Questions and Answers: Act I
1. Why is the opening scene of The Rover unusual for a Restoration comedy?
2. Who does Willmore represent historically? What traits do the two share?
3. What is happening in Naples during the play? What is traditional for that event?
4. How does Florinda reveal herself to Belvile?
5. Why does Willmore find himself attracted to Hellena?
1. The opening scene begins with two women discussing ways to satisfy their desires. This is unusual because in most plays men were the center of the action and women did not express desires.
2. Willmore, the banished cavalier, represents Charles II, the recently reinstated King of England. Charles II was well known for his affairs with women and amorous exploits, and Willmore shares the name associated with supporters of Charles II as well as his promiscuous kind of behavior.
3. The Rover takes place during Carnival, which was a time of costuming, masquerade, promiscuity and anonymous flirtation. Men and women of every class mingled and courted each other, drank and celebrated, all wearing masks.
4. Florinda gives Belvile a ring with her portrait on it and a letter with instructions for how to meet her. She did not reveal herself while talking to him because she wanted to test his devotion to her by flirting under disguise, to see if he would react.
5. Despite her masked face, he finds her wit, humor and direct nature appealing and challenging.
Questions and Answers: Act II
1. Why do Blunt's friends laugh at his new love?
2. Who are Angelica's first two suitors, and why do they fight over Florinda?
3. Why does Antonio fight Willmore?
4. Explain why Angelica does not throw the insolent Willmore out of her home.
5. Why does Moretta despise Willmore?
1. They suspect that his new love is actually a whore or a thief, despite Blunt's protestations. They do not believe he can accurately discern the situation and doubt that a gentlewoman has fallen in love with such a buffoon.
2. Don Pedro and Don Antonio both desire Angelica and have the means to pay for her. However, Antonio has agreed to marry Florinda, and so her brother Pedro is angered by his infidelity and demands a duel.
3. Willmore takes a small portrait of Angelica for himself, and Antonio regards that as an insult to Angelica. They duel because neither will give way.
4. Angelica falls in love with his honest appreciation of her beauty and straightforward condemnation of money in love.
5. Willmore threatens Angelica's profitable prostitution business. If she falls in love with him, she will probably stop working and definitely will gain few new clients. Moretta is Angelica's servant, so she would feel the pinch if money were to run low.
Questions and Answers: Act III
1. Why is Angelica's picture removed from the gate?
2. What incites Hellena's jealousy?
3. Why does Hellena say that she and Willmore belong together?
4. Why does Hellena say she is wicked and has damned Willmore?
5. What saves Florinda from being raped by the drunken Willmore?
1. Angelica is having sex with Willmore because she loves him, although he cannot pay. She is not available to be bought, so her advertisement is taken down.
2. Willmore is late to meet Hellena and praises the joys of Angelica's bed in Hellena's hearing. This makes her quite jealous.
3. Hellena says that she and Willmore share the same nature: inconstancy. In her eyes, therefore, they are meant for each other.
4. Hellena has made Willmore promise not to see Angelica, but she knows that he will break that promise. By forcing him to promise, she gains leverage over him.
5. Belvile's late arrival in the garden means that he hears Florinda yelling for help and comes to her rescue. Belvile's sword dissuades Willmore from raping Florinda.
Questions and Answers: Act IV
1. What leverage does Antonio have to ask Belvile to fight a life-threatening duel for him?
2. What interrupts the imminent marriage of Belvile and Florinda?
3. Why does Angelica swear revenge upon Willmore?
4. How does it end up that Angelica and Hellena together admonish Willmore for inconstancy?
5. Give some examples of women cooperating with one another so far in the play.
1. Belvile has twice fought Antonio. Both times he was helping Willmore and did not instigate the fight. Furthermore, Antonio fights for Florinda's honor, and Belvile wishes for that as well. In addition, Antonio is the Vice-Roy's son and a powerful figure. Belvile could be killed for attacking Antonio and is grateful for any reprieve.
2. Willmore greets Belvile and Pedro sees Belvile's real face and realizes that he is not Antonio. Pedro will not allow Belvile to marry Florinda.
3. Angelica has seen that Willmore is unfaithful and will not give up his promiscuous ways, and this infuriates her to the point where she swears revenge.
4. Dressed in men's clothes and unrecognized by Angelica, Hellena pretends to be a messenger from a lady Willmore had promised to marry but abandoned. Feeling betrayed, Angelica scorns Willmore for his inconstancy, and Hellena pretends anger on behalf of the lady.
5. Hellena, Florinda and Callis sneaked off to Carnival together despite Pedro's orders. Valeria helps Florinda to escape Callis and Pedro. Moretta and Angelica have built a business of prostitution together.
Questions and Answers: Act V
1. Why is Blunt so embarrassed to be seen by his friends?
2. Who intervenes and keeps Pedro from raping Florinda? Why is this odd?
3. Why is Frederick's promise to Florinda strange?
4. How does Angelica go from loving Willmore to trying to kill him?
5. What is the significance of how Hellena introduces herself to Willmore?
1. Lucetta, the seeming whore, has stolen all of his clothes and his purse. Blunt does not want his friends to see him in his disheveled, disrobed state.
2. Valeria's quick wits keep Pedro from raping Florinda. This is odd because Florinda doesn't remove her mask, revealing her...
(The entire section is 243 words.)