The Rover

The Rover Summary and Analysis of Act III, Scene iii


Blunt arrives at Lucetta’s bedroom, and takes Sancho’s candle at the door before heading in. Blunt gets undressed, and as he heads toward Lucetta’s bed, she asks him to blow out the candle. Blunt blows out the candle, but then he has trouble finding the bed. Meanwhile, Lucetta has snuck out of the bed to meet with Phillipo, her gallant, and Sancho, her pimp, to look over all of Blunt’s possessions. They tally the bounty and comment on the foolishness of the duped Englishman.


This scene features Blunt undressing, and then blowing out a candle en route to joining Lucetta in bed; symbolism may be found in both of these acts. This is not the first scene in which Blunt's physical appearance or presentation is alluded to; recall the second scene of Act I, when Lucetta espies Blunt as an outsider, largely because of the way he is carrying himself ("he struts and cocks"). Later on in the play attention is once again drawn to Blunt's physical appearance, when he dresses up in Spanish clothing and asks his friends what they think. There is something about Blunt and his clothes—or lack thereof—that wants the readers' (or viewers') attention. We might consider the potential for symbolism in the undressing and re-dressing of Blunt—a shallow character who is nearly defined by his material possessions. Throughout the play, both he and his fellow Englishmen consistently draw attention to his wealth, some noting that this is the only reason that he is kept around or tolerated. Blunt acts as though money and possessions mean nothing to him—especially after he meets Lucetta—but it become very clear, once he loses all of his money, as well as the clothes off of his back, that he is in reality very much attached to his belongings. Stripping Blunt to his underwear not only works to expose his body in the physical, but also allows one to see his inner person; losing everything he owns reveals him for the angry, vengeful, and irrational man that he is.

Blowing out the candle at the beginning of the scene may also be understood as symbolic of Blunt’s imperceptiveness. Blunt is instructed by Lucetta to “put out the light,” for she claims that it may “betray us else” (p. 62, 17-18). Blunt interprets “us” here as himself and Lucetta, and he accordingly understands “betray” in terms of being exposed (i.e. in the act of adultery). But what Lucetta’s statement truly alludes to is the potential for light to reveal her plot to dupe Blunt. Of course, the blown out candle causes the room to go black, and thus permits her to sneak out of bed so that she can steal Blunt’s clothes and escape. In this sense, the “us” should be understood as Lucetta, Sancho, and Phillipo, who together have orchestrated the theft. BY blowing out the candle, Blunt becomes implicit in his own duping; his inability to figuratively see this deception is mirrored by his own literally inability to see the goings-on in the room—and this is of course a result of his own extinguishing of the flame. Thus, Blunt is revealed, in a sense, as his own worst enemy; naïve and overly trusting, he proves as dull as his name suggests.