(Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

Count Almaviva is so much in love with Rosine, Dr. Bartholo’s ward, that even though he never speaks to her, he leaves Madrid and the pleasure of the court in order to be near her in Seville. Her guardian desires to marry her himself, however, and he keeps the young girl locked in her room. To help him in his suit, the count enlists the aid of Figaro, the barber and apothecary of Bartholo.

A note Rosine throws from her window convinces the count that she returns his love. At Figaro’s suggestion, the count disguises himself as a soldier seeking quarters for the night. He calls himself Lindor, the name Figaro used in telling Rosine of her unknown lover. When Bartholo, suspicious of everyone who might come near Rosine, refuses to give the disguised count lodging, the count manages to slip a note to Rosine before Bartholo orders him from the house. Bartholo forces Rosine to show him the note, but she cleverly tricks him into reading another note she has in her pocket. Nevertheless, his suspicions are not allayed.

Figaro learns that Bazile is a party to Bartholo’s plot to force Rosine to marry him the next day. The count thereupon disguises himself as a student and, calling himself Alonzo, tells Bartholo that he was sent by Don Bazile, Rosine’s music teacher, who, so the count says, is ill and has been asked to take his place. The count thinks that by pretending to help Bartholo he can be alone with Rosine and tell her his plans to rescue her from the old man. He gives Bartholo a letter that he claims will help Bartholo in his suit. The letter implies that there is another woman with whom Lindor is in love. Bartholo refuses to leave Rosine alone with the count until Figaro manages to trick him into leaving the room. Figaro takes the opportunity to steal the key to Rosine’s room from the old man’s key ring. When Bartholo returns to the room, the music lesson seems to be in progress. Suddenly Don Bazile is announced. It takes all of Figaro’s ingenuity to keep him from exposing the count as an impostor. Figaro and the count at last manage to get Don Bazile out of the house before Bartholo learns the truth, but Bartholo, suspicious of everyone, sneaks behind the count and Rosine and overhears enough to make him decide to investigate Don Bazile’s strange behavior and apparent bewilderment.

Don Bazile confesses that he knows nothing of his supposed illness and never before...

(The entire section is 986 words.)


(Drama for Students)

Act I
Beaumarchais explains the plot of The Barber of Seville in his foreword: ‘‘An amorous old man intends to marry...

(The entire section is 847 words.)