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Courtship And Marriage In Twelfth Night, Pride And Prejudice, And High Fidelity

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Courtship and Marriage Courtship and Marriage in Twelfth Night, Pride and Prejudice, and High Fidelity The idea of courtship and marriage throughout history has had defining points that have led to today’s views over the matter. In the three books we have read: first being, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night; second being Jane Austin’s, Pride and Prejudice and the third; Nick Hornby’s, High Fidelity, are all historical steps that define marriage and courtship today and how it got there.

In Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, women are limited to whom they can marry. Even powerful women can’t seek their own love rather supposed to love the man they marry. The idea of women and men as non-equals plays an important part in defining courtship and marriage in Shakespeare day and age. Toby says, “She’ll none o’ th’ Count. She’ll not match above her degree, neither in estate, years, nor wit. I have heard her swear “˜t. Tut, there’s life in “˜t, man.” (pg. 21) Toby is talking about Olivia in this quote and revealing she doesn’t want to marry anyone more powerful than she is. Olivia feels this way because if she does her role in society and in her home will be decreased. Shakespeare defines marriage and courtship as women were treated in those times, more of a possession that a man acquired. The role of women did not make a big impact on men because women were not supposed to act in a way that might be like present day women, forward. Women were supposed to obey the rules of society at that time.

Olivia says, “Give me leave, beseech you. I did send, after the last enchantment you did here, a ring in chase of you. So did I abuse myself, my servant, and, I fear me, you. Under your hard construction must I sit, to force that on you in a shameful cunning which you knew none of yours. What might you think? Have you not set mine honor at the stake, and baited it with all the’ unmuzzled thoughts that tyrannous heart can think? To one of your receiving enough is shown. A cypress, not a bosom, hides my heart. So, let me hear you speak.” (pg.97) Olivia is breaking the rules that society has put on her, she is pursuing the mans role and being forward.

The idea of courtship and marriage throughout history has had defining points which have led to today’s views over the matter. In the three books we have read: first being, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night; second being Jane Austin’s, Pride and Prejudice and the third; Nick Hornby’s, High Fidelity, are all historical steps that define marriage and courtship today and how it got there.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen defines courtship and marriage more closely related to today’s society than of Shakespeare’s. She does this by inventing the idea that women can choose whom they want to love and marry for that matter. She does this through Elizabeth, Jane and Lydia Bennet. Jane Bennet takes on the role of a more Shakespearian role in that she doesn’t decide whom she wants to love but is pushed into loving and marrying a wealthy, handsome man named Mr. Bingley. Jane’s parents, especially her mother, are influential in this decision. Lydia is and example of courtship and marriage progressing into what it is today. Lydia chose her path in love even though it wasn’t necessarily the correct one she chose to follow her heart and flee with Mr. Wickham. Elizabeth Bennet is not only Jane Austen’s main character but also the turning point in the old idea of women waiting for men and the new idea that you have to catch the fish before they settle for someone else. Austen uses a new definition for marriage one that consists with women becoming more powerful in the marriage decision than in the past as well as in Shakespeare’s time.

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