The Marriage of Figaro Essay Questions

Essay Questions

  1. 1

    What are the central comedic elements of the play?

    The central comedic aspects are physical in nature. The script itself is not particularly amusing but all of the physical performance aspects are intentionally funny. An example of this is the act in which each of the male characters is concerned about being caught alone in a bedroom with Suzanne and uses the large armchair for cover; there is much physicality in the action as they each jump over, around and behind the furniture unbelievably managing to do so without betraying their location. In this regard, the play is not only a comedy but also more of a farce in nature.

  2. 2

    The Count is an inveterate womanizer. Do you think that he really loves Rosine?

    The Count loves Rosine but has no compunction about cheating on her and also feels that he can cheat as much as he wants, but for her to even consider looking at another man is completely unacceptable. He seems to be the kind of man who falls madly in love at the drop of a hat, and also someone who loves what is unattainable; his sudden obsession with Suzanne has more to do with the fact that she is about to be married to someone else and less to do with the woman herself. Similarly when he believes Rosine to be involved with another man she suddenly becomes a little more unattainable again, and therefore more attractive to him again.

  3. 3

    The women in the play seem to be more powerful than the men despite a woman's place in society as a second-class citizen. How do the main female characters exhibit their strength?

    The main characters who show female strength are Suzanne and Countess Rosine. Rosine knows that she is about to be cheated on, because she knows her husband and knows his predilections. Instead of dissolving into tears she is pro-active, working with Figaro to come up with a plan to make her husband jealous by seeming to have an affair, and also adding a part of the plan that makes him look completely foolish. She is also smart in that he believes his indiscretions are hidden from her but she is well aware of everything he does. Suzanne and Rosine are a powerful duo because they are on friendly terms and work together to neutralize the Count. Suzanne is a strong woman who loves her fiance and is not prepared to jeopardize her marriage just because he asks her to. She is more than willing to participate in the plan to make him look ridiculous. She is also very angry that Figaro would believe she would be interested in anyone other than him and has the courage to say so. Both of these women are strong and good role models to the females in the audience.

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