The Rover

The Rover Summary and Analysis of Act V


Belvile and company try to knock down the door to Blunt’s chamber. After repeated attempts, they succeed. Belvile and Willmore scorn Blunt for allowing himself to be duped by Lucetta. Pedro tells Blunt that he is ashamed on behalf of his country for the mistreatment. Blunt tells of his plans to seek revenge on an innocent Spanish woman (i.e., Florinda); all of the men want to see her. Belvile believes that she might be Florinda when he sees the ring that was given to Blunt by her. Don Pedro chases a disguised Florinda around the chamber until Valeria arrives, and tells Pedro that Florinda has fled and that he might be able to catch her if he visits Callis immediately. This lie prompts Pedro to leave, and Florinda hugs Valeria to thank her for diverting him. Florinda reveals herself and forgives all of the men; she makes haste with Belvile to get married at the church. Frederick and Valeria get together. All leave, except Willmore; Angellica has arrived to speak with him.

Angellica enters with a pistol and threatens to kill Willmore. Don Antonio enters and grabs the pistol from Angellica. When Antonio learns of the situation, he offers to shoot Willmore for Angellica, but she objects. Don Pedro enters and demands to know why Antonio sent Belvile to fight at the Molo in his place; Antonio tells him that his arm injury prevented him from fighting, and then leaves. Willmore tells Pedro that Belvile and Florinda have just been married, just as Belvile enters the room. To everybody’s surprise, Pedro gives Belvile his blessings, and the brothers-in-law leave together. Willmore follows, but is pulled back by Hellena, who has just arrived. Hellena proposes they get married; at first Willmore resists, but then he gives in. As they are revealing their names to each other, Pedro, Belvile, Florinda, Fred, and Valeria enter. Hellena tells her brother that she will marry Willmore. Pedro is not happy with this news, but finally gives in to it; he forgives both of his sisters for disobeying and only hopes that his father will be as understanding.

Blunt enters dressed in a Spanish habit, looking ridiculous. He asks his friends what they think of his new clothes, and they tell him that he looks strange. Blunt christens Hellena a “little rover,” and kisses her hand. A boy enters and music begins to play; he announces that it is custom that “the gay people” in masquerade make every man’s home their own (l. 563-4). A group of men and women dressed in masquerade costume enter, and all begin to dance together.


Once again returning to the role of enclosed spaces throughout the course of the play, we see another example of a male-dominated world as symbolized by the dual use of Blunt’s chamber; for Florinda, the space is a restricting, inescapable, and dangerous one, whereas for the men it is an easily penetrated area that allows for domination and violation. Consider the way in which the men easily knock down the door when refused entry relative to the instances throughout the play in which women have either had to physically or figuratively overcome a barrier to achieve a goal. Florinda had to sneak around and steal a key to get past the garden gate, and Hellena voices her challenge with a figurative wall in an early scene when she recruits Willmore to storm the proverbial nunnery wall Rather than use brute force, the women in the play must be strategic about manipulating the barriers that stand in their way, and this strategy often involves tricking or charming men into helping them. Thus, they exhibit a considerable degree of agency in their effort to think through and plan their moves toward freedom and independence, however they require help from the very men that they are trying to seek independence from. Bearing this in mind, it seems as though the women in the play are fated to make a compromise with their male oppressor(s), ultimately only improving their degree of freedom, as opposed to gaining complete independence.

And it seems not to make a difference what class or station of women being considered, for all of them need to at some point strike a compromise with their male counterparts in order to gain a partial advance toward their goals. Consider Angellica, for example, who, as a courtesan or prostitute, is of an entirely different class than the noble Spanish sisters Florinda and Hellena. However, she too must make a compromise with a man (i.e. Willmore) in order to pursue her desire to be loved. When she invites him into her chamber in the first half of the play, the reader initially expects her to take and maintain control of the scene. However, Willmore quickly takes charge, and the scene closes with her relinquishing the control that she momentarily held as an unattainable commodity. Even as she tries yet again to take charge in the final scene, as she enters Blunt’s chamber with the intention of shooting Willmore with a pistol, she fails. Antonio takes the pistol from her and she is again forced to relinquish control as the men take control of the scene.

Finally, we see Blunt emerge in this scene wearing clothes. However, rather than dressing in standard English attire, he is wearing a Spanish outfit. He also draws attention to what he is wearing, asking his friends what they think of his new clothes. Again, he struts bout looking ridiculous, and we are led to consider whether his experience has at all prompted him to change.