The Rover

The Rover Summary and Analysis of Act IV, Scene i


Belvile waits alone in a dark room, contemplating aloud his rotten situation. He is incensed at having been wrongly accused of potential murder, but what vexes him most is the thought of never again seeing his fair Florinda. Antonio enters in a nightgown, carrying a candle and a sword. He places the candle on a table and asks Belvile why he attacked him, an accusation to which Belvile pleads innocent. Antonio, believing that Belvile was also the man who challenged him to a duel in front of Angellica’s house in Act II, Scene i, accuses him of this attempt to fight as well. Antonio then, to Belvile’s surprise, hands him his sword and reveals that he is the Viceroy’s son. Antonio, no longer believing that Belvile was the man who challenged him to a duel at the Molo to win Angellica, sends the Englishman on a mission: he must fight Antonio’s rival at the Molo in Antonio’s place, as the Spaniard’s arm is too badly wounded from the injury that he sustained fighting Willmore moments earlier. Belvile agrees to fight disguised as Antonio, however he mistakenly believes that he is fighting for Florinda.


Belvile is enclosed in a dark chamber, so it is appropriate to once again return to the subject of boundaries and space as discussed in the analysis section of the previous scene. What are the differences between Belvile’s experience in an enclosed space, and that of Florinda’s? It seems as though Belvile is in great danger when he first arrives in the scene, as it is suggested that he is mistakenly responsible for a potential murder. However, as the scene progresses, it becomes clear that this space presents not as a danger, but rather as an opportunity for Belvile to fight on behalf of Florinda. It is also a space in which important and arguably helpful information is revealed to Belvile, who finds out therein that Antonio is the Viceroy’s son. Thus again we see an example of boundaries or enclosed spaces presenting not as a danger to the male characters in the play, but rather as a space to be appropriated and easily transcended.