The Rivals

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Captain Jack Absolute / Ensign Beverley Character Analysis

A confident, charming, and quick-witted Captain in the British army, Absolute is wooing the beautiful Lydia Languish. He tricks Lydia into believing that he is a poor ensign named Beverley in order to take advantage of her romantic disposition. He is a master manipulator, but is not necessarily criticized by the play, partially because his masterful use of language demonstrates his superior intellect. He is able to achieve his aims and be forgiven for all his misdeeds by using artifice, charm, and deception. He is especially keen to trick his father, Sir Anthony Absolute, who seeks to control everything Absolute does. Absolute acts honorably and bravely according to the accepted conventions of dueling. He is also the character that audiences of the time would have compared to Richard Brinsley Sheridan himself.

Captain Jack Absolute / Ensign Beverley Quotes in The Rivals

The The Rivals quotes below are all either spoken by Captain Jack Absolute / Ensign Beverley or refer to Captain Jack Absolute / Ensign Beverley . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of The Rivals published in 1998.
Act 2, Scene 1 Quotes

ACRES
Ha! ha! you've taken notice of it—'tis genteel, isn't it!—I didn't invent it myself though; but a commander in our militia, a great scholar, I assure you, says that there is no meaning in the common oaths, and that nothing but their antiquity makes them respectable;—because, he says, the ancients would never stick to an oath or two, but would say, by Jove! or by Bacchus! or by Mars! or by Venus! or by Pallas, according to the sentiment: so that to swear with propriety, says my little major, the oath should be an echo to the sense; and this we call the oath referential, or sentimental swearing—ha! ha! 'tis genteel, isn't it?
ABSOLUTE
Very genteel, and very new, indeed!—and I dare say will supplant all other figures of imprecation.

Related Characters: Captain Jack Absolute / Ensign Beverley (speaker), Squire Bob Acres (speaker)
Page Number: 17-18
Explanation and Analysis:

When gentlemen swore in the late 18th century, they generally minced their oaths, which meant they changed the pronunciation of a word so that they would not be breaking the religious taboo against using the Lord’s name in vain. “God’s sake” became “odds,” just as today the word “darn” is a politer version of “damn.” Acres, though, wishes to fit in among fashionable people and seeks to change how he speaks to gain acceptance. He is not observant and intelligent enough to discern the way fashionable city people speak, but instead takes on an odd new way of cursing that was described to him by another person from the countryside. A couple of words relevant to the topic being discussed are inserted after “odds” to make an oath that is more specific. The only problem with this is that this kind of swearing is not actually a trend, so Acres seems like he is trying too hard to make his speech sound genteel and ending up making his speech sound odd.

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ABSOLUTE
What, sir, promise to link myself to some mass of ugliness! to——
Sir ANTHONY
Zounds! sirrah! the lady shall be as ugly as I choose: she shall have a hump on each shoulder; she shall be as crooked as the crescent; her one eye shall roll like the bull's in Cox's Museum; she shall have a skin like a mummy, and the beard of a Jew—she shall be all this, sirrah!—yet I will make you ogle her all day, and sit up all night to write sonnets on her beauty.
ABSOLUTE
This is reason and moderation indeed!

Related Characters: Captain Jack Absolute / Ensign Beverley (speaker), Sir Anthony Absolute (speaker)
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:

Sir Anthony is extreme in his demand of obedience in his son. He wants Absolute to agree unconditionally to marry the woman he chooses even if the match he intended was ugly and humpbacked. This extreme position is meant to be parodied as is signaled by the vivid description Sir Anthony gives of his son’s hypothetical ugly bride-to-be. The play is mocking the view that young people owe it to their parents and guardians to cede control over the direction they choose for their lives. Sheridan had personal reasons to want to mock this position, as his own father had resolutely opposed his marriage to Elizabeth Linley, and had tried to force him to become a lawyer. At the time that Sheridan wrote the play, his father had still not forgiven him for his marriage to Linley.

Act 3, Scene 1 Quotes

Sir, I repeat it—if I please you in this affair, 'tis all I desire. Not that I think a woman the worse for being handsome; but, sir, if you please to recollect, you before hinted something about a hump or two, one eye, and a few more graces of that kind—now, without being very nice, I own I should rather choose a wife of mine to have the usual number of limbs, and a limited quantity of back: and though one eye may be very agreeable, yet as the prejudice has always run in favour of two, I would not wish to affect a singularity in that article.

Related Characters: Captain Jack Absolute / Ensign Beverley (speaker), Lydia Languish, Sir Anthony Absolute
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:

Absolute has told his father that he will marry any girl his father chooses for him, as Sir Anthony had previously demanded. He does not reveal that he knows that his father wants to arrange for him to marry Lydia, the girl he is already courting, because he is determined to make his father feel how ridiculous was his demand that Absolute show him perfect obedience and surrender any control over his own future. This conflict between the generations has an easy solution, but Absolute is still determined to win a point against his father as a comeuppance for the bullying way Sir Anthony tried to control him. Sheridan was likely also trying to send a message to his own father, who had tried and failed to control his son’s choice of a wife.

Act 3, Scene 3 Quotes

Well, but Mrs. Malaprop, as the girl seems so infatuated by this fellow, suppose you were to wink at her corresponding with him for a little time—let her even plot an elopement with him—then do you connive at her escape—while I, just in the nick, will have the fellow laid by the heels, and fairly contrive to carry her off in his stead.

Related Characters: Captain Jack Absolute / Ensign Beverley (speaker), Lydia Languish, Mrs. Malaprop / Delia
Page Number: 32
Explanation and Analysis:

Absolute has just met and utterly charmed Mrs. Malaprop. He has led her to believe that he knows about Lydia and Beverley, but sees himself as Mrs. Malaprop’s ally in trying to break that couple up. Of course, he is tricking Mrs. Malaprop, because he is Beverley, but he also wins Mrs. Malaprop’s trust completely by suggesting they should be co-conspirators in a plan to deceive Lydia. Thus Absolute further entangles himself in deception and trickery here, and Mrs. Malaprop further allows herself to be taken in by any who wish to manipulate her. In his own life, Sheridan himself carried out a complicated elopement involving many separate deceptions, so the process of scheming before an elopement would have been a familiar one to him.

ABSOLUTE
Ah! my soul, what a life will we then live! Love shall be our idol and support! we will worship him with a monastic strictness; abjuring all worldly toys, to centre every thought and action there. Proud of calamity, we will enjoy the wreck of wealth; while the surrounding gloom of adversity shall make the flame of our pure love show doubly bright. By Heavens! I would fling all goods of fortune from me with a prodigal hand, to enjoy the scene where I might clasp my Lydia to my bosom, and say, the world affords no smile to me but here—[Embracing her.] [Aside.] If she holds out now, the devil is in it!
LYDIA
[Aside.] Now could I fly with him to the antipodes! but my persecution is not yet come to a crisis.

Related Characters: Captain Jack Absolute / Ensign Beverley (speaker), Lydia Languish (speaker)
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene, Absolute puts his skill as an eloquent speaker who knows exactly what people want to hear to good use. He speaks with the lyrical language used by lovers in the sentimental novels that Lydia loves to read and pledges to make love the most important aspect of his life, and to prioritize it over comfort and money, as those romantic characters generally did. Although his speech does move Lydia, she is determined to draw out their situation and enjoy the drama of being kept cooped up in the house and separated from her lover. True to her name, Lydia Languish enjoys languishing, because it makes her feel that her life is a passionate adventure like that of a lady in a novel. In going so far overboard with his language, Absolute also seems to be subtly mocking his lover, suggesting that Lydia probably wouldn’t really enjoy living in poverty with only love to comfort her—she just likes the idea of it.

Act 3, Scene 4 Quotes

ACRES
But he has given me no provocation.
Sir LUCIUS
Now, I think he has given you the greatest provocation in the world. Can a man commit a more heinous offence against another than to fall in love with the same woman? Oh, by my soul! it is the most unpardonable breach of friendship.
ACRES
Breach of friendship! ay, ay; but I have no acquaintance with this man.
I never saw him in my life.
Sir LUCIUS
That's no argument at all—he has the less right then to take such a liberty.
ACRES
Gad, that's true—I grow full of anger, Sir Lucius!—I fire apace! Odds hilts and blades! I find a man may have a deal of valour in him, and not know it!

Related Characters: Squire Bob Acres (speaker), Sir Lucius O’Trigger (speaker), Captain Jack Absolute / Ensign Beverley
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:

Acres has told Sir Lucius that the woman he was courting is now being pursued by another man, and Sir Lucius encourages him to challenge his rival for her affection to a duel. Both men have a flawed approach to the institution of dueling. Sir Lucius sees no reason why contradictory arguments should not do equally well to serve as the pretext for fighting a duel. Meanwhile, Acres is shocked at the idea of dueling a rival, which shows that he does not understand the institution of dueling that was expected of a gentleman. Yet because Acres wishes to seem like a gentleman and has no idea how to go about it, he trusts that Sir Lucius will guide him in the right direction. These two characters are meant to stand in for Captain Mathews, with whom Sheridan fought two duels. In one duel, Mathews conducted himself like a coward, and in the other he called for a duel without a sufficient cause and then brutally stabbed Sheridan several times.

Act 4, Scene 2 Quotes

Then he's so well bred;—so full of alacrity, and adulation!—and has so much to say for himself:—in such good language, too! His physiognomy so grammatical! Then his presence is so noble! I protest, when I saw him, I thought of what Hamlet says in the play:— "Hesperian curls—the front of Job himself!— An eye, like March, to threaten at command!— A station, like Harry Mercury, new——" Something about kissing—on a hill—however, the similitude struck me directly.

Related Characters: Mrs. Malaprop / Delia (speaker), Captain Jack Absolute / Ensign Beverley , Lydia Languish
Related Symbols: Foreign Words
Page Number: 42
Explanation and Analysis:

Mrs. Malaprop is praising Absolute to Lydia, in the hopes of convincing Lydia to fall in love with him over Beverley. Absolute’s eloquence and flattery of her have prompted Mrs. Malaprop to reach for the most elevated language she can think of: the language of Shakespeare’s plays. But, of course, she misquotes the lines from Hamlet horribly. These lines are: “Hyperion’s curls, the front of Jove himself, / An eye like Mars to threaten and command, / A station like the herald Mercury / New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill.” Mrs. Malaprop’s mispronunciation of the names of ancient Roman Gods is a particularly hilarious instance of her pretentiousness pushing her to use words she does not understand. For instance, she confuses Jove, the Roman king of the Gods, with Job, the biblical character who loses all of his prosperity and everyone he loves.

So, while I fondly imagined we were deceiving my relations, and flattered myself that I should outwit and incense them all—behold my hopes are to be crushed at once, by my aunt's consent and approbation—and I am myself the only dupe at last!—[Walking about in a heat.]

Related Characters: Lydia Languish (speaker), Captain Jack Absolute / Ensign Beverley , Mrs. Malaprop / Delia
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:

Absolute’s deception has been uncovered, and Lydia is furious to learn that Beverley was a fictional persona that he made up. She is explicitly angry that her hopes to deceive her relatives will come to naught, and instead she finds that she has been deceived herself. This moment shows that the play has just as satirical a view on the position taken by the young as the old in the conflict surrounding courtship between the older and younger generation. Just as Sir Anthony hopes to control his son Absolute’s future absolutely, Lydia puts an undue emphasis on her desire to rebel against her aunt. By showing that both sides of the generational gap were prone to foolishness when trying to settle the important matter of sons and daughters’ marriages for the best, Sheridan takes a conservative position on whether marriages ought to be arranged or not. Ridiculing both Lydia and Sir Anthony, the play treats the topic humorously, but mounts no real criticism to the social practice of the time.

Act 4, Scene 3 Quotes

FAULKLAND
What can you mean?—Has Lydia changed her mind?—I should have thought her duty and inclination would now have pointed to the same object.
ABSOLUTE
Ay, just as the eyes do of a person who squints: when her love-eye was fixed on me, t'other, her eye of duty, was finely obliqued: but when duty bid her point that the same way, off t'other turned on a swivel, and secured its retreat with a frown!

Related Characters: Captain Jack Absolute / Ensign Beverley (speaker), Faulkland (speaker), Lydia Languish
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:

Absolute has run into Faulkland and tells him that he has been rejected by Lydia after she found out his true identity. Despite his disappointment, Absolute can still speak with eloquence and wit about his predicament, coming up with a fine and detailed analogy for Lydia’s behavior in the condition of a person with a “lazy eye.” Often, if the two eyes do not work together properly, a person with a lazy eye will close one eye to block out the visual inputs from the eye which is not pointing in the correct direction. Lydia, Absolute contends, similarly cannot simultaneously see both her love for him and her duty to obey her guardians and act as she is expected to as a woman. This fine description is further evidence of Absolute’s command of the situation and his ability to handle his emotions. Sheridan, who wanted his audience to associate the character of Absolute with himself, was likely trying to spread the idea that he kept his own wits about him even when facing difficult moments in his love affair or life.

Act 5, Scene 1 Quotes

LYDIA
Why, is it not provoking? when I thought we were coming to the prettiest distress imaginable, to find myself made a mere Smithfield bargain of at last! There, had I projected one of the most sentimental elopements!—so becoming a disguise!—so amiable a ladder of ropes!—Conscious moon—four horses—Scotch parson—with such surprise to Mrs. Malaprop—and such paragraphs in the newspapers!—Oh, I shall die with disappointment!
JULIA
I don't wonder at it!
LYDIA
Now—sad reverse!—what have I to expect, but, after a deal of flimsy preparation with a bishop's license, and my aunt's blessing, to go simpering up to the altar; or perhaps be cried three times in a country church, and have an unmannerly fat clerk ask the consent of every butcher in the parish to join John Absolute and Lydia Languish, spinster! Oh that I should live to hear myself called spinster!

Related Characters: Lydia Languish (speaker), Julia Melville (speaker), Captain Jack Absolute / Ensign Beverley , Mrs. Malaprop / Delia
Page Number: 55
Explanation and Analysis:

Lydia complains to Julia about her disappointment at finding out that Beverley was a false identity of Absolute’s. The picturesque elements of the elopement that she dreamed of are drawn from the sentimental literature Lydia reads, but also would have been familiar to Sheridan from his own experiencing wooing and eloping with Elizabeth Linley.

Lydia also disparages the trappings of a conventional wedding. She is especially bothered by the idea that her marriage will be approved of by society, which seems to her vulgar and unexciting, and she hates the unromantic idea that there will be a financial component to the arrangement of her marriage. But she dramatizes her situation to the extreme when she says that she never dreamed that she would become a spinster: someone as wealthy, beautiful, and young as Lydia would have had plenty of other opportunities to marry.

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Captain Jack Absolute / Ensign Beverley Character Timeline in The Rivals

The timeline below shows where the character Captain Jack Absolute / Ensign Beverley appears in The Rivals. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologues
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
...of the play on its first night, a prologue was performed by the actors playing Absolute and Acres. This prologue portrays a brief scene between an attorney and a court official,... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 1
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
...Fag is surprised to see Thomas, but Thomas explains that his ever-impulsive master, Sir Anthony Absolute, decided on the spur of the moment to bring his entire family to town from... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Fag explains further: Absolute has taken on the false identity of Ensign Beverley for the sake of love. When... (full context)
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
...one, but Thomas does not want to give his up. Then the two men spot Absolute and Lucy, Lydia Languish’s maid. Thomas notices that Absolute is paying Lucy money. Meanwhile, Fag... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 2
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
...cousin Lydia. They embrace and Julia explains that she came to Bath with Sir Anthony Absolute’s party and that Sir Anthony will arrive soon to present himself to Lydia’s aunt and... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Lydia’s worst piece of news is that she provoked a quarrel with Beverley before she was cut off from him by Mrs. Malaprop. Lydia started the quarrel because... (full context)
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Julia reassures Lydia, saying that if Beverley deserves her, he won’t give up so easily, but asks Lydia if she truly intends... (full context)
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
...Anthony and Mrs. Malaprop enter and immediately begin lecturing Lydia on her determination to marry Beverley when her elders command that she forget him. Sir Anthony blames Lydia’s refusal to be... (full context)
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
The conversation then turns to Lydia: Sir Anthony Absolute proposes that she should marry his son, and Mrs. Malaprop agrees, expressing the hope that... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
...tips and presents she has been given while serving as a messenger for Acres, Ensign Beverley, Lydia, Mrs. Malaprop, and Sir Lucius O’Trigger. She has acted simple and uncalculating, but really... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
At Absolute’s apartment, Fag tells Absolute that he has seen Sir Anthony, and that Sir Anthony was... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Absolute sends Fag to summon Faulkland, whom he intends to tease about Julia. Faulkland soon enters,... (full context)
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Faulkland refuses Absolute’s offer to come to dinner with a group of friends, saying he is too depressed... (full context)
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Absolute then shocks Faulkland by telling him that Sir Anthony has brought Julia to town. Faulkland... (full context)
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
...around her with her beautiful singing at concerts and dancing at balls. Faulkland complains to Absolute that he feels Julia has the advantage of him, since she managed to be jolly... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
Acres asks if Faulkland had been upset, and Absolute flatters Acres by saying Faulkland had been jealous of him. Acres notes that he is... (full context)
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Acres departs, and Absolute now waits anxiously for his father to enter. When Sir Anthony arrives, he announces to... (full context)
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Absolute protests that he is already in love with another and cannot follow Sir Anthony’s command.... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
...reprimands her for passing letters to Sir Lucius, saying he will tell his master, Ensign Beverley, that Sir Lucius is a rival. Lucy tells Fag that the letter is actually from... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Strolling on the North Parade, Absolute reflects on his luck: he has heard from Fag that his father wants to force... (full context)
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Sir Anthony, pleased with Absolute’s obedience, excitedly reveals that the match he wants to arrange is with the beautiful, young... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Absolute visits Mrs. Malaprop, who welcomes him with flattering remarks about his pedigree and “the ingenuity... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
Mrs. Malaprop pulls out a letter that Absolute had sent to Lydia in his character as Beverley. Under his breath, Absolute curses Lucy... (full context)
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Absolute suggests a plan: that Mrs. Malaprop should allow Beverley to correspond with Lydia, and then... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
While alone, Absolute reflects that he may lose Lydia if he reveals his true identity to her now.... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
...to eavesdrop. She misinterprets the lovers’ speech and thinks that Lydia has been rudely rejecting Absolute. Mrs. Malaprop comes forward, and Absolute fears that she has discovered that Lydia thinks he... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
...marry her off to someone else. The cause of this, he explains, is another lover, Beverley. (full context)
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
...terrible thing to do to a friend. Acres objects that he is not friends with Beverley, but Sir Lucius says that it is even worse, in that case. Acres says that... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
Acres’s servant David is trying to discourage his master from sending the letter challenging Beverley to a duel, fearing that Acres will be killed. Acres says he must be careful... (full context)
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
...that he has the challenge ready and he will give it to his friend Captain Absolute to deliver to Beverley. David is glad for this, because he wouldn’t want to be... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
Absolute asks why he has been sent for, and Acres shows him the challenge. Absolute reads... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
A servant enters and tells Absolute his father is downstairs looking for him. As Absolute gets ready to take his leave,... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
At Mrs. Malaprop’s lodgings, Mrs. Malaprop is trying to persuade Lydia to accept Absolute as a suitor. Isn’t he handsome, she asks Lydia. “The Absolute you have seen,” Lydia... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
A servant announces that Sir Anthony and Absolute have arrived. Mrs. Malaprop begs that Lydia act as befits a young lady and show... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Mrs. Malaprop urges Lydia to turn around, while Sir Anthony begins to grow angry at Absolute for not speaking to Lydia. Absolute tells Sir Anthony that his passion has taken away... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Absolute realizes he is about to be discovered. He addresses Lydia in his own voice, asking... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
...his son may be behind this confusion and demands to know what’s going on from Absolute. Mrs. Malaprop also begins to suspect. In an eloquent speech, Absolute tells Sir Anthony that... (full context)
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Sir Anthony is delighted to learn that Absolute was lying to him when he acted like a dutiful son who was indifferent to... (full context)
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Lydia remains silent, and Absolute reflects that this does not bode well. He tries to convince her that it is... (full context)
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Lydia begins to feel badly for Absolute, but says he brought this on himself and she supposes he is perfectly satisfied. Absolute... (full context)
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
...and sobbing. The two elders ask the meaning of this angry scene. Both Lydia and Absolute reply that the other can give a better explanation. Lydia says that she will now... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
Sir Lucius is strolling on the North Parade, hoping to run into Absolute and challenge him to a duel. He remarks to himself that officers are always getting... (full context)
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
Sir Lucius approaches Absolute and says he begs to differ with him. When Absolute asks what about, Sir Lucius... (full context)
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
Absolute next runs into Faulkland and bemoans his current situation, saying if he did not know... (full context)
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
...she will break off their engagement and is scared to look at the letter, so Absolute reads it. Julia writes that she is sure that Faulkland already feels terrible for how... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
...and curses love for driving him to act so insanely, then rushes off to meet Absolute for the duel with Sir Lucius. (full context)
The Role of Women Theme Icon
...a maid enter looking for Julia. Lydia reflects to herself that she hasn’t gotten over Absolute, and that when Julia chides her for giving him up, as she knows Julia will,... (full context)
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
Lydia then says that her woes must surely surpass Julia’s: she has found out that Beverley is Absolute. Julia confesses that Faulkland had already told her about Absolute’s disguise. Lydia is... (full context)
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
...so concerned in the fates of the men involved, Fag and David reveal that Captain Absolute, Acres, and Faulkland are involved in a duel. Julia says that they should hasten to... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Absolute awaits Faulkland, who is late, on the South Parade, with a sword hidden in his... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Courtship and Generational Conflict Theme Icon
His attempted disguise gone, Absolute tells his father he was just joking and scrambles to come up with a story... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
David runs up to Sir Anthony, screaming about murder. He tells Sir Anthony that Absolute is headed to a duel with Sir Lucius, and Sir Anthony angrily exclaims at being... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
Sir Lucius greets Absolute and Faulkland, whom he assumes is Beverley. He says that he sees that Absolute will... (full context)
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
Language and Pretension Theme Icon
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
Absolute then steps forward, saying that Beverley was a made-up identity of his, and that he... (full context)
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
...David yelling for Sir Anthony to halt the combatants. Sir Anthony demands to know how Absolute got involved in a duel. Absolute says Sir Lucius called him out without explanation, to... (full context)
False Identities and Artifice Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
...interjects that all this dueling talk is inappropriate conversation for ladies: it is terrifying Lydia. Absolute asks if Lydia is terrified that he will not be killed. Mrs. Malaprop urges Lydia... (full context)
Sheridan and His World Theme Icon
The Role of Women Theme Icon
Gentlemanly Honor and Dueling Theme Icon
...toast to the young couples and to an eventual husband for Mrs. Malaprop. Faulkland congratulates Absolute that Lydia came to her senses and reformed her own romantic inclinations, just as he... (full context)