Upon reading Aphra Behn's, "The Widow Ranter", it is impossible not to notice the similarities and parallels between the events and characters of the play and those of the English Civil War. These similarities may at first appear to be mere coincidences, it is true that may civil wars are innately comparable to each other; however it is not the case of The Widow Ranter. In The Widow Ranter, Behn artfully constructs and construes a story which carries a message.
In order to clarify and justify Behn's intentions, it is important to first review and relate the events and characters of The Widow Ranter in comparison to those of the English Civil War. The primary characters of interest are Bacon, the Jamestown Counsel, and the Indians/ Indian King and Queen. Clearly Bacon, who is called both a "rebel" and a "general" in the play is meant to represent Oliver Cromwell; the Indian King, who is called the "Monarch" represents King Charles I, and the Counsel of Jamestown represents the English Civil War Parliament.
This theory of character representations is supported by the parallel plots of [a portion of] The Widow Ranter and [a portion of] the English Civil War.
In The Widow Ranter, the Counsel and Bacon are initially on the same side, opposing the Indians; in fact he was a member of the counsel before he broke the law and disobeyed the Counsel by attacking the Indians. Then Bacon's Army forces the Counsel to release Bacon and grant him a commission to continue his war on the Indians (and subsequent goal of killing the Indian King). The resulting situation is an increasingly hostile relationship between the Counsel and Bacon, who is again at war with the Indians. Characters of all three parties overtly lack complete loyalty...