Daughters of the Plough

Servant girls, presumably from farming families. Karr (170) suggests that these girls are assigned menial duties not because they are indigent or from the lower classes, but rather because their mental capacities and interests leave them unsuited to academic work. Remember Ida's strictures against "cruel distinctions, meant to draw a line 'twixt rich and poor." Many directors omit the daughters of the plough in actual production. They are not necessary in advancing the plot, nor are there any spare men in the show for them to wed in the end (although some of those "sons of the tillage" sneered at in Ruddigore would seem logical matches.)