The Country Wife - Summary And Analysis Of The Plot

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Summary and Analysis of the plot William Whycherly's The County Wife is a hilarious comedy about men and women in love and marriage. In the midst of a continual banter of sexual innuendo there lies, cynical commentary and misogonistic attitude's upon women, love and what is socially accepted.

"˜Mistresses are like books. If you pore upon them too much, they doze you and make you unfit for company, but only for a night and away, to taste the town better when a man returns' This quote from Horner represents the general negative attitude of men in this play towards women, by comparing them to inaminate objects.

"˜ Marrying to increase love is like gaming to become rich; alas, you only lose what little stock you had before' This is only one example of the love vs. lust debate common in many restoration plays.

Many men never married but went after other men's wives's, this wasn't always possible due to jelous, dominating husbands like Mr Pinchwife .

Horner therefore, devises a plan, he is crafty enough to know not to share it with his friends, as bragging about this trick (to make other men comfortable leaving their wives within his prescence as he is not a man ) would only cause a breakdown of his plan.

Horner's famous line: "˜Wine gives you liberty, love takes it away,' He is saying that men lose their freedom by being attached to women. Ironically, Horner has lost his own "˜freedom' of being a whole man, for in trying to get close to women, he has soiled his reputation. Many of Horner's remarks about women are derogatory that women "˜ are like soldiers, made constant and loyal by good pay rather than oaths and convenants.' There is a little of irony intwined within the play,