Breeches Roles In Restoration Theatre

Although centuries have passed between the time of the Restoration theatre with King Charles II and present day with Silvio Burlosconi, the Prime Minister or Italy, the treatment of women in the theatre and other performance arts has remained relatively similar. As there began being female actresses on stage during the Restoration theatre, a major part of their appeal to the audience was the use of “breeches roles,” which would highlight the outline of a woman’s body in a very provocative way for the time (Wilson and Goldfarb 244). Even into modern times, people still look towards the stage to have women expose their bodies in erotic ways, such as with belly dancing in clothes that barely cover the more intimate body parts. Both …show more content…
Nell Gwynn could have potentially ended up in debtor’s prison, but King Charles II looked after her as his mistress while he was alive and ordered his brother to continue to look after her when he died, so “James II rescued her from her creditors and gave her a pension to live comfortably until her death” (Wilson and Goldfarb 245). Burlosconi had sex with Ruby Rubaconi and paid her well for her services with tens of thousands of dollars, though he “insists that were innocent acts of generosity,” and had her released from police custody in order to “avoid straining diplomatic relations” (Levy). Neither of the women tried to be anything more to the political male than the entertainment that he desired, but Nell Gwynn that more widely accepted as the King’s mistress, whereas the relations between Burlosconi and Rubaconi lead to the “Rubygate scandal” (Wilson and Goldfarb 245; Levy). Though these two women of the stage may have had to give in to stereotypes of female sexuality and please the hedonistic lifestyles of the men in power, they were able to reclaim that same sexuality, to some extent, as their own

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