Noun: a derisive name for the husband of an unfaithful wife
Verb: To make a cuckold of; to dishonor a husband by adultery
We see cuckolds throughout William Wycherly’s “The Country Wife.” Throughout the play, Horner cuckold’s some of the main characters (Mr. Fidget, Mr. Pinchwife) by sleeping with their wives. What makes the play so ironic is the fact that Horner has convinced the husbands in the play that he is a eunuch, and so they all trust him with their wives, so he is able to make cuckold’s of them right under their noses! At the beginning of the play, Horner makes the comment that a “jealous man” makes “the greatest cuckold” (I.1.257-258)—which sets the stage for his actions for the rest of the play!