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The two playwrights revolve around issues of concern to contemporary society. These include violence, love, romance and care, among others. This is evident throughout the play as protagonists interact with other characters to develop themes such as love, chauvinism and romance, among others. One of the playwrights, Orphan of China, gives a story in which the emperor kills rivals in order to remain in power.
These plays involve paradoxical events in which people sacrifice their lives for the king’s sake. Interestingly, women are given important roles in the playwrights. However, it is quite important to note that they play different roles throughout the stories.
Moreover, their stance in tough situations is significant in both cases. This paper will explore these playwrights with a view to establishing similarities and differences associated with the role of women. In addition, it will also explore use of these characters in developing the main themes.
Goldini’s mistress of the Inn
This story revolves around a young woman known as Mirandolina. Mirandolina is a beautiful woman whose father dies and leaves her an Inn as inheritance. In addition, the father proposes a suitor for her in the name of Fabricius. Fabricius is a waiter in the same Inn.
He acts modestly although with great interest in Mirandolina. Three other characters are introduced in the play as Marquis, Count and Cavalier. At first, only Marquis and Count are seen to admire Mirandolina. On the other hand, Cavalier is portrayed as a woman-hater. Marquis on the other hand, lives in poverty, although he is a noble. This is in complete contrast to Count who boasts of riches, which he uses to seduce Mirandolina.
The two men circle around Mirandolina as Fabricius watches closely with envy. Mirandolina on the other hand, only wants them to worship her with the aim of remaining single, as she hates men.
However, new twists are observed when she decides to seduce Cavalier in order to make him worship her. Cavalier ends up falling in love with her before she turns to marry Fabricius. Ultimately, the three men Marquis, Count and Cavalier decide to leave after realizing her deceit.
Voltaire’s Orphan of China
The play, Orphan of China is derived from a famous Chinese play, the orphan of Chao, which was written in thirteenth century. Its original version involved a war between Chao’s family and the conqueror who wanted to exterminate them. In the process, the emperor ordered Chao to kill himself, which he did. However, before that, he asked his wife to name their baby after him, in order to conserve his household.
In the process, several people sacrificed their lives in order to keep the secret of the orphan’s escape from jail, where her mother had been confined. Of great concern is the fact that his mother sacrificed her life for a child she was not sure could survive. In Voltaire’s orphan of China, the King and his household are captured and killed except his youngest son.
Zamti promises to care for the child by saving him from further anguish. However, this could succeed without sacrificing their only son. This is mainly because the Conqueror, Genghis was in hot pursuit of this child.
Further twists are witnessed when the conqueror finds them before a decision is made on whether to kill their son. Interestingly, Zamti’s wife, Idame changes numerous things through her contact with the new Conqueror who ends up falling for her wit.
Use female character
Female characters are given important roles in both plays. This is evident in Mirandolina’s case where she is left with an Inn as her inheritance. In addition, she is embodied with beauty that appeals to all men within the Inn. She uses this to her advantage in order to continue her hatred for men.
On the other hand, one of the customers, Cavalier professes hate for women. In essence, the theme of male and female chauvinism is well developed throughout the play. In this regard, Mirandolina is used to coerce male chauvinism. The theme of love is also prominent in both plays as female characters are used as centers of love. This is evident in Mirandolina’s case wherein everyone falls in love with her.
This is similar to the other play in which the conqueror falls for Idame and changes from a cruel to an understanding character out of her wits in addition to her husband’s. In this regard, love is used to subdue a cruel conqueror that turns away from his initial intentions of killing both captives.
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Moreover, love takes a central role in feminine characters when Chao’s wife offers to sacrifice herself for his son and husband’s sake. Furthermore, this is witnessed more in Idame’s case when she expresses her love for the two infants. Female characters are therefore very instrumental in developing the theme of love.
Similarity and differences
The female character is used in similar and diverse ways as can be witnessed in both playwrights. In the first case, Mirandolina’s father shows her love by leaving her his possessions. This is similar to Zamti who shows his wife Idame love through his expression from the fear of losing her. Similarity this is seen when the two characters use their presence and wits to persuade male characters.
This is also evident in Mirandolina’s case when she is seen to fool male admires and even manages to lure the self-proclaimed women-hater in her favor. This is similar to Idame’s case in which she manages to dissuade Genghis from killing her family. This brings out women’s power in controlling men’s thinking, behavior and emotions.
In both cases, the feminine characters are described as beautiful and this makes them command more respect. Differences are paramount in these playwrights when using feminine characters. These include the war between paternal and maternal love, which is argued in the second play. This is also different from Mirandilano’s case in which she portrayed to hate men.
In essence, one woman is seen as a chauvinist while the other does not. Other differences include emphasis on maternal love in which the character accepts to die instead of her child. This kind of sacrifice is unimaginable to Mirandolina who loves herself more than others. Another difference that exists is the authority of men over women in Idame’s society.
This is quite different in Mirandolina’s case as she shows in her flirts with other men. Furthermore, In Idame’s society, women are submissive and are ordered around by their husbands. This is evident when the husband orders her out of his presence and plans to kill their only son without her consent.
In Mirandolina’s case, she controls men but no one dares to stamp authority on her. Moreover, Idame is a homemaker who is noble and traditional while Mirandolina is a modern woman with wealth.
Gender is portrayed differently in the two playwrights. This is mainly because Mirandolina feels threatened by men and resorts to using her best asset to make them worship her. On the other hand, Idame is a humble wife who loves her husband and children. She is a happy homemaker although troubled by the Conqueror who intends to exterminate them.
Later on, Idame is portrayed as superior in convincing the conqueror against killing them; this gives her a central role and authority as an intelligent woman. On the other hand, Mirandolina is later portrayed as weak and insecure as she seeks protection from Fabricius, a waiter at her Inn.
Fabricius, who is earlier seen as weak, ultimately marries her. In essence, the feminine character starts a superior in Mirandolina’s case but ends up inferior while, in Idame’s case she starts as inferior but ends up as superior. Gender therefore, plays a major role in both cases.
The two playwrights show important roles played by women in society. Moreover, they show strength of both paternal and maternal love in society. Paternal love is evident in Mirandolina’s case when he gives her all his wealth.
This is also evident when Zamti hesitates to kill his own son over the king’s son. Maternal love is evident in Chao’s mother as well as in Idame since she risks her life for their son. It may also be noticed that there is perversion for maternal love in Idame’s case and perversion for romance in Mirandolina’s situation.