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2 - 2002 - Claire Boulard
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Claire Boulard: The Widow Ranter d'Aphra Behn (1690): illusions et désillusions, p. 104

Résumé

The Widow Ranter, Or The History of Bacon in Virginia (1690) signals Aphra Behn's disillusions with the political changes at hand. Using the ambiguous genre of the tragicomedy, she tricks her readers by swopping the title plot for the subplot. Although she announces a comedy, she focuses mainly on the subplot and stages the rebellion led by an English colon, Nathaniel Bacon, against the council of the state of Virginia in 1676. Bacon is pictured as a chivalric hero of the past, unable to understand the meaning of language and the values of the new world. As a result he is doomed and suffers a grotesque death. At the same time Aphra Behn provides comic relief with a sentimental plot focusing on a former indentured servant, widow to a rich master, who successfully seduces her lover, Daring, lieutenant-general to Bacon. This second and rather thin plot portrays the widow as an anti-heroine who cannot be considered as an alternative to Bacon. Thus by subverting the function of the hero Aphra Behn shows that the New World is a hopeless world unable to offer new rules. Under the illusion of comedy, it seems that Aphra Behn points to the disappearance of the heroic and tory values which she believed in.


Note sur l'auteur

Claire BOULARD est maître de conférences à l'Université de Paris 3 - Sorbonne Nouvelle. Elle est l'auteur de Presse et socialisation féminine en Angleterre de 1690 à 1750 : conversations à l'heure du thé, Paris, L'Harmattan, 2000.



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Date de création : 07/03/2006 @ 14:19
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