task, she acquires a deep understanding of love and his character, bringing him to face his enemy, confessing the pangs of sincere passion in words and actions. However, Harriet still maintains her wholesome respectability. She ungenders the act of seduction by actively participating in it: Could you keep a Lent for a mistress? In expectation of a happy Easter; and though time be very precious, think forty days well lost to gain your favor.

Men grow dull when they begin to be particular. Is not this like you? By mocking his seductive actions and deceptive charms, Harriet is demanding equality. However, this opinion is strongly undercut by the arguments of Markley and Gill.


It appears that Harriet may have solely used her wit as a means to lure Dorimant into marriage and fatherhood, using her wit as a vehicle for patrilineal succession Markley The beguiling strength that Harriet displays as an assertive, independent subject in the presence of both men and other women begins to crumble into that of a submissive object.

Instead of continuing to make use of her equalizing wit, Harriet abandons the notion of pressing Dorimant further regarding his sincerity, trust, and honesty. Instead, she settles for the role of the weak woman. Nonetheless, her wit dwindles as she decides to submit herself to him without his making any further concrete commitment.

The characters of Emilia and Bellinda voluntarily settle for the role of object.

The Man of Mode

The character of Mrs. Loveit initially appears powerful, but is eroded from her position by society because of her vigorous, uncontrolled passions and teherege.

The subjecthood of the witty and virtuous heroine, Harriet, is upheld throughout the work only to dwindle into submissive obedience within the patriarchal value system at the very end. Subversive Morality in The Man of Mode. The Longman Anthology of British Literature: The Restoration and the Eighteenth Century. New York, New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.

The University of Georgia Press, The Feminist Voices in Restoration Comedy: University Press of America, Inc. Because Harriet initially possesses the qualities of autonomy and wit, Dorimant would not be forced to sacrifice them by marrying her.