The Rover


Aphra Behn

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The Rover: Prologue Summary & Analysis

The author analyzes the state of modern drama, asserting that this new play is going to be judged harshly by audiences and fellow playwrights alike. She goes on to say that the playwrights who judge her work actually have been stealing their witty material from mothers. She reminds her audience that wit takes work, and that even a play that seems easy and effortless is actually the product of hard work on the part of the playwright. She ends by poking fun at those who watch her play, saying that they have come in order to see reflections of their own antics and debauchery on the stage.
Audiences (who were mostly the nobility) during the Restoration period in which the Rover was written understood that they would be seeing an over-exaggerated parody of their own extravagant behavior. They expected wit and comedy rather than plot or strong emotions. With this prologue, Behn is assuring audience members that her play will be clever, bold, and merciless in its mockery of modern society
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