Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 365
Lorenzo Del Monte is Teresa’s husband. They were married and lived together for five years and have been legally separated for one year. When he and Teresa first met, he was thirty years old. Lorenzo has a degree in engineering, but he does not have a job because he comes...
(The entire section contains 1054 words.)
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Lorenzo Del Monte is Teresa’s husband. They were married and lived together for five years and have been legally separated for one year. When he and Teresa first met, he was thirty years old. Lorenzo has a degree in engineering, but he does not have a job because he comes from a very wealthy family and does not need to work. However, when Teresa first met him, he was living like a poor university student, wearing the same old clothes every day. Their first three days together were spent in Teresa’s apartment doing nothing but making love and sleeping. On the third day, Lorenzo told her he was going out to buy cigarettes but never returned.
Six months later, Lorenzo happened to walk into the hair salon where Teresa was working. He acted as if nothing had happened between them, and when Teresa asked why he never returned from the store, he told her a series of lies. Teresa nevertheless begged him to stay with her, and they eventually moved in together. Soon, they got married. At first they lived as if in poverty, but then they began a lifestyle of recklessly spending his money. He took to buying paintings, motorcycles, and cars. He also left Teresa alone for days at a time, claiming that he had gone to visit his mother, although it is not clear if he was telling the truth. He was very critical of Teresa and very controlling. They quarreled often, and he hit and punched her, although she also bit him and attacked him with a pair of scissors. When he found Teresa in bed with his best friend, he immediately left her. However, he insists that he did not leave because of the affair but simply because he did not love her anymore. In act 2, Lorenzo shows up at Teresa’s house and meets Elena for the first time. He and Elena are immediately attracted to one another and share an interest in spending time in the country. In act 3, Elena tells Teresa that she and Lorenzo are in love. After Teresa shoots and kills Elena, she immediately calls Lorenzo to tell him what she has done.
Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 357
Teresa Del Monte is a very lonely woman who talks incessantly to Elena, her young border, about her unhappy childhood and tumultuous marriage. Teresa has been separated from her husband, Lorenzo, for a year, but her life still revolves around him even though he only comes to visit her for fifteen minutes at a time. She is still in love with him and continually broods over both the good and bad elements of their relationship. She insists that, despite their violent quarrels and his cold treatment of her, she would take him back under any conditions.
Teresa continues to be supported by Lorenzo but is always putting ads in the newspaper in order to make more money. In act 1, she has placed three ads: one to rent out a spare room in her house, one to sell a piece of antique furniture, and one to sell their house in the country. When Lorenzo comes by to visit after a month’s absence without explanation, he and Teresa immediately begin bickering about their marriage. Teresa expresses extreme resentment toward him about their relationship and about his family’s treatment of her. Later, when Elena confesses to Teresa that she and Lorenzo are in love, Teresa appears to accept the situation in a calm, cool, and rational manner. She says she knows that Lorenzo will never want her back, so it shouldn’t matter that he is now in love with Elena. She even offers to have her marriage annulled so that Elena and Lorenzo can get married. However, she also tells Elena that she may one day shoot herself, in which case Lorenzo would be a widower and could then marry Elena. Teresa explains that she bought herself a pistol when she was still with Lorenzo, thinking that one day she would shoot him. After Elena goes into her room, Teresa calmly gets her pistol and walks in after her. Teresa shoots and kills Elena, then immediately calls Lorenzo on the phone to tell him what she has done. She claims she did not intend to kill Elena, but it is unclear if this is true or not.
Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 253
Elena Tesei is a twenty-year-old university student majoring in philosophy. She grew up in the country, where her parents run a small inn. Elena has little money and has been staying at her aunt and uncle’s place in Rome while she attends college, but their children are too noisy, and she has trouble getting her work done. When the play opens, Elena has answered Teresa’s add to rent out a room in exchange for light housework. Almost as soon as Elena comes in, Teresa begins talking incessantly about her unhappy childhood and her marriage. Elena listens politely and seems to be genuinely interested in what Teresa is saying.
In act 2, Elena has been living with Teresa for a while when she meets Lorenzo for the first time. Elena tells Lorenzo that she and Teresa have become best friends, that they have dinner together every night, and enjoy talking to each other. In act 3, Elena is about to move out of Teresa’s house because, she claims, she cannot get any work done. She then admits to Teresa that she and Lorenzo are in love, which is the real reason she’s moving out. She begs Teresa to remain her friend and is grateful when Teresa offers to have her marriage to Lorenzo annulled. Teresa tells Elena that she has a pistol and may shoot herself, but Elena begs her to get rid of it. When Elena goes into her room to pack, Teresa gets her pistol and shoots Elena, killing her.
Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 79
At the end of act 1, a boy, the son of the grocer, comes to Teresa’s door to let her know that they are willing to sell her the stray Siamese cat who wandered into their shop.
At the very end of act 3, just after Teresa has shot Elena, Giovanna Ricciardi rings her doorbell. When Teresa opens the door, Giovanna says she is answering the advertisement for the room and has come to look at it.