She Stoops to Conquer Questions and Answers
1. “Latin for him! A cat and fiddle”- Who remarks this? How far is the speaker’s remark acceptable?
Ans. Mrs. Hardcastle expresses a slight fear that her son Tony Lumpkin is not physically fit to go to school for education. At this Mr. Hardcastle remarks this about Tony. He remarks that it is nonsense to think that Tony will be taught Latin. The only school’s he will go to are the alehouses and the stables. But in the course of the drama our impression differs from that of Mr. Hardcastle for he composes a song full of Latin pronounces and mythological images.
2. Do you think Act IV of ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ is considered as the turning point of the motion of the drama?
Ans. In Act IV a climatic turn is marked when Marlow comes to know that the supposed inn is the dwelling house of Mr. and Mrs. Hardcastle in reality and the supposed barmaid is none other than Miss Kate herself for whom he has travelled much from London.
3. What does Mr. Hardcastle remarks at the first appearance of Miss Hardcastle ?
Ans. In Act 1 Scene 1 of She Stoops to Conquer Miss Kate comes to her father in a vain and fashionable dress. He looks at her with discrete scrutiny and remarks that she has more silk on her person than she needs. All that finery which she wears is useless and much of it can be done away with. But she is not alone to blame- it is the vice of the age.
4. ‘The first blow is half the battle.’-Explain.
Ans. Marlow and Hastings mistakenly took Mr. Hardcastle as an inn-keeper. They expressed their sole intention freely before him giving no importance to his presence. Hastings made Marlow aware of the first impression in every action for it was the first impression that always wins half the battle. Being a lover it would be better to make an indelible impression to win the battle of love at first.
5. What does Goldsmith want to say by the phrase ‘The Englishman’s malady’ through Charles Marlow?
Ans. The dramatist Goldsmith highlights a mental depravity of Englishman. In She Stoops to Conquer Hastings makes a complaint against Marlow by saying that in spite of being a man of education he fails to behave properly in the company of women of status. Marlow himself divulges his own flaw as a common malady of Englishmen to come in contact with the women of status.
6. Bring out Tony’s comments on Neville in ‘She Stoops to Conquer’.
Ans. Tony is a man of practical jokes. In his jokes Neville’s certain manners have been revealed. To him, she has as many tricks as a hare in a thicket. She behaves as a young mare does. She is nervous like a young mare. Her beauty is superficial and she is not hall so beautiful as Bet Bouncer who is Tony’s beloved.
7. Comment briefly on the plot construction of the play, She Stoops to Conquer.
Ans. The plot of the play is made up of a main plot and a subplot and Goldsmith has shown great skill in inter-linking the two to form a single whole. The main plot consists of the Marlow-Kate love story: the subplot deals with Hastings–Neville love-story. The two stories are fused into single whole by the intrigues of Tony Lumpkin, the step-son of Mr. Hardcastle. It is he who instigates the action, as well as brings it to a successful conclusion.
8. Bring out the aptness of the title, She ‘Stoops to Conquer’.
Ans. The title and the sub-title of the play are both apt and suggestive. The main title, She Stoops to Conquer refers to the device of its heroine to conquer her object of love, Marlow by stooping to play the role first of a bar-maid and then of a poor relation. The sub-title the Mistakes of a Night refers to the several mistakes. Marlow and Hastings committed during the course of a single night. First, they mistakes the residence of a respectable country square Hardcastle to be an inn by Tony, secondly they takes Hardcastle himself to be an innkeeper and thirdly, Marlow mistakes Kate to be a bar-maid. It is all a comedy of errors, packed with hilarious fun and laughter, and there is not even a single dull moment from the beginning to the conclusion.
9. Why did Marlow feel so nervous and shy in his first meeting with Miss Hardcastle ?
Ans. Marlow is the true example of the phrase ‘Englishmen’s malady’. He is a man of education but bears a dull nature. In the presence of women of status, he is bashful but of low ones like barmaid. He feels reckless and always brags. It is in this sense Marlow is shy in presence of Kate who is certainly a lady of status.
10. Comment on ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ as a merry play.
Ans. Deviating from the traditional norm, Goldsmith aptly revived a true comedy like She Stoops to Conquer as we see Miss Hardcastle, conducting the ‘sober sentimental interview’ or being vivacious as the barmaid or our laughter is quite different from our louder laughter when in Tony’s company. Again the farcical scene in which Tony infuriates his mother and when she discovers the loss of jewels, are admirable variations in the broader fun. In fact, it would hard to find in any comedy a more, skillful and varied performance by the comic muse.
11. Write a note on the paradoxes in She Stoops to Conquer’.
Ans. All the paradoxes of this play centre round the intrigues of Tony Lumpkin who plays a pivoted role to the dramatic action. The two gentlemen, Marlow and Hastings down from London are misled by him. He changes the old house of Mr. Hardcastle into an inn and by this change the entire play revolves round with all the stock characters
12. Comment on mistakes and errors of judgement in the play, ‘She Stoops to Conquer’.
Ans. (See answer of Q. No. 8)
13. Compare and contrast between Marlow and Hastings in the play, She Stoops to Conquer.
Ans. Marlow is passive while Hastings is active and self-confident. Marlow has a strange duality in nature. While Marlow is shy and bashful in the company of women of rank and status and bold in the company of low one, Hasting is quite bold in the company of low ones. Misguided by the plain dress of Kate, Marlow makes love to her and is bold enough to try to kiss her by force. Hastings has no such duality and is more noble and morally upright.
14. Comment on the prologue of the play ‘She Stoops to Conquer.’
Ans. Prologue is an introductory section or scene of a poem in a play which is meant to set forth the scope and purpose of the play. The actor and theatre manager, David Garrick, Esq. wrote the prologue in the play, She Stoops to Conquer. Later, by the advice of Dr. Johnson, Goldsmith handed it to Colman, the original theatre manager. However, Mr. Woodward recited of the prologue which is an outspoken attack on the ongoing genre of sentimentalism.
15. Comment on the Epilogue of the play, ‘She Stoops to Conquer’.
Ans. Epilogue is a section in the form of a poem at the end of a play which comments on what has happened. Goldsmith himself wrote the epilogue of the play, She Stoops to Conquer Goldsmith endeavoured to model it on the line of Jacques, the melancholy philosopher of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy, As You Like It but lack the courage. The epilogue is apt for it focuses Miss Hardcastle’s stooping only to conquer as well as conquer the hearts of the audience.
16. Comment on Tony Lumpkin, whom do you consider to be the central character of the play?
Ans. She Stoops to Conquer is the play of Tony Lumpkin, to think of the play is to think of Tony. He is the real author of the play’. His puckish energy drives the play on. He misdirects Marlow and Hastings: misdescribes Mr. Hardcastle’s mansion and forces Marlow and Hastings to take him as an inn keeper. His mastermind knocks all other down till the appearance of Sir Charles Marlow. His craftsmanship speeds up the space and allows neither the characters nor the audience even a moment’s pause. However, Tony’s Love of fun and mischief has often been likened to Shakespeare’s comic fool, Falstaff.
17. What role does Miss Neville play in the drama?
Ans. Miss Neville, the pivot of the sub-plot, serves dramatic purpose. She is projected as a foil to Miss Hardcastle. Mrs. Hardcastle is her legal guardian. She is charming. She is not developed under the shadow of Kate Hardcastle but sympathetic to Kate. She is in love with Hastings and ready to elope with him leaving behind her box jewels inherited from her uncle. She is more witty, more shrewd, more resourceful and more self-possessed than Kate but remains in the shadow of Kate.
Q.18. “Cicero never spoke better.”-Who said this and to whom? What does the speaker want to say?
Ans. In Act II, (445 line) we see that Marlow unveiling his shyness, tries to woo Kate Hardcastle whom he mistakenly regards as barmaid. It is in this context Hastings encourages him by saying that he is speaking very well. Even Cicero, the great Roman orator and philosopher (106 B.C.-43 B.C.) could not have spoken better.
19. “The Dullissimo Macaroni”-What is revealed by this phrase in ‘She Stoops to Conquer’?
Ans. This phrase stands for the foolish dandies who affected foreign fashions. Caricatures of such fools were printed and displayed in shops. They were called “Dullissimo Macaroni“. Marlow, finding his great mistakes says that pictures caricaturing him would also be hung in shops in this way.
20. Why does Kate Hardcastle assume the role of a barmaid?
Ans. Miss Hardcastle loves Marlow at the first sight. Marlow is shy and bashful in the presence of ladies of rank and status. Assuming of Marlow’s duality, Kate takes the role of barmaid with the object of conquering Marlow.
21. What made Marlow mistake the house of Mr. Hardcastle for an inn?
Ans. Marlow and Hastings were on their way from London to Mr. Hardcastle’s house. They lost their way in the night and puckish Tony with whom they met, misdirected them to the house of Hardcastle as an inn. Moreover, the old fashion rambling house with a buck’s head fixed to the outer gate looked very much like an inn. This is why Marlow was cast into mistake.
22. What does Tony promise to help Hastings to elope for?
Ans. Mrs. Hardcastle was enthusiastic to marry Neville with Tony for the sake of her fortune. But neither Neville nor Tony longed for this proposed marriage because they were in engagement elsewhere. So, when Hastings and Neville planned to elope Tony fully assisted them for he wanted to lighter his burden foisted on his shoulders by his mother, Mrs. Hardcastle.
23. “You may be a Darby, but I no Joan.”-Who are ‘Darby and Joan’? Why does the speaker say ‘I no Joan’?
Ans. “Darby and Joan” are typical names of a husband and wife, attached to each other, especially in old age. A poem was published in the Gentleman’s Magazine (1735), under the title of “The joys of love never forgot’ which narrated the story of old Darby who was exceedingly fond of his old wife, Joan. Here Mrs. Hardcastle said Mr. Hardcastle that he might be an old husband but she was not an old wife and hated to be compared with Joan.
24. You know our agreement sir.”-Between whom there is an agreement? What is agreement?
Ans. There is an agreement between father and daughter, Mr. Hardcastle and Kate Hardcastle. Mr. Hardcastle informs Kate that Marlow, the son of his friend will arrive, whom she has to welcome. In this purpose, Mr. Hardcastle allows her to receive, pay visit and to dress in her own manner. On the eve of arrival of Marlow, Kate puts on her housewife’s dress makes her father please.
25. What will Kate do if she is dejected by Marlow in ‘She Stoops to Conquer’?
Ans. Miss Kate tells her father that if Marlow rejects her, she will certainly not break her heart in despair. She will only think that she is not as charming as she has been led to believe by her deceptive mirror. She will then break her mirror for deceiving her and take to some new fashion, so as to make herself more attractive. She will try to find another lover who will be pleased with her plain appearance. This shows that she is girl of sensibility.
26. Bring out the significance of the subplot.
Ans. In She Stoops to Conquer the subplot runs side by side the main plot as a integrated one. Hastings and Neville are fallen in love with each other. Mrs. Hardcastle wants Neville to marry with Tony for the sake of her fortune. So, Mrs. Hardcastle always courts her. Tony does not like Neville for his engagement with Bet-Bouncer. The subplot revolves round Tony which is fused with the main plot and is, thus, in motion.
27. Cite a few example of fun and laughter in ‘She Stoops to Conquer’.
Ans. We get much fun and humour from the mistakes committed by the different characters. Marlow’s behaviour under the mistaken impression that he is speaking to an inn-keeper and Mr. Hardcastle’s puzzled irritation also provide much laughter. Miss Kate also lands us into the land of fun and humour. Tony’s puckish behaviour also supplies a great fun. Goldsmith’s creation of improbabilities do not make us rigid but supply us fun and humour.
28. Cite a few improbabilities in ‘She Stoops to Conquer.
Ans. The improbabilities which we face are lively. These are(i) Marlow and Hastings taking old rambling of Mr. Hardcastle for an inn and the owner for an inn-keeper; (ii) Marlow’s taking Kate for a barmaid and (111) the false drive, guided by Tony, made Mrs. Hardcastle believe that she was being taken far away, and the meeting with the highway man.
These improbabilities are not, according to Dr. Johnson, really improbable. These set the drama into whirling motion and made the audience laugh.
29. “The Devil, Sir ………….. supper.”—Explain.
Ans. In Act II (line nos 290-91) Marlow is surprised to see the elaborate bill of fare, with its different courses, and remarks that the feast that Mr. Hardcastle has preferred for them is so sumptuous that it will satisfy even the joiner’s company or the corporation of Bedford both of which were unknown for their various appetite. Marlow is afraid that he and his friend will have to fool the heavy bill. That is why he is angry. It is a trick of the inn-keeper. He thinks to fleece them. Both of them are under the impression that they are in an inn and Hardcastle is its landlord.
30. What contrasting picture of Marlow are found in the eyes of Mr. and Miss Hardcastle?
Ans. The contradictory impressions of Mr. Hardcastle and his daughter about the character of Marlow are the crux of the comedy. To Mr. Hardcastle Marlow appears extremely rude and impudent whereas his daughter has found him shy and bashful. The audience knows the real truth about him viz. that Marlow is neither so impudent as Hardcastle imagines, nor so awkward, as -Miss Kate thinks that he is under the wrong impression that he is in inn. The reality is finally revealed to the father and daughter.
31. Why does Miss Hardcastle try to correct her father’s impression of Marlow?
Ans. Miss Kate tries to correct her father’s impressions of Marlow. He is really a modest man and she will shortly give proofs of his modesty. He has his own faults and virtues but the faults are such as will pass away with time, and the virtues will improve with age. If she can convince her father of the truth of her statement, she hopes that he will forgive Marlow for the rudeness that he has shown to him.
32. In which respect Mrs. Hardcastle is contrasted with her husband Mr. Hardcastle?
Ans. Mr. Hardcastle is a person of antiquity. He loves everything that is old. In contrast with him, Mrs. Hardcastle is a greedy, self-centred person who pretends to be young and charming. She conceals her old age and always feels madness for manners of the fashionable society of London
33. “The comic Muse, long, sick, is now-a-dying.”Explain.
Ans. While staging the prologue, Mr. Woodward utters this. He focuses in the form of mourn on the death of the comic Muse or goddess that presides over comedy which is, according to him is dying because no real comedies are performed on the on-going stage. The sentimental comedy that creates flood on the English stage is artificial and brings tears to the eyes of the audience instead of exciting laughter. It is in this sense, comic Muse is sick.
34. Is ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ an anti-sentimental comedy?
Ans. She Stoops to Conquer is a fine example of anti-sentimentalism. It creates fun and humour on the stage through the caricatures of the characters. It is in this regard, this play is regarded as anti-sentimental play ever has English stage produced.
35. What does Tony’s song reflect?
Ans. In Act I scene II Tony Lumpkin sings a song in the company of several shabby fellows in the ale-house, three pigeons. It is a sarcasm against the morality of the school masters who, in the realm of grammar, deprive themselves of the world of drinking though their preaching come out when they have emptied the large liquor bowl.
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