The Most Interesting Person in the World

The Country Wife in a Nutshell

Posted on: May 12, 2010

For those of you lucky enough not to have an upcoming exam on William Wycherley’s contribution to Restoration comedy, well, isn’t that lovely. But for anyone stuck having to know about a play even SparkNotes won’t touch, I bring you…

The Country Wife in a nutshell

Plot #1

Horner: Look everyone! I’m impotent!

Sir Jasper Fidget: Ha, ha! Take my wife, please!

Lady Fidget: Ew, I don’t want to be near this boring loser!

Horner: She must be a slut.

Indeed, she is. Horner sleeps with her and all her friends, as we witness in the witty China scene, and they confess to each other in the famous ladies’ drinking scene.

Plot #2

Sparkish: Look everyone! I’m witty! Harcourt, what do you think of my fiancée?

Harcourt: I love her and want to marry her.

Sparkish: I’m so glad you approve!

Alithea: No, really, dude; your friend is making a move on me.

Sparkish: That’s great! I feel approved of already! Now I’m going to wander off and be witty somewhere else, leaving you two together.

Harcourt: Your fiancé is an idiot.

Alithea: I don’t believe you. Okay, now I do. Oh, forget it, let’s just get married instead.

Plot #3

Pinchwife: Don’t anybody look at my wife! I hate her!

Lady Pinchwife: Who is that handsome man you keep hiding me from?

Pinchwife: I will never reveal to you the name of Horner! (…Oops.) He loves you! (…Oops.) Now write him a letter, saying you hate him.

Lady Pinchwife: Okay. But I will also write him a letter saying I love him.

The ignorant country wife has an affair with the falsely impotent; when the man obsessed with his reputation finds out he has caused his own cuckoldry, the Londoners convince him that it’s okay, since they won’t make fun of him. Everyone is proved either a hypocrite or a fool–except the virtuous Harcourt and Alithea–and all are happy with their lot in life. The End

*Warning: Apparently there are other characters and innuendo and such. The night before your exam, it might still be a good idea to Google more information on the play. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Best quote:

Mr. Pin.: Come my poor rogue, but thou lik’st none better than me?
Mrs. Pin.: Yes indeed, but I do, the Player Men are finer / Folks. [She means us actors]

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