Caught in a Contract: Congreve, Farquhar and Contractarian Masculinities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This essay analyses the inscription of manliness through the mechanics of contract-making in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Irish dramas. The works of William Congreve and George Farquhar are ‘full of contracts’, effectively dramatising a moment in history when contracts appear to replace hierarchical obligations as a medium of social exchange. Analysing comedies such as The Way of the World through the lens of contract theory, this chapter argues that their plots and character types dramatise the uneven distribution of agency within, as well as across, genders. Building on the work of Bridget Orr, this chapter argues that contract’s function as a gendered index of marginal or mainstream political status provides a context to discuss these authors’ problematic place within cultural histories of Irishness.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationIreland and Masculinities in History
EditorsRebecca Anne Barr, Sean Brady, Jane McGaughey
Place of PublicationBasingstoke
Chapter1
Pages19-38
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-02638-7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Fingerprint

Masculinity
Cultural History
Plot
Manliness
Comedies
History
Irishness
Obligation
Drama

Keywords

  • Ireland
  • Gender
  • congreve
  • Farquhar
  • Drama

Cite this

Ward, J. (2019). Caught in a Contract: Congreve, Farquhar and Contractarian Masculinities. In R. A. Barr, S. Brady, & J. McGaughey (Eds.), Ireland and Masculinities in History (pp. 19-38). Basingstoke. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02638-7
Ward, James. / Caught in a Contract: Congreve, Farquhar and Contractarian Masculinities. Ireland and Masculinities in History. editor / Rebecca Anne Barr ; Sean Brady ; Jane McGaughey. Basingstoke, 2019. pp. 19-38
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Ward, J 2019, Caught in a Contract: Congreve, Farquhar and Contractarian Masculinities. in RA Barr, S Brady & J McGaughey (eds), Ireland and Masculinities in History. Basingstoke, pp. 19-38. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02638-7

Caught in a Contract: Congreve, Farquhar and Contractarian Masculinities. / Ward, James.

Ireland and Masculinities in History. ed. / Rebecca Anne Barr; Sean Brady; Jane McGaughey. Basingstoke, 2019. p. 19-38.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Ward J. Caught in a Contract: Congreve, Farquhar and Contractarian Masculinities. In Barr RA, Brady S, McGaughey J, editors, Ireland and Masculinities in History. Basingstoke. 2019. p. 19-38 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02638-7