After the wedding ceremony, the party returns to the Bride’s farmhouse for the reception. The Servant mentions that Leonardo and his Wife were the first to get back, having driven the cart “like a horse with one rider.” (38) The Bride’s Father remarks that Leonardo will surely come to a bad end. The Bridegroom’s Mother begins to inveigh against the Felix family, explaining that Leonardo’s great-grandfather started “the murders” and his descendants have followed his violent example.
Mother tells the Bride’s Father about the night that her son, the Bridegroom’s brother, was murdered. She rushed to his body and licked his blood from her fingers, and to this day, she believes no one can understand her grief. However, she is hopeful that her son will produce many grandchildren with the Bride.
The other guests arrive and begin to dance. The Bride confides in Mother that all of the blessings she has received weigh on her “like lead.” (40) Meanwhile, Leonardo’s Wife wishes the Bridegroom good luck, and expresses envy that they get to live on such a big farm so far away from town. The Bridegroom suggests that Leonardo buy a house in the hills, too, but his Wife explains that he is restless and can’t concentrate on his work, which has plunged the family into financial difficulties.
Leonardo is nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, the Servant chats happily with the Bridegroom, and explains that she made him some cured ham in case he gets hungry later in the night. He goes off to have a drink with some of the men, while the Bride talks to two Girls who attended the wedding. They are arguing over who got the first hairpin the Bride took out after the ceremony, but the Bride is irritated at their bickering and confides to them that marriage is a hard and painful process.
The Bridegroom playfully embraces the Bride but she rebuffs him, saying she’s too embarrassed to hug him with so many people around. She claims to have a headache and goes to lie down. Mother tells the Bridegroom that he should be forceful but loving with his wife, and that introducing a bit of roughness sexually will show her that he is in charge.
Meanwhile, the Bride’s Father searches for her, hoping to dance with her. She is not at the party or in her bedroom. Leonardo’s Wife bursts in, saying that the Bride has run away with Leonardo on his horse. Mother angrily accuses the Bride of being “wicked ... like her mother” (48). The Father suggests that perhaps the Bride committed suicide as the Bridegroom pursues them on a horse.
Unlike the previous scenes, which follow one lengthy conversation, Act II, Scene 2 is structured as a collage of conversation fragments. This allows the illusion of a large, crowded party when in fact there are only a few people on stage. Besides its practical uses, though, the device also reflects the Bride’s increasingly fractured resolve to go through with the wedding, and it foreshadows the social fragmentation that will result from the deaths at the end of the play.
The conversation between Leonardo’s Wife and the Bridegroom sets the two characters up as foils for the troubled Bride and the vengeful, haunted Leonardo. By emphasizing the Bridegroom’s innocence through his suggestion that Leonardo move to a farm closer to him and his Bride, Lorca focuses on the innocent victims in this scene rather than on the Bride and Leonardo, who are responsible for their deception. The repercussions of the Bride’s bad decisions extend far beyond her own relationship, and Lorca asserts that this tragedy deserves just as much attention as the fates of the Bridegroom and Leonardo.
Numerous minor characters play roles in this scene, but they are primarily pretexts for the main characters to discuss their thoughts and feelings. In the third act, a group of anonymous woodcutters (as well as the Moon and Death himself) also have speaking roles, but their role is similar to that of a Greek chorus, commenting on the play’s events but remaining aloof from them.
The wedding night song continues to incorporate ominous imagery. Rather than directly foreshadowing events, the lyrics continue to set the mood of the scene. This suggests the human fallibility of the townspeople who are singing—unlike the Moon, which can comment directly on events, they only have the vaguest presentiment of what will happen and can only foreshadow it indirectly.
The Bridegroom’s Mother remains an ambiguous figure in this scene. She vacillates between whether or not the Bridegroom should pursue Leonardo and the Bride. For all of her earlier talk about weapons and the importance of physical safety, it becomes clear that vengeance is just as important to her as her son’s livelihood. Her latent bloodthirstiness colors her previous actions unfavorably, and suggests that she might have urged the Bridegroom’s father and brother into similar confrontations before they died.