Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Alsemero, after glimpsing Beatrice at church, expresses to himself the hope that he can gain her hand in marriage. Outside, in the street, his musings are interrupted by Jasperino. To the latter’s surprise, he learns that Alsemero, whose enthusiasm for travel is common knowledge, is reluctant to undertake a projected voyage to Malta. While they are talking, Beatrice enters, accompanied by Diaphanta, and the four talk in friendly fashion. The mood of Beatrice changes to anger, however, with the arrival of De Flores, her father’s servant, to whom she has a seemingly unconquerable aversion. She makes no effort to hide her feelings from De Flores, who, nevertheless, remains unabashed and continues to follow her about.
Vermandero, Beatrice’s father, passes by and meets Alsemero for the first time. He is pleased to learn that the young man is the son of an old friend of his, a battle companion now dead. To Alsemero he gives an invitation to visit the castle of which Vermandero is governor. The invitation is eagerly accepted, but Alsemero’s pleasure turns to dismay when he learns of Vermandero’s determination to wed Beatrice to Alonzo De Piracquo within the next seven days. As they start for the castle, Beatrice drops one of her gloves. In disdain she throws its mate after it rather than accept the glove from the hands of De Flores, who picks it up and offers it to her.
Meanwhile, in another part of Alicante, Alibius is giving instructions...
(The entire section is 1139 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of The Changeling Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
When The Changeling begins, Alsemero has fallen in love with Beatrice, whom he has just met in a church. He intends to cancel his voyage from Alicant, Spain, to Malta, and marry her. When he tells Beatrice of his love, she regrets that five days ago she was promised in marriage to Alonzo de Piracquo.
De Flores enters the scene; he is the servant of Vermandero, Beatrice’s father. Beatrice despises De Flores, but he is in love with her and persists in seeing her at every opportunity. When her father enters, Beatrice asks him to invite Alsemero to his castle. Vermandero agrees when he discovers that Alsemero’s deceased father was an old friend of his.
The second scene introduces the subplot. Alibius, an old doctor who is in charge of a lunatic asylum, confides in his servant Lollio that he is worried his young wife Isabella may seek affection elsewhere. He asks Lollio to keep watch on her while he is away and to prevent visitors to the madhouse from seeing her. Pedro and Antonio enter; Antonio is dressed to look like a fool, and Pedro pays Alibius to admit him to the asylum.
Beatrice has decided she wants to marry Alsemero. De Flores enters, still using every excuse to see Beatrice, even though she insults him. He tells her that Alonzo has arrived with his brother Tomazo. After De Flores exits, Beatrice, repelled by De Flores, says she will get her father to...
(The entire section is 1311 words.)