Sunday, April 3, 2011

School Book: Convent of Pleasure

Here it is: the final School Book of my MA. In a way, Margaret Cavendish's Convent of Pleasure (which is included in Paper Bodies: A Margaret Cavendish Reader) was the perfect last reading because it is an extremely short play. At a time when it's getting harder and harder to concentrate on school related things, short is a good thing.

That being said, I thought Convent of Pleasure was just okay. It is the story about the Lady Happy, who decides she wants to retire from the world of men and live only in the company of women. Her father has just passed away, leaving her as his sole heir, so she has the money and the grounds to provide for herself and her selected ladies, to the vexation of the men who wanted to woo her. Convent of Pleasure starts out as a fun romp, but loses its appeal by about Act 3. Both Acts 3 and 4 have weird plays which are meant to show the pleasuarable activities the ladies are occupying their time with. But the way it is written, these scenes kind of go all over the place so it isn't always clear what is part of the play within a play and what is the character's own lamentation. I guess it was a good idea that just didn't quite work.

But now that I have read this, I just have to write a few papers and then I am free to read the books that matter to me! I can't wait!

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