Legal Jointure – performative reading
What is happiness, let her tell you …
She will answer: love with virtue
But she’ll think: gold, gold.
Legal Jointure, act III, scene 4
Anna Augustynowicz prepared “Legal Jointure” on our stage. It will be another reading of Fredro’s comedy from the perspective of contemporary culture. There is only one female character in “Legal Jointure” – Rózia, necessary only to introduce love into the “male world” of interests, which – as usual with Fredro – will overcome all obstacles. If not for the plot to connect two lovers, it would be a comedy about the circulation of capital or about human life reduced to the category of a commodity. This is what Rózia is in the patriarchal world – her life has value as capital in her father’s hands – she can be married off in exchange for debt cancellation. In addition, the men around convince her (and themselves) that the feeling, or the happiness resulting from it, that would be the basis of marriage, is not important. In this world, even a wife’s infidelity is compared to “snatching capital.” Patch just wants a wife to take care of him, look after him. Orgon, on the other hand, does not want to be in debt to Patch, and at the same time can get rid of his daughter, a woman perceived as a “heavy ball at his feet”. It remains unclear whether in the world created by Fredro, “love with virtue” or “gold, gold” is more important.