Soule 2003 Rape

Title Information

Author: Tiffany L. Soule

Title: "The Lady Must Be Fond"

Subtitle: Perspectives on the Comic Use of Rape and the History of the "Rape Song" in the Popular Musical The Fantasticks

Thesis: M.A. Thesis, Ohio State University

Year: 2003

Pages: vii + 78pp.

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century | U.S. History | Representations: Musicals

Full Text

Link: OhioLINK [Free Access]

Additional Information


»The American musical The Fantasticks is one of the most popular shows ever conceived. In addition to its Off-Broadway run, which spanned over four decades, the show continues to remain popular among regional professional, community, and high school theatres alike. This popularity exists despite the controversial "Rape Song"—also called "It Depends on What You Pay"—in which a character named El Gallo recounts the kinds of rape that can be purchased on a sliding scale of expense. Despite the fact that some have objected to the use of this song, many companies continue to use this number in production.
The Fantasticks is an adaptation of Edmond Rostand's work Les Romantiques, which borrows many conventions from a variety of periods in theatrical history. The most abhorrent of these is the "rape convention." Throughout the history of theatre, rape has been used in a variety of ways. The original context for this lies in Greek New Comedy, in which the plot complications are often romantic, sometimes involving the rape of a young woman. The plot device has remained vital throughout history, and we encounter it in its current form in The Fantasticks. The repetitious nature of theatre makes this particular artistic genre extremely resistant to change, and this is why misogynistic conventions, such as rape for comic effect, continue to exist. Furthermore, comedy not only implies but also demands complicity among its audience members. This is in part why "The Rape Song" continues to be presented to audiences despite the fact that many object to its use.« (Source: Thesis)


  Abstract (p. ii)
  Dedication (p. iv)
  Acknowledgments (p. v)
  Vita (p. vi)
  Chapter 1. Introduction (p. 1)
  Chapter 2. The rape convention within New Comedy and beyond (p. 13)
  Chapter 3. Production history of The Fantasticks (p. 30)
  Chapter 4. "The Rape Song" in context of comedic structure (p. 62)
  Bibliography (p. 75)

Wikipedia: The Fantasticks

Added: June 21, 2014 | Last updated: June 21, 2014