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Topics for Further Study

(Drama for Students)

Willmore must return to his ship after a brief holiday spent satiating his physical desires, and Hellena hopes to ‘‘love and be beloved’’ before joining a nunnery. Despite their initial disinclination to seek permanent relationships, they marry. What bonds will hold their marriage together?

Faithfulness and inconstancy are persistent themes in The Rover, in love relationships, familial relationships, relationships among friends, and between servant and master. Trace this theme in one or more fictional or real-life relationships, and use this data to support your interpretation of the role of constancy in the play.

Willmore is a "rake hero'' whose exploits conjure laughter in some characters and admiration from others. What is his ultimate impact on the audience? Is he to be admired or mocked? Why?

Angellica's portraits serve as advertisements to attract potential benefactors. The English travelers see the portraits and debate which is more lovely, the depictions or the woman herself, raising questions about art versus life and expectations versus reality. What other symbolic role(s) do the portraits serve in the play?

Naples, Italy, was a thriving seaport in the seventeenth century, a place where travelers from many lands mingled together in the sunny climate. How does Behn's choice of setting affect the viewer's expectations of how the play's characters will behave? Why does she set the play during carnival time as well?

From sword fights and robberies to the two near-rapes of Florinda, The Rover is full of violence, yet the main storyline revolves around love interests. What role does violence play in The Rover, and how does the fact that the play was written by a woman affect your assessment of the violent behavior that accompanies love interests in this play?