Downton Rape Shocks Viewers

4:30pm Wednesday 16th October 2013

By Angela Kelly

ALTHOUGH viewers were warned beforehand about possible violence in last week’s episode of Downton Abbey the rape of housemaid Anna was still a shock.
It all occurred during a genteel scene where Dame Nellie Melba (opera star Dame Kiri Te Kanawa) was entertaining upstairs. Downstairs, visiting servant Mr Green violently assaulted and raped the popular Anna (played brilliantly by Joanne Froggatt). The juxtaposition of the two incidents was not lost on viewers.
Some felt unhappy with this storyline, presumably on the basis that it’s more suitable to Coronation Street or EastEnders. But no doubt rape occurred both upstairs and downstairs in the fine homes of England in the 1920s.
The question lay around the decision not to report the crime. It’s hard to believe that the redoubtable Mrs Hughes would not tell police just because Anna feared her husband, Bates, would  kill the rapist and so hang. Or that Bates is so thick and unfeeling that he couldn’t guess his battered and emotional wife had not been the victim of some sort of crime.
Ah well, it will all work out in the end. And it hasn’t stopped the Crawleys from having their mid-afternoon tea in the library, so that’s all right then.

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