Question #13: E Barry and the Earl

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Question #13: E Barry and the Earl

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:28 am

What is your opinion of Elizabeth Barry and her relationship with the Earl? What about his relationship with her?[/b]
Last edited by DeppInTheHeartOfTexas on Wed Oct 27, 2004 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby rustyred » Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:21 am

***SPOILERS***


Ah – the other Elizabeth; the one he admired and thought he loved because she was his equal. The difference being that she used people for her gains not her entertainment.

At least in the movie, she was a nasty lady who once she had attained “stardom” on stage turned around and betrayed him during the production of the special play written for King Charles II. She was hired by King Charles to become his little spy, which she quickly and willingly did.
After which she refused to ever see him again and only did so at the end when he was obviously dying, to further hurt him by informing him of the existence of their child.
She was a conniving witch.

The Earl on the other hand was infatuated with her because he could never really become bored with her. She became a true test for his intelligence – He used her first as an experiment to prove that she could become a better actress and to win a bet. In her he found his equal, someone who lived life to the fullest without a care to who she hurt on her journey. Did he love her – I don’t think so, but he admired her.
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Unread postby lumineuse » Wed Oct 27, 2004 10:16 am

rustyred wrote: ***SPOILERS***
Ah – the other Elizabeth; the one he admired and thought he loved because she was his equal. The difference being that she used people for her gains not her entertainment.

At least in the movie, she was a nasty lady who once she had attained “stardom” on stage turned around and betrayed him during the production of the special play written for King Charles II. She was hired by King Charles to become his little spy, which she quickly and willingly did.
After which she refused to ever see him again and only did so at the end when he was obviously dying, to further hurt him by informing him of the existence of their child.
She was a conniving witch.

The Earl on the other hand was infatuated with her because he could never really become bored with her. She became a true test for his intelligence – He used her first as an experiment to prove that she could become a better actress and to win a bet. In her he found his equal, someone who lived life to the fullest without a care to who she hurt on her journey. Did he love her – I don’t think so, but he admired her.


I didn't get that impression about her informing Charles about Rochester's play. It seemed to me that she told Charles about Rochester's play in an effort to save Rochester from himself. There didn't seem to be an ulterior motive to that, the way I interpreted the (Libertine) play. However, I did get the impression that she used Rochester to bolster her fame. Once the theatre crowds were clamoring for her, she was "tired of him". And she wasn't particularly kind about it. So I would agree with your assessment that they both used people - one for entertainment and one for personal gain. Then it would certainly follow that if she was that venal she might have betrayed Rochester in order to curry favor with the king. It just didn't come across to me that way in the play.
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Unread postby Wilma » Wed Oct 27, 2004 10:52 am

rustyred wrote: ***SPOILERS***
Ah – the other Elizabeth; the one he admired and thought he loved because she was his equal. The difference being that she used people for her gains not her entertainment.

At least in the movie, she was a nasty lady who once she had attained “stardom” on stage turned around and betrayed him during the production of the special play written for King Charles II. She was hired by King Charles to become his little spy, which she quickly and willingly did.
After which she refused to ever see him again and only did so at the end when he was obviously dying, to further hurt him by informing him of the existence of their child.
She was a conniving witch.

The Earl on the other hand was infatuated with her because he could never really become bored with her. She became a true test for his intelligence – He used her first as an experiment to prove that she could become a better actress and to win a bet. In her he found his equal, someone who lived life to the fullest without a care to who she hurt on her journey. Did he love her – I don’t think so, but he admired her.

SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS!

Having only seen the film, and not having seen or read the play, I would agree with rusty. I don't think either of them loved the other. They used each other for their own gain. Barry to gain stardom, and to The Earl, I believe she was just a "project". I do think that she betrayed him to the King. That is how I understood the film. I didn't think that there was much chemistry between the actors in the movie, perhaps that was intended, to reflect reality.
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Unread postby rustyred » Wed Oct 27, 2004 11:46 am

lumineuse wrote:
rustyred wrote: ***SPOILERS***
Ah – the other Elizabeth; the one he admired and thought he loved because she was his equal. The difference being that she used people for her gains not her entertainment.

At least in the movie, she was a nasty lady who once she had attained “stardom” on stage turned around and betrayed him during the production of the special play written for King Charles II. She was hired by King Charles to become his little spy, which she quickly and willingly did.
After which she refused to ever see him again and only did so at the end when he was obviously dying, to further hurt him by informing him of the existence of their child.
She was a conniving witch.

The Earl on the other hand was infatuated with her because he could never really become bored with her. She became a true test for his intelligence – He used her first as an experiment to prove that she could become a better actress and to win a bet. In her he found his equal, someone who lived life to the fullest without a care to who she hurt on her journey. Did he love her – I don’t think so, but he admired her.


I didn't get that impression about her informing Charles about Rochester's play. It seemed to me that she told Charles about Rochester's play in an effort to save Rochester from himself. There didn't seem to be an ulterior motive to that, the way I interpreted the (Libertine) play. However, I did get the impression that she used Rochester to bolster her fame. Once the theatre crowds were clamoring for her, she was "tired of him". And she wasn't particularly kind about it. So I would agree with your assessment that they both used people - one for entertainment and one for personal gain. Then it would certainly follow that if she was that venal she might have betrayed Rochester in order to curry favor with the king. It just didn't come across to me that way in the play.


I do have to apologize - My response is a spoiler from the movie - So you may wish to ignore my post.
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Oct 27, 2004 11:54 am

rustyred wrote:I do have to apologize - My response is a spoiler from the movie - So you may wish to ignore my post.


It's OK, Rusty. I will go into your post, if you don't mind, and add SPOILER at the beginning so people are aware. I found it rather interesting, though. If I never get to see the movie, at least I'll know some of the differences.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Oct 27, 2004 12:02 pm

SPOILERS.....






Interesting differences! I have read the play but not seen the movie. It sounds like the movie treated their relationship quite differently than in the play. I thought she was much more sympathetic in the play than your description of her in the movie.
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Oct 27, 2004 12:21 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote: I thought she was much more sympathetic in the play than your description of her in the movie.


I felt she was much more sympathetic in the play, too. In fact, I think she was my favorite character, next to the Earl, of course. I admired her greatly for her spunk and her determination. She seemed like a strong lady who was totally comfortable in her own skin. She was very focused and wasn't going to let a man use her.
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Unread postby rustyred » Wed Oct 27, 2004 12:34 pm

Liz wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote: I thought she was much more sympathetic in the play than your description of her in the movie.


I felt she was much more sympathetic in the play, too. In fact, I think she was my favorite character, next to the Earl, of course. I admired her greatly for her spunk and her determination. She seemed like a strong lady who was totally comfortable in her own skin. She was very focused and wasn't going to let a man use her.


She would have belonged well in the 20th & this century - akin to the Earl - The Women's Lib movement could have used her to promote femiinist beliefs!
She was one gutsy lady for certain. The main reason the Earl probably did enjoy her company was that she would have been on the same level of intellect
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Unread postby Liz » Wed Oct 27, 2004 12:41 pm

rustyred wrote:She would have belonged well in the 20th & this century - akin to the Earl - The Women's Lib movement could have used her to promote femiinist beliefs!


That's what I was thinking as I was reading the play. She was so unlike what I would have expected of a woman during those times.

She was one gutsy lady for certain. The main reason the Earl probably did enjoy her company was that she would have been on the same level of intellect


I think that is exactly it.
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Unread postby fansmom » Wed Oct 27, 2004 12:47 pm

Wilma wrote: Having only seen the film


I wish I had "only" seen the film!

Anyway, I think we expect Barry and Rochester to have a romantic relationship because we've all seen variations on the Cinderella story too many times, and Rochester was certainly no Prince Charming. (Incidentally, "My Fair Lady" was on TV last night, and my daughter asked me what Eliza finds lovable about Professor Higgins. Hmm, it certainly isn't because he's nice to her, or polite, or even treats her as a fellow human. . .)

Those who have seen the film: do you think Barry was made a witch (which we all seem to agree differs from what the play implies) because even non-Hollywood films have less-complex, less-multi-dimensional characters than plays or literature? Or is it backlash against strong non-traditional female characters?

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:11 pm

rr wrote:
She was one gutsy lady for certain. The main reason the Earl probably did enjoy her company was that she would have been on the same level of intellect


I think that comes out in the play. She knew what she wanted and it wasn't to be a wife.

fansmom wrote:
Those who have seen the film: do you think Barry was made a witch (which we all seem to agree differs from what the play implies) because even non-Hollywood films have less-complex, less-multi-dimensional characters than plays or literature? Or is it backlash against strong non-traditional female characters?


I wish I had seen the film too... :bawl:
My first thought when I read what rr and Wilma wrote was that they used her as a dramatic element to create the "bad guy" since Rochester is the protaganist/"good guy"?
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Unread postby suec » Wed Oct 27, 2004 4:18 pm

That occurred to me also, DIDHOT, that there might be a need tp present him more sympathetically.
I think Rochester becomes so smitten because she is the one who resists him and presents the challenge. At first, I think it is a certain sympathy for her and the wager is no mere game to him: "Something rotten has got into my guts". In their first rehearsal together, it is clear that they are very well-matched in some ways and he subsequently can't get her out of his mind. She makes her independent spirit very clear in that meeting and in that sense is very straight with him. She makes it clear from the first what her priorities are and they don't include him. How could he resist that? I think what he feels for her is that madness of love, like being hit by a train and it is not under his control at all. I think in Barry's case, she tries to resist him, because he isn't part of her grand plan at all. But I think at one point, she does succumb to him. Her appearance at the end of Scene Seven intirigues me very much. It depends how it is staged - how much of the events she witnesses: if she sees him destroy the sundial and hears his comments, I can see her being won over by his vulnerability at that point. Or not. Of course, the hostility that she exhibits earlier probably is her attempt at fighting the attraction, and as soon as she is able, once the initial passion subsides, she sets about distancing herself.

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Unread postby FANtasticJD » Wed Oct 27, 2004 4:48 pm

fansmom wrote:Anyway, I think we expect Barry and Rochester to have a romantic relationship because we've all seen variations on the Cinderella story too many times, and Rochester was certainly no Prince Charming. (Incidentally, "My Fair Lady" was on TV last night, and my daughter asked me what Eliza finds lovable about Professor Higgins. Hmm, it certainly isn't because he's nice to her, or polite, or even treats her as a fellow human. . .)

Those who have seen the film: do you think Barry was made a witch (which we all seem to agree differs from what the play implies) because even non-Hollywood films have less-complex, less-multi-dimensional characters than plays or literature? Or is it backlash against strong non-traditional female characters?

SPOILERS

I don't think the film treated Barry as a witch at all. She was portrayed as a strong and independent woman who was well able to treat men as mere objects to promote her own interests just as men always treated her that way. She was still a complex woman, not totally unsympathetic even though she wasn't "in love" with Wilmot. He treated her much better than any other man had, as much more of an equal and not a mere sexual object. I also don't think he was made to appear very sympathetic just because he wasn't well treated by Barry. I think non-Johnny fans would have felt he got his due.

I must say, though, that Malet was far more sympathetic in the movie than Barry or than she was in the play. She also had a much larger role.

fyi, I have prepared a synopsis of key differences between play and movie. Since it is of necessity chock full of spoilers, I won't post it but will be glad to share privately with anyone interested.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Oct 27, 2004 4:59 pm

FANtastick JD wrote:

fyi, I have prepared a synopsis of key differences between play and movie. Since it is of necessity chock full of spoilers, I won't post it but will be glad to share privately with anyone interested.


Thank you for doing that! Maybe we will post them here after the discussion for those who want to be spoiled... :-O
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