As Arden of Faversham opens the audience is aware that the offense dramatised is a fait accompli; thus the bulk of the play is suspended between your perspicacity of Arden's murder and its inescapable realization. Several failed tries are made to murder Arden and again in Scene xiii Arden escapes damage during his clash with Mosby. This prolonged deferment is crucial to the objectives of the play, permitting an exploration of both motives and identity; exploring tensions encompassing the essence of marriage and Renaissance sociable structure, it shows Alice as challenging the conventions of Elizabethan society through her standpoint on relationship and faith; and tips to Arden as contradicting identified male functions.
Alice starts her seduction utilizing the words of enthusiasts: "thou" and "thee" emphasis the intimacy of relationship in Alice's first question: "Couldst thou not see us friendly giggle on thee?" The adjective, concurrently, an ironic hint to Alice and Mosby's true intentions. Carrying on with her strategy of interrogation; Alice poses several rhetorical questions, diverting attention from her own indiscretion, to accuse Arden of imprudence and mistrust: "Hast thou not nowadays found me over-kind? / Didst thou not notice me weep they murder thee? / Called I not help set my hubby free?" The manipulation of sentence structure is reflective of Alice's intensions; the pleonasm "over-kind" testament to Alice's attempts to appease Arden whilst at the same time suggestive of the charade she actually is playing. The culminating rhyming couplet lays emphasis to both her attempt to engender Arden's trust and the hyperlink between her lack of sexual freedom and Arden. Confirming her disloyal character, Alice is prepared to permit Arden to see Mosby, Shakebag and BlackWill as treacherous whilst she protests her innocence. The energy active at play here's reminiscent of the exchange between Alice and Mosby in Scene 1 Brand 175 - 225; Alice cunning and manipulative works to dominate.
Alice's duplicity, both chilling and enthralling at the same time, is further improved by the actual fact that Alice's role could have been played by way of a guy on the Elizabethan stage - a reflection how women were often offered by playwrights' of that time period. Lines 108 -111, closely accented through antithesis and anaphora, too emphasise this duplicity:
"If I be merry, thou straightways thinks me light;
If unhappy, thou sayest the sullens trouble me;
If well attrired, thou considers I will be gadding;
If homely, I appear sluttish in thine eyesight. "
The parallel juxtaposition in each range allows Alice to provide herself in a positive light as "merry"; "sad"; "well attired" and "homely" and then counter each declaration with an accusation that Arden regards her as "light"; "sullen"; "gadding" and "sluttish". These are not accusations Arden has voiced against Alice but accusations Alice is charging him with making. The anaphoric repetition of the conjunctive grades the irony inherent in Alice's presentation of these two types of herself; antithesis emphasising the disparity between both of these versions. Claiming that there surely is little or nothing she can do to change Arden's unjust judgment of her, Alice quick to play the victim, equates her life to a living death, intensely emphasised through rhyme and synecdoche: ". . . I seem sluttish in thine eyeball / Thus am I still, and shall be while I expire, / Negative wench abused by thy misgovernment". Accusation Arden of dealing with her as though she were of a lower social position, Alice claims she is ill-treated and improperly presided over; ending the lines with the term she most desires to stress --her misgovernment; alluding to Arden's lack of authority as brain of family members and, read in a boarder context, her applying for grants marriage.
"Love is God and relationship is but words, " Alice's words in Landscape 1 Line 101-102 concur that she believes like to be of better significance than relationship; reinforced when she claims: "Oaths are words, and words is breeze. " Among the principally explored designs in Arden of Faversham is the Renaissance perception of relationship. Alice likens her role as wife to that of slave: "Henceforth I'll be thy slave, no more thy better half. " Syntactic placement and rhythm place further emphasis on the metaphor. The rhetoric of slavery is further expounded in line 105; the Paronomasia emphasising the imagery of the chain and Alice as enslaved by Arden. Alice's exclamation here signifies a tonal switch, her strategy changes from persuading Arden to mistrust himself to a remarkable excited outburst when she exclaims "No, ears and everything were 'witched. Ah me accursed, / To web page link in liking with a frantic man!" Alice's protestations are further embellished with an analogy to witchcraft, the syntax -- "accursed" by the end of the series -- emphasising Alice's declare that she actually is cursed and chained, alliteration laying give attention to her enslavement to a "frantic" man who's senses (ears) are bewitched. As Alice becomes more passionate so Arden becomes more compliant. Alliteration and tempo stress the irony in line 107: "For with this name I never shall content thee". On the main one hand Alice claims Arden will never be content with her as a better half because what he would like is a slave, but Alice too won't be content as long as she shares Arden's name.
Alice's task to relationship can be expounded to add Elizabethan ideology, a world view suspended from a rigid social structure -- monarch as head of state; spouse as mind of the household. In Elizabethan Britain, to destroy ones spouse was a politics offense; it struck to heart of Renaissance Ideology and questioned the Elizabethan patriarchal dominating configuration. Alice's charm to a dependence on sexual independence is central to her inspiration as upheld by her words in World 1 Brand 274-276: "But Mosby's love. / Might I without control / Enjoy thee still, then Arden should not pass away. " On some level Alice contains not only Arden but Elizabethan contemporary society at large in charge of her transgressions; if she weren't bound by a loveless marriage she would not be incorrect, manipulative and murderous. In some respects this two reflects the theory that Arden is in some sense to blame for his own fatality.
Alice's reaction to Arden in line 116: "The heavens can see of our safe thoughts" could have been considered blasphemous by an Elizabethan audience. Again alliteration pulls attention to Alice's reference to heaven, and since the audience is aware of her falsehood also to her insufficient reverence for many that the concept signifies; challenging ideas of providence.
Challenges to the existing cultural order recur as a predominant thread throughout the play. An Elizabethan man's social status could be influenced by his wife's chastity and sexual integrity; in light of this Arden could have been seen as a Cuckold; implying public scandal and boosting disquieting sociable and political intimation. Arden appears to be a fundamentally conflicted personality as on the main one hand he is apparently a naive cuckold, whilst on the other he's described as a man of affairs, worldly and efficient. Unremittingly ambitious, Arden is arrogant and respect his social position above Mosby as confirmation that he's the better man. It really is Mosby's taunting of Arden's horns which sparks the violent altercation immediately preceding this extract. Arden's motives talk with his true feelings for Alice; Arden will not deal with Mosby to retain Alice, but rather to protect his social position; financing justification to Alice's notion of your loveless marriage. Within this light Arden is show as both sufferer and villain. Arden's reaction to Alice's accusations is really as Alice expected it to be, he questions himself: "But is it for fact that neither thou nor he / Intendedst malice in your misdemeanour?" Alliteration shows the comparison between malice and misdemeanour - again there is the sense of weighing up the problem. Arden is convinced by Alice's ploy; thereby confirming his Cuckoldry and apparent gullibility when confronted with his wife's affair with Mosby. Arden would be observed by an Elizabethan audience as relinquishing appropriate control of his household in doing so committing a disloyalty to the conventional idea of masculine status and undermining interpersonal parameters. Arden's complacence increases questions concerning his motives for assuaging Alice, appeasing her for the sake of her social status and wealth, a rsulting consequence his ambition and materialism. Alice details Arden as "frantic" - a man distracted by sentiment -- might Alice here be referring not only to Arden's suspicions but also to his quest for materialism?
Arden's situation is summed up in more ways than one in lines 117 -120. He implores Alice to pardon him and, stressed by alliteration, to forgive and forget his fault. Ironically his fault is not in accusing Alice but in forgiving her. He should go even more to claim that Alice "Impose [me] penance, and I'll perform it, " once again highlighted through alliteration; Alice blueprints to extract the ultimate penance from Arden, the irony further developed in lines 120-122, accentuated through the triplex: "For in thy discontent I find a fatality, / A loss of life tormenting more than death itself. " It really is exactly Arden's complacence and Alice's discontent and that will lead to his fatality.