Character Analysis Of Marlow In She Stoops to Conquer

Marlow is sent by his father to visit Miss Hardcastle. it is very embarrassing to him-the idea of courtship. And he takes along his friend Hastings, with him. Tony has certainly done him good by directing him to the house of Hardcastle with the impression that he is going to an inn. He should have carefully minded the hint, dropped by Tony at the time: “The landlord is rich, and going to leave off business: so he wants to be thought a gentleman. He’ll be for giving you his company; and ecod, if you mind him, he’ll persuade you that his mother was an alderman and his aunt a justice of peace.” Marlow has been a little self-centred at the house of Hardcastle, which he takes to be an inn. If he had been a little more observant and if he had remembered Tony’s meaningful hint, he would have discovered his mistake sooner. It is necessary that he should continue in his delusion or the purpose, for which he was sent to Hardcastle’s place, would have been defeated. He makes an analysis of his character to Hastings: “My life has been chiefly spent in a college or an inn. in seclusion from that lovely part of the creation that chiefly teach men confidence. I don’t know that I was ever familiarly acquainted with a single modest woman-except my mother.” It is right then that he should imagine himself to be at an inn when he is at the house of Hardcastle. At an inn he can be his natural self with none of the embarrassment that seizes him in the company of ladies.

When he happens to meet Miss Hardcastle at the supposed inn, and is left alone with her. he is all confusion as he should naturally he. But he is in his own element again when he finds himself in the company of a harmaid and it is Miss Hardcastle herself who is posing as barmaid. He cannot identify her. for he never looked up at her in their first interview. It is the reverse side of his character which is now revealed to Miss Hardcastle. He has no embarrassment now; he is even bold, attempting to kiss her and hauling her about by the hand. He has good sense enough to respect her virtue. When he meets Hastings later, he gives a glowing account of her beauty and her excellence. It means that Marlow can be in love with a woman in spite of his diffidence. He is coming out, thanks to Miss Hardcastle’s adroitness. When Hastings questions him if he is going to rob the woman of her honour, he stoutly denies it. If the girl has virtue, he will be the last man in the world that would attempt to corrupt it. Marlow is a man of honour after all.

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He meets Miss Hardcastle again when he discovers that he is at the house of Hardcastle, and not at an inn. She is now no more a barmaid, but a poor relation of the family. He apologizes to her that he mistook her for a barmaid. He wants to run away from the house. Miss Hardcastle expresses regret that she would be in any way responsible for his abruptly leaving the house of Mr. Hardcastle, and she brings tears to her eyes. He is touched by what appears to him as her genuine emotion. The difference in their social position stands in the way, or he could have easily made up his mind. He can never harbour a thought of seducing simplicity that trusts his mind. She claims that her family is as good as Mr. Hardcastle’s; and she has never till now considered her poverty as her misfortune. It is love that seems to be speaking to him, and he has never known it from a modest woman till now. But he is not free to marry her, that is the trouble and he hurriedly takes leave of her. It is to be noted that neither mentions Miss Hardcastle discreetly in the affair that goes on between the two. So far as Marlow is concerned. he conveniently forgets Miss Hardcastle, and his love goes to this poor relation of the family. If he had his own way, he would certainly choose her, and not Miss Hardcastle.

There is one more test of Marlow, which his father and Hardcastle witness unseen. He commits himself more now he goes down on his knees and makes love to Miss Hardcastle. Now his second mistake is corrected. Hardcastle claims the poor relation as his daughter. There is no getting out of it for Marlow. He is finally conquered by Miss Hardcastle, and she stooped to conquer him. For his rude behaviour with Hardcastle the excuse is that he was under a delusion. When a hint from Hardcastle, undeceives him, he is very much distressed about it. If he had kept his eyes and ears open, and if he had not been too preoccupied with himself. he could have discovered the truth soon. When Hardcastle addresses him by his name: he supposes that he has got his name from his servants. Marlow in his turn thinks the landlord impudent when he takes so much upon himself to entertain them, offering them a drink in which he mixes the ingredients and proposing a toast. Hastings also begins to find that the landlord’s civilities are proving troublesome. The mistake is on either side. Marlow is not to be judged by his conduct at the supposed inn. It is true that he has a dual character: there is all his dash and over bearance in a tavern, and there is again his bashfulness and reserve in the company of Miss Hardcastle when he knows her to be so. He is not the man to make love. to a decent lady: and the maneuvering of Miss Hardcastle thus becomes necessary.



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