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Encyclopedia > Rake (character)
The Tavern Scene from A Rake's Progress by William Hogarth.
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The Tavern Scene from A Rake's Progress by William Hogarth.

A rake is a man or frequently a stock character, who wastes his (usually inherited) fortune on "wine, women, and song," incurring lavish debts in the process. The rake is also frequently a cad: a man who seduces a young woman and impregnates her before leaving, often to her social or financial ruin. To call the character a rake calls attention to his promiscuity and wild spending of money; to call the character a cad implies a callous seducer who coldly breaks his victim's heart. Plate 3 - Tom succumbs to the pleasures of the flesh at The Rose Tavern, Drury Lane. ... William Hogarth, self-portrait, 1745 William Hogarth (November 10, 1697 – October 26, 1764) was a major English painter, engraver, pictorial satirist, and editorial cartoonist who has been credited as a pioneer in western sequential art. ... A stock character is a fictional character that relies heavily on cultural types or stereotypes for its personality, manner of speech, and other characteristics. ... Inheritance is the practice of passing on property, titles, debts, and obligations upon the death of an individual. ... Wine is an alcoholic beverage produced by the fermentation of fruit, typically grapes though a number of other fruits are also quite popular - such as plum, elderberry and blackcurrant. ... For other uses, see Woman (disambiguation). ... A song is a relatively short musical composition for the human voice (possibly accompanied by other musical instruments), which features words (lyrics). ... For other uses, see Debt (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that womanizer be merged into this article or section. ...


During the Restoration period 1660-1688, the word was used in a glamorous sense: the Restoration rake is a carefree, witty, sexually irresistible aristocrat typified by Charles II's courtiers, the Earl of Rochester and the Earl of Dorset, who combined riotous living with intellectual pursuits and patronage of the arts. The Restoration rake is celebrated in the Restoration comedy of the 1660s and 1670s. After the reign of Charles II, and especially after the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the cultural perception of the rake took a dive into squalor. The rake became the butt of moralistic tales in which his typical fate was debtor's prison, venereal disease, or, in the case of William Hogarth's A Rake's Progress, insanity in Bedlam. King Charles II, the first monarch to rule after the English Restoration. ... Charles II (29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was the King of England, King of Scots, and King of Ireland from 30 January 1649 (de jure) or 29 May 1660 (de facto) until his death. ... Portrait of Wilmot from the National Portrait Gallery John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (April 1, 1647–July 26, 1680) was an English libertine, a friend of King Charles II, and the writer of much satirical and bawdy poetry. ... Charles Sackville, 6th Earl of Dorset (24 January 1638 – 29 January 1706) was an English poet and courtier, son of Richard Sackville, 5th Earl of Dorset (1622–1677). ... Refinement meets burlesque in Restoration comedy. ... The Glorious Revolution was the overthrow of James II of England in 1688 by a union of Parliamentarians and the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau (William of Orange). ... A debtors prison is a prison for people unable to pay a debt to another. ... Sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), also known as sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs), are diseases that are commonly transmitted between partners through some form of sexual activity, most commonly vaginal intercourse, oral sex, or anal sex. ... William Hogarth, self-portrait, 1745 William Hogarth (November 10, 1697 – October 26, 1764) was a major English painter, engraver, pictorial satirist, and editorial cartoonist who has been credited as a pioneer in western sequential art. ... Plate 3 - Tom succumbs to the pleasures of the flesh at The Rose Tavern, Drury Lane. ... Inmates at Bedlam Asylum, as portrayed by William Hogarth Insanity, or madness, is a semi-permanent, severe mental disorder typically stemming from a form of mental illness. ... The Bethlem Royal Hospital of London, which has been variously known as St Mary Bethlehem, Bethlem Hospital, Bethlehem Hospital and Bedlam, is the worlds oldest psychiatric hospital. ...


The rake is often portrayed as a heavy drinker or gambler. An earlier form of the word was rake-hell, a form reshaped by folk etymology to mean someone who stokes the fires of Hell, making them hotter. The actual etymology of the word is from the Old Norse reikall, meaning "vagrant" or "wanderer;" this was borrowed into Middle English as rakel. Folk etymology or popular etymology is a linguistic term for a category of false etymology which has grown up in popular lore, as opposed to one which arose in scholarly usage. ... Medieval illustration of Hell in the Hortus deliciarum manuscript of Herrad of Landsberg (about 1180) Hell, according to many religious beliefs, is a place or a state of pain and suffering. ... Etymology is the study of the origins of words. ... Old Norse is the Germanic language spoken by the inhabitants of Scandinavia and their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300. ... Middle English is the name given by historical linguistics to the diverse forms of the English language spoken between the Norman invasion of 1066 and the mid-to-late 15th century, when the Chancery Standard, a form of London-based English, began to become widespread, a process aided by the...


Well known fictional rakes and cads include:

Historical figures who have informed the stock character include: Sir George Etherege (1635? - c. ... Miss Havisham. ... Great Expectations is a Bildungsroman (a novel tracing the life of the protagonist) by Charles Dickens and first serialized in All the Year Round from December 1860 to August 1861. ... Dickens redirects here. ... Madame Bovary book cover For the film, see Madame Bovary (film) Madame Bovary is a novel by Gustave Flaubert that was attacked for obscenity by public prosecutors when it was first serialised in La Revue de Paris between 1 October 1856 and 15 December 1856, resulting in a trial in... Cover of Flashman Book Cover: Flash For Freedom ! Brigadier-General Sir Harry Paget Flashman V.C. K.C.B. is a fictional character originally created by the author Thomas Hughes in his semi-autobiographical work Tom Browns Schooldays, first published in 1857. ... George MacDonald Fraser (born 1926 in Carlisle, England) is a writer of Scottish descent. ... Don Juan is a legendary fictional libertine, whose story has been told many times by different authors. ... Lupin III or Lupin the 3rd (ルパン三世, Lupin the 3rd, not Lupin 3) is an anime and manga series originally created by manga artist Kazuhiko Katō (加藤一彦) under the pen name Monkey Punch (モンキーパンチ) in 1967 as a part of Weekly Manga Action . ... A scene from the anime Cowboy Bebop (1998) Anime ) is an abbreviation of the Japanese word アニメーション (animÄ“shon), which is based on the English word animation. ... William Hogarth, self-portrait, 1745 William Hogarth (November 10, 1697 – October 26, 1764) was a major English painter, engraver, pictorial satirist, and editorial cartoonist who has been credited as a pioneer in western sequential art. ... Plate 3 - Tom succumbs to the pleasures of the flesh at The Rose Tavern, Drury Lane. ... The Return of the Prodigal Son (1773) by Pompeo Batoni The Prodigal Son, also known as The Lost Son is one of the best known parables of Jesus. ... Jesus (8–2 BC/BCE — 29–36 AD/CE),[1] also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity. ... An ill digested lesson The Governess. ...

The stock character of the rake can be contrasted with some others. The town drunk is frequently intoxicated, and impoverished by heavy drinking, but here the focus is on the character's alcoholic state rather than on sexual excess; the town drunk is typically older than the rake. The fop and the dandy spend too much money on clothes and fancy living, but the stereotype would have them less sexually effective than the rake. Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, born Giuseppe Balsamo became a roving adventurer, freemason and alchemist in the late 18th century. ... Lord Byron, English poet Lord Byron (1803), as painted by Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, (January 22, 1788 – April 19, 1824) was the most widely read English language poet of his day. ... Giacomo Casanova Giacomo Girolamo Casanova (born April 2, 1725, in Venice – died June 4, 1798, in Dux, Bohemia, now Duchcov, Czech Republic) was a famous Venetian adventurer and writer. ... Charles Sackville, 6th Earl of Dorset (24 January 1638 – 29 January 1706) was an English poet and courtier, son of Richard Sackville, 5th Earl of Dorset (1622–1677). ... Portrait of Wilmot from the National Portrait Gallery John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (April 1, 1647–July 26, 1680) was an English libertine, a friend of King Charles II, and the writer of much satirical and bawdy poetry. ... Sir Charles Sedley (c. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Colonel Francis Charteris Colonel Francis Charteris, (baptised 12 January 1672 - February 24, 1732), nicknamed The Rape-Master General, was a British aristocrat who had earned a substantial amount of money through gambling and the South Sea Bubble. ... The Hellfire Club was an exclusive English club that met irregularly from 1746 to around 1763, run by Sir Francis Dashwood. ... Portrait of the Marquis de Sade by Charles-Amédée-Philippe van Loo (c. ... The depraved inhabitants of a tavern, from a nineteenth century temperance play. ... Alcoholism is the consumption of, or preoccupation with, alcoholic beverages to the extent that this behavior interferes with the drinkers normal personal, family, social, or work life, and may lead to physical or mental harm. ... FOP (Formatting Objects Processor) is an XSL-FO processor written in Java, which provides the feature to convert XSL-FO files to PDF or direct-printable-files. ... Sporty Parisian dandies of the 1830s: a girdle was required to achieve this silhouette. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Pop Culture

On a well known episode of Jeopardy, contestant Ken Jennings was asked, "This term for a long-handled gardening tool can also mean an immoral pleasure-seeker." Ken responded with "What's a ho(e)?" Much to host Alex Trebek's amusement, this was an incorrect answer. Another contestant, Al, then responded correctly with, "What's a rake?" (Video here) This article describes the British horror/suspense television series. ... Ken Jennings on Jeopardy! Kenneth Wayne Jennings III (born May 23, 1974) holds the record for the longest winning streak on the syndicated game show Jeopardy!, as well as other records. ... Prostitution is the sale of sexual services (typically manual stimulation, oral sex, sexual intercourse, or anal sex) for cash or other kind of return, generally indiscriminately with many persons. ... The hoe is a hand tool used in farming and gardening. ... Alex Trebek hosting a 1986 episode of Jeopardy! George Alexander Trebek (born as Giorgi Suka-Alex Trebek [1] on July 22, 1940) is a Canadian-American television personality, best known as the host of the game show Jeopardy! since 1984. ...


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