Summary and Analysis: Act 5, Scenes 4-5

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 631

Summary Soranzo, Vasques, and the banditti appear. Vasques tells them their reward for the murder of Giovanni at the birthday feast will include both money and freedom. He says at the feast, they will hear a word from Vasques and that word will be the signal for them to rush...

(The entire section contains 631 words.)

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Summary
Soranzo, Vasques, and the banditti appear. Vasques tells them their reward for the murder of Giovanni at the birthday feast will include both money and freedom. He says at the feast, they will hear a word from Vasques and that word will be the signal for them to rush in on Giovanni. Thus instructed, they leave, and Vasques calls on Soranzo to keep in mind the wrongs done to him in order to give strength to his vengeful intent. Vasques adds that Soranzo should let Giovanni sleep with Annabella again.

Giovanni enters and is greeted by Soranzo. Soranzo advises him to go to his sister’s room, and Giovanni leaves to do so. Vasques expresses his satisfaction at this before seeing the Cardinal, Florio, Donado, and Richardetto enter. Soranzo greets the Cardinal graciously, and shows his guests the way in. All exit.

The scene shifts to where Giovanni and Annabella are lying on a bed. He reproaches her for preferring Soranzo to him. Annabella gives her own reproach to Giovanni for not repenting, and Giovanni repeats his suspicion of her faithlessness. She says that the two of them will soon die, and they should prepare. Giovanni wonders if heaven and hell exist; Annabella affirms that they do, and they will “know one another” after dying. Giovanni wonders if they will live in the afterlife as they are now, but Annabella cannot say if they will or not. She turns his attention to the present, and the two exchange long, examining looks. Giovanni declares his love for the beautiful Annabella, and he tells her to fill her innocent, holy throne in heaven. The two kiss, then Giovanni gains Annabella’s forgiveness before they kiss one more time. Giovanni asks the sun to turn dark so that his deed can be hidden, then asks his sister for another kiss, and stabs her. He declares that honor and revenge commanded him to stab her, and Annabella, in her dying words, asks heaven to forgive their sins. Giovanni declares over her dead body that he gave her “a cradle and a grave,” and that by killing her he has stopped Soranzo from carrying out his plot. He praises Annabella again, and urges himself to show courage in his “last and greater part.”

Analysis
Vasques continues to orchestrate actions by both instructing the banditti and by goading Soranzo’s anger against Giovanni. Soranzo follows Vasques’ instructions for him to deceptively invite Giovanni to visit Annabella. Vasques likely intends for this visitation to keep Soranzo’s thoughts on Annabella’s adultery and thereby inspire him to focus on gaining his revenge for that adultery.

The scene between Giovanni and Annabella again shows how they have grown apart. He criticizes her for allegedly being inconstant to him, while she reproaches him for failing to repent. The two are pursuing sharply different desires, and this is shown by Giovanni’s hope that they will be together in the afterlife, which Annabella responds to by encouraging him to think of the present and his need to escape the perilous situation. Giovanni finally realizes that the two are parting, but it is he who finally betrays her by stabbing her to death. His statement that revenge and honor commanded him to do this seems to refer to his belief that it was better for him to kill her than to have Soranzo kill her. He has recognized that he and Annabella will be killed, but he apparently feels he can revenge himself on Soranzo, who took away Annabella by marrying her, if he now kills Annabella before Soranzo has the chance to kill her. This odd and disturbing logic obviously fails to consider the desires of Annabella, however. And again, a rational and intellectual argument has triumphed over basic morality.

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Summary and Analysis: Act 5, Scenes 1-3

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Summary and Analysis: Act 5, Scene 6