Top Girls

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Top Girls by Carly Churchill

Marlene: is known as many things throughout this play. She is independent and high in confidence. She is well regarded by her colleagues, has also tried to better herself both socially and as a woman. She is a woman, who wants everything to be about her, and want everyone around her to have the same outlook as her.

Isabella: The daughter of a Church of England clergyman, she moved to live in Scotland. She tried to please her father by conforming the ‘role’ of clergyman’s daughter, engaging in needlework, music and charitable schemes.

Lady Nijo: is a thirteenth century Japanese concubine who enters the play near the beginning of act one and proceeds to tell her tale. As the most materialistic of the women, is influenced by period of time before she became a wandering nun than by the time she spends as a holy woman. We are led to believe it is her social conditioning that Churchill is condemning, not her character, as she is brought up in such a way that she cannot even recognize her own prostitution. She is forced by her father to sleep with the old emperor of Japan, even though she is only 14 years old. She thinks that this wasn't a bad thing, and she acts almost honored to have been chosen to do so, when discussing it with Marlene in Act 1.

Dull Gret: she is strong minded woman, and almost acts in a manly manor. In the Play she eats crudely and steals bottles and plates when no one is looking, putting these in her large apron. Throughout most of the dinner scene, Dull Gret has little to say, making crude remarks such as "Bastard" and "Big cock". Her rare monosyllabic interjections are coarse, reductive and amusing and her relative silence adds an element of suspense up to the point where she recounts the tale of her invasion.

Pope Joan: Joan was an infant prodigy, excited from the age of ten by theology, metaphysics and the teachings of John the Scot. She was always more concerned with knowledge than with active...
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