The Restoration Rake Analytical Essay by Shaad

The Restoration Rake
This paper looks at the historical significance of the rake in Restoration drama, focusing on 'The Country Wife' by William Wycherley and Alexander Pope's "The Rape of the Lock".
# 116477 | 750 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2008 | BD
Published by on Oct 04, 2009 in Drama and Theater (English) , History (British) , Literature (English)

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In this article, the writer analyses the characters of the rake and the coquette, as depicted in Restoration drama and Augustan literature. The writer discusses that on the surface, the authors seem to be promoting licentiousness and knavery through these characters. However, according to the writer, it is also possible to view these depictions as reactionary to Puritanism, and therefore defining the emergence of a new age. Thus, the rake and the coquette, as depicted in Restoration drama and Augustan literature, are not true villains, but have a sympathetic aspect. The works studied are Wycherley's 'The Country Wife' and Pope's "The Rape of the Lock".

From the Paper:

"To call such figures anti-heroes would be too simplistic. A more complete account would be to depict the Restoration rake, as well as the coquet, as instruments of reaction against the excesses of Puritanism. In this sense it is not pure evil that is projected, rather we should see such depictions as reflecting the quest for individual liberty and control. At the time the evolution of European society was in the direction of increasing individualism, a trend which was reflected in literature. In many respects literature itself was agent in the evolution. The literary rake and coquet figures were, from this point of view, instrumental in defining and furthering individualism."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Johnson, Samuel. Johnson's Dictionary: A Modern Selection. London: Gollancz, 1963.
  • Pope, Alexander. Selected Poetry. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1998.
  • Weber, Harold. The Restoration Rake-Hero: Transformations in Sexual Understanding in Seventeeth-Century England. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1986.
  • Wycherley, William. The Country Wife and Other Plays. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

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The Restoration Rake (2009, October 04) Retrieved July 28, 2017, from

MLA Format

"The Restoration Rake" 04 October 2009. Web. 28 July. 2017. <>