Significance of Screen Scene in She Stoops To Conquer

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      Miss Hardcastle tells her father and sir Charles Marlow, who has professed a lasting attachment to her and behaved with her as most professed admirers do. To convince them of the truth of her story she asks them to place themselves behind a screen and secretly overhear Marlow declaring his passion to her in private.

      On that scene Marlow expressed that he cannot forget her and every moment his love for her growing stronger and the inequality of their fortune and rank the angle of his parents and the hatred of his friends are losing their weight with him. Kate regrets that though she comes of a good family and well educated he cannot marry her because of her poverty. But strangely Marlow assured her that now he does not count much on wealth. It is her beauty that first attracted him. And finally he expresses his determination to stay on forever with her declaring that he will be the most happy person if Kate agrees to marry him.

Sir Charles and Mr. Hardcastle overhear the conversation between Marlow and Kate Hardcastle.
She Stoops to Conquer

      This device of hiding some characteristic behind a screen from where they can overhear the conversation of some other characters has reminded a dramatic tradition in most 18th centuries comedies. In this screen scene which occurred in Act 5 of the play. Sir Charles and Mr. Hardcastle overhear the conversation between Marlow and Kate Hardcastle. This scene may be termed as the the scene of emancipation. Here Marlow is freed from the cursed of being fooled under almost all the play through. It is in this particular scene, Marlow is undeceived as to the real identity of the girl whom he loves deeply and whom he first took for a a barmaid and then for a poor relation. This emancipation is followed by happy union and serves what is known as denouncement in She Stoops To Conquer.

      The scene shows that Marlow is a passionate lover passion for Kate so overpowers him that he offers to sacrifice his all - his wealth, status, parental authority etc. for her. It reveals Kate Hardcastle as a brilliant woman who has the capacity to stir to Marlow's passion and ultimately, the protagonists of the comedy finally got married and engaged to each other.

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