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The Convent Of Pleasure And The Mother's Blessing Analysis

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Marriage in Margaret Cavendish’s The Convent of Pleasure (1668) and Dorothy Leigh’s The Mother’s Blessing (1616)
For a woman in seventeenth-century England, there were two things she was expected to do in her life: to get married, and to have children. And those are exactly the themes that Marriage in Margaret Cavendish’s The Convent of Pleasure (1668) and Dorothy Leigh’s The Mother’s Blessing (1616) deal with.
Starting with Margaret Cavendish, her play The Convent of Pleasure was published in 1668 as a closet play, which means that despite being a play, it was not written with the intent of it being performed on a stage in front of an audience, but rather to be read in small groups. The theme of marriage is very clearly present in the play, as one of the main characters, Lady Happy, tries to avoid the pressure of having to get married by having herself and a few other women withdraw themselves from society and its strict (gender) roles, to live in more freedom. Knowing that, it would be easy to come to the conclusion that The Convent of Pleasure speaks in favor of freedom for women, and encourages them to, just like Lady Happy, refuse to satisfy the expectation of society to get married. This is, however, far from the truth, as the play eventually ends with the strong-willed Lady Happy, who was previously so adamant about remaining unmarried, being married to the prince, who despite Lady Happy’s precautions had managed to slip into the convent, disguised as a princess. In
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