Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
The king of Calabria has usurped the crown of Sicily from Prince Philaster’s father, now dead. Because the Sicilian people love their young prince, however, the king does not dare imprison him or harm him in any way, but he does plan to marry his daughter, Arethusa, to Pharamond, a Spanish prince, who would thereby become heir to both thrones. Pharamond proves to be pompous and conceited. When Philaster, who is quite free and outspoken in his manners, tells Pharamond that only over his dead body could he marry Arethusa, the king admonishes Philaster to restrain himself. Philaster declares that he will restrain himself only when he is better treated; he believes that he is suddenly possessed by the spirit of his late father. Philaster is promised aid by the loyal Lord Dion and by two noble gentlemen, Cleremont and Thrasilene.
At an audience with Princess Arethusa, Philaster is taken aback when he hears Arethusa tell him that she loves him deeply, and he declares his love for her in return. To avoid detection under the suspicious eyes of the court, he promises to send his servant to Arethusa as their messenger. When Pharamond enters Arethusa’s apartment, Philaster departs with words of scorn for the boastful Spanish prince. Later, he has difficulty in persuading his servant, Bellario—who is actually Lord Dion’s daughter, Euphrasia, in disguise—to enter Arethusa’s service.
At court, meanwhile, Pharamond attempts the virtue of...
(The entire section is 1094 words.)
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