The Cast Of Thornton 's Theatrical Masquerade Essays

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The supporting cast of Thornton’s theatrical masquerade consisted almost entirely of male figures, whether romantic, paternal or controversial figures. This chapter discusses the media descriptions of the different relationship dynamics between Thornton and the range of male characters. Contemporary ideas of love, marriage, class and patriarchy coincided with expectations of masculinities and impacted the portrayal in question. The interactions between her and the various men in her tale also reflected continued traditions of the female sailor trope. Overall, the relationships and behaviour she exhibited with the men reflected in many ways an idealized woman who was bold, brave and fiercely loving but also was crucially aware of her place in a gender and class stratified society.
The emphasis on romantic motives of Thornton reflected the importance placed on love by the middle and upper classes in the first half of the nineteenth century. Romantic love during this time also began to be characterized as an exemplary female trait. However, in the media ‘romance’ had a specific meaning the early nineteenth century, tied to expectations of extravagance and sensationalism. It was this sensationalism that was clear through the emphasis placed on the pivotal roles of love Thornton’s narrative. The articles frequently included phrases such as, ‘the history she gave was indeed a romantic one’ and, ‘she gave us a full account of her romantic affair’.
Captain Alexander Burke…

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