The Rover

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Angelica Character Analysis

A beautiful and wealthy courtesan, Angelica is desired by all men in Naples, including Don Antonio, Don Pedro, and Willmore, all of whom duel over her at various points throughout the play. Although she initially vows to charge one thousand crowns a month for her company and sexual favors, putting out pictures of herself to display her own beauty, she succumbs to Willmore’s charms, and ends up falling in love with him and giving him money. When she finds that Willmore has been courting Hellena (who is rich and noble), the humiliated Angelica vows revenge, almost shooting her former lover with a pistol.

Angelica Quotes in The Rover

The The Rover quotes below are all either spoken by Angelica or refer to Angelica. 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:
Gender Roles Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of The Rover published in 1993.
Act 2, Scene 1 Quotes

How wondrous fair she is—a Thousand Crowns a Month—by Heaven as many Kingdoms were too little. A plague of this Poverty—of which I ne’er complain, but when it hinders my Approach to Beauty, which Virtue ne’er could purchase.

Related Characters: Willmore (speaker), Angelica
Related Symbols: Angelica’s Picture
Page Number: 177
Explanation and Analysis:

Willmore now becomes entranced by a picture of the courtesan Angelica--a highly expensive prostitute who costs "a Thousand Crowns a Month" to employ. Once again, we witness how closely Willmore associates love and money. By saying that Angelica is worth even more than a thousand crowns, Willmore is paying her the highest compliment he can imagine. 

It is important to note the difference between Willmore's emotions towards Hellena, and his attraction to Angelica. He feels strongly about Hellena without ever having seen her face; meanwhile, he desires Angelica without ever actually having met her. Yet in both cases, he still views the women as objects to be won or "purchase[d]" rather than as actual people. 

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Oh! Fear me not, shall I not venture where a Beauty calls? A lovely charming Beauty? For fear of danger! When by Heaven there’s none so great as to long for her, whilst I want Money to purchase her.

Related Characters: Willmore (speaker), Angelica
Page Number: 183
Explanation and Analysis:

As he incites a fight outside of Angelica's home, Willmore here articulates what is essentially his life's philosophy: that he will do anything for "Beauty," and that if he cannot "purchase" Angelica's attentions, there is nothing "so great as to long for her." This obsession with female beauty in fact governs most of his actions in the play.

By now, the fickle Willmore seems to have utterly forgotten Hellena. He is entranced by Angelica's beauty and her price, and enjoys the idea of fighting other men for her. All of his worst impulses have come together in his quest to win Angelica at any cost, and he returns to his stereotypical role as the charming but immoral libertine.

Act 2, Scene 2 Quotes

Yes, I am poor—but I’m a Gentleman,
And one that scorns this Baseness which you practise.
Poor as I am, I would not sell my self,
No, not to gain your charming high-priz’d Person.
Tho I admire you strangely for your Beauty,
Yet I contemn your Mind.
—And yet I wou’d at any rate enjoy you;
At your own rate—but cannot—See here
The only Sum I can command on Earth;
I know not where to eat when this is gone:
Yet such a Slave I am to Love and Beauty,
This last reserve I’ll sacrifice to enjoy you.
—Nay, do not frown, I know you are to be bought,
And wou’d be bought by me, by me,
For a mean trifling Sum, if I could pay it down.
Which happy knowledge I will still repeat,
And lay it to my Heart, it has a Virtue in’t,
And soon will cure those Wounds your Eyes have made.
—And yet—there’s something so divinely powerful there—
Nay, I will gaze—to let you see my Strength.

Related Characters: Willmore (speaker), Angelica
Page Number: 185
Explanation and Analysis:

In this long speech, Willmore gathers all of his rhetorical powers of persuasion in order to convince Angelica of his sudden love for her. This passage exemplifies both the good and the bad of Willmore. On one hand, he is obsessed with money and with the idea of "conquering" women. Superficially, he thinks that lust and love (and, in a way, business) are one and the same, and he prizes beauty above all else. 

On the other hand, Willmore is not simply a passionate man, but a deeply eloquent one. He explains to Angelica that he would "sacrifice" everything for her, chiding her for wounding him with her eyes, even as he praises her "divinely powerful" gaze.

Given Willmore's skillful command over language, combined with his physical bravery and his sincere passion for living, it makes sense that both Hellena and Angelica would fall in love with him. While he may be an immoral rake, he does not pretend to be anything but what he is: a poor yet dashing man who lives by his wits, and who will stop at nothing to possess the various objects of his affections. 

But Madam, I have been so often cheated
By perjur’d, soft, deluding Hypocrites,
That I’ve no Faith left for the cozening Sex,
Especially for Women of your trade.

Related Characters: Willmore (speaker), Angelica
Page Number: 187
Explanation and Analysis:

As Willmore continues to wrestle with his feelings for Angelica, he also reveals his own hypocrisy. As a poor cavalier with expensive tastes, Willmore must marry a rich woman (like Hellena) if he is to continue leading his extravagant life. Yet despite his need to exchange love for money, he condemns Angelica for doing the same, telling her that he cannot trust "Women of your trade"--prostitutes--because they are "deluding Hypocrites" who deceive him.

The calculating and aggressive Willmore here plays the victim, acting as if he has been wronged by mercenary women who use and abuse him. In fact, however, Willmore is often on the deceptive end himself, using whatever tactics necessary in order to persuade women to sleep with him. He seems to have conveniently forgotten this fact, however, in his strange but effective seduction of Angelica. 

Act 4, Scene 2 Quotes

Oh, name not such mean Trifles.—Had I given him all
My Youth has earn’d from Sin,
I had not lost a Thought nor Sigh upon’t.
But I have given him my eternal Rest,
My whole Repose, my future Joys, my Heart;
My Virgin Heart. Moretta! Oh ‘tis gone!

Related Characters: Angelica (speaker), Willmore, Moretta
Page Number: 213
Explanation and Analysis:

Having fallen in love with Willmore, Angelica now finds that he is pursuing the rich, noble Hellena. A worldly woman, Angelica knows that even her beauty and sexual skills cannot compete with Hellena's high birth and riches. Bereft, she (like many of the characters) puts love in terms of money, realizing that she would rather have given him all her wealth ("all/ My Youth has earn'd from Sin") than her heart. She also refers to her heart as "Virgin"--for although Angelica has given her body to many men, Willmore is the first to whom she has given her love.

Although up until now we have viewed Angelica as a romantic rival for Hellena, here she becomes an example of the human cost of Willmore's rakishness. Giving in to his professions of love and his verbal eloquence, Angelica has bestowed her trust and her love on someone who did not truly deserve or desire it. 

Angelica: Thou, false as Hell, what canst thou say to this?
Willmore: By Heaven—
Angelica: Hold, do not damn thy self—
Hellena: Nor hope to be believ’d.
Angelica: Oh perjur’d Man!
Is’t thus you pay my generous Passion back?
Hellena: Why wou’d you, Sir, abuse my Lady’s Faith?
Angelica: And use me so inhumanly?
Hellena: A Maid so young, so innocent—
Willmore: Ah, young Devil!
Angelica: Dost thou not know thy Life is in my power?
Hellena: Or think my Lady cannot be reveng’d?
Willmore: So, so, the Storm comes finely on.
Angelica: Now thou art silent, Guilt has struck thee dumb.
Oh hadst thou still been so, I’d liv’d in safety.

Related Characters: Willmore (speaker), Hellena (speaker), Angelica (speaker)
Related Symbols: Masks
Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:

A furious Angelica and a disguised Hellena both turn on Willmore, ripping him apart for his faithlessness and deceit. This is a highly comic scene, as both women are able to verbally abuse their disloyal lover. At the same time, it gives the audience a chance to see how truly hurt both Angelica and Hellena are by Willmore's actions--and how utterly unrepentant the rakish cavalier continues to be. 

This scene is also notable for Hellena's skillful manipulation of the circumstances. A master of disguise, the highborn lady is here dressed up as a servant boy, able to fool her lover into revealing his true, sinful nature, and to chide him without revealing to him who she is. She also manages to turn Angelica against him, thus potentially ridding herself of a romantic rival. 

He’s gone, and in this Ague of My Soul
The shivering Fit returns;
Oh with what willing haste he took his leave,
As if the long’d for Minute were arriv’d,
Of some blest Assignation.
In vain I have consulted all my Charms,
In vain this Beauty priz’d, in vain believ’d
My eyes cou’d kindle any lasting Fires.
I had forgot my Name, my Infamy,
And the Reproach that Honour lays on those
That dare pretend a sober passion here.
Nice Reputation, tho it leave behind
More Virtues than inhabit where that dwells,
Yet that once gone, those virtues shine no more.
—Then since I am not fit to belov’d,
I am resolv’d to think on a Revenge
On him that sooth’d me thus to my undoing.

Related Characters: Angelica (speaker), Willmore
Page Number: 221
Explanation and Analysis:

Realizing that Willmore has abandoned her for good, Angelica realizes that she has ruined herself for the faithless cavalier. While her beauty and seductive charms are famed around the city, there is nothing that she can do to bring her lover back. As Angelica grieves, she looks back to when she fell in love with Willmore, realizing that she has forgotten that she is a courtesan, and therefore is not worthy of loving or being loved.

In this mindset, Angelica vows--since she cannot be beloved, she will be revenged. Humiliated and heartbroken, it makes sense that Angelica takes this dark turn. She has met Willmore's passion with generosity, sincerity, and love. He has undoubtedly sinned in deceiving her (whatever her profession) and, in the eyes of both Angelica and the audience, he deserves to pay. Once more, we see the ruin that our supposed hero's lust and dishonesty can cause. 

Act 5, Scene 1 Quotes

Angelica: All this thou’st made me know, for which I hate thee.
Had I remain’d in innocent Security,
I shou’d have thought all Men were born my Slaves;
And worn my Pow’r like Lightning in my Eyes,
To have destroy’d at Pleasure when offended.
—But when Love held the Mirror, the undeceiving Glass
Reflected all the Weakness of my Soul, and made me know,
My richest Treasure being lost, my Honour,
All the remaining Spoil cou’d not be worth
The Conqueror’s Care or Value.
—Oh how I fell like a long worship’d Idol,
Discovering all the Cheat!
Wou’d not the Incense and rich Sacrifice,
Which blind Devotion offer’d at my Altars,
Have fall’n to thee?
Why woud’st thou then destroy my fancy’d Power?
Willmore: By Heaven thou art brave, and I admire thee strangely.
I wish I were that dull, that constant thing,
Which thou woud’st have, and Nature never meant me:
I must, like chearful Birds, sing in all Groves,
And perch on every Bough,
Billing the next kind She that flies to meet me;
Yet after all cou’d build my Nest with thee,
Thither repairing when I’d lov’d my round,
And still reserve a tributary Flame.

Related Characters: Willmore (speaker), Angelica (speaker), Willmore
Page Number: 237-238
Explanation and Analysis:

The heartbroken and vengeful Angelica confronts Willmore, attempting to get him to admit wrongdoing. As the cavalier continually refuses, saying that he only treated her the way she would have treated him, Angelica protests that this is not true. She explains that falling in love made her realize that her power over men (her clients) was worthless, because she had sacrificed her honor. She has now lost both her self esteem and her power, since she knows that as a prostitute, she has no real value. Essentially, Angelica has internalized the misogynistic worldview of the men around her. Because she is a woman who has sold her virtue, she believes she has no real worth in the world, and no real power. 

Hearing Angelica's deep grief, Willmore seems to display remorse. Despite his regret, however, he explains that he can never be "constant," as Angelica wants him to be. Instead, he must constantly chase after women, like a bird going from bough to bough. This is as close as Willmore ever comes to acknowledging the immorality of his behavior. He still genuinely admires Angelica (and here even considers returning to her after loving his "round"), but having won her, he feels compelled to move on to the next conquest. 

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Angelica Character Timeline in The Rover

The timeline below shows where the character Angelica appears in The Rover. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 2
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Frederick tells Willmore about the beautiful Angelica, the former mistress of a now-deceased Spanish general and the object of adoration of all... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
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Belvile, Frederick, and Wilmore enter the same street, intending to seek out Angelica—the first two are masked, while Willmore is not. When Willmore asks why they where masks,... (full context)
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...her honor to Willmore. Expressing frustration, Willmore says that he must find another woman, like Angelica, who is not so virtuous, so that he can put the gypsy girl out of... (full context)
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They arrive at Angelica’s house, and Belvile notes that her portrait “is not out” (usually Angelica leaves a picture... (full context)
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The others continue to mock him, and blame Angelica for the choosiness of women—she has “rais’d the Price too high,” they assert. Willmore expresses... (full context)
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Two servants (called Bravos) enter and hang three pictures of Angelica up onstage: one on her balcony, and two smaller ones on each side of her... (full context)
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Ignoring Blunt, Willmore marvels at Angelica’s beauty, saying that although she may cost a thousand crowns for a single month, even... (full context)
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...Pedro, meanwhile, resolves to go fetch a thousand crowns in order to purchase time with Angelica. He too exits. (full context)
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Angelica herself appears at her balcony along with Moretta, her elderly servant, and a former prostitute... (full context)
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Angelica reflects that Don Pedro is handsome and wealthy, but inconstant. She asserts that inconstancy is... (full context)
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Seeing Don Pedro return, Angelica reveals that she means to seduce both him and Don Antonio. As if on cue,... (full context)
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Antonio wonders whether he should purchase Angelica’s services, and Diego urges him to do so, saying that although his master will soon... (full context)
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In order to draw the attention of her admirers, Angelica begins to play a love song on her lute. Antonio, in turn, pulls off his... (full context)
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...in the public square, called the Molo; Pedro says that they will fight not for Angelica, but for the honor of Florinda, whom Antonio has wronged. Furthermore, they vow to duel... (full context)
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Seemingly entranced, Willmore pulls down one of the pictures of Angelica, explaining the desire it has incited in him. The bravo tells him to stop, but... (full context)
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Believing that Willmore has insulted Angelica, Antonio threatens him with his sword; Willmore responds in kind, saying that while Antonio may... (full context)
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Hearing the commotion, Angelica asks Moretta what is happening. Although she commands the men to stop, Blunt and Willmore... (full context)
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As he fights, Willmore continues to marvel at Angelica’s beauty. Angelica calls down to ask whether he is the one who began the fight.... (full context)
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Angelica tells Willmore to keep the picture, but Antonio takes offense, and the fight continues. Belvile... (full context)
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Angelica calls down to Willmore, telling him to come into her house and explain his insolence.... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
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Inside her house, Angelica demands to know why Wilmore pulled down her picture; he responds by questioning why she... (full context)
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Angelica replies that she brought him in to beg her pardon, but Willmore counters, saying that... (full context)
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Moretta mocks Willmore for his poverty, but Angelica tells her to stop. Moretta, however, continues, attempting to force him to leave the house.... (full context)
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Willmore asks if he may buy just a few moments of time with Angelica, but Moretta refuses, saying that he must purchase the whole time, or nothing. Willmore suggests... (full context)
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Aside, Angelica remarks that Willmore cannot enrage her and that, indeed, she is falling in love with... (full context)
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Speaking aside again, Angelica exclaims that his words have reached her soul. Willmore goes on to say that he... (full context)
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Moretta notices her mistress’s emotions, and once again tries to force Willmore out. Angelica, shaken out of her daze, snaps at Moretta, ordering her to leave. Turning to Willmore,... (full context)
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Angelica asks if Willmore could ever forget that her love and favor are for sale. She... (full context)
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Despairing, Angelica asks if Willmore will scorn the first vows of love that she has ever made.... (full context)
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Angelica replies that Willmore has hurt her pride, and makes to leave. The cavalier physically restrains... (full context)
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When Angelica still insists on payment, Willmore calls her a fiend, before promising to pay her in... (full context)
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Moretta, who has remained silent until now, curses Angelica for falling pray to love. She abuses Willmore’s name, but acknowledges that most prostitutes face... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
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Belvile, Frederick, and Blunt enter and immediately notice that Angelica’s picture has been removed. Blunt believes that Angelica may have been kind to Willmore, while... (full context)
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Willmore enters, having just exited Angelica’s house; Hellena, still hidden, responds with anger. As Belvile questions him, Willmore replies triumphantly, hyperbolically... (full context)
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...day, calling it holy, and asserting that it gave him the confidence to succeed with Angelica. He says that no other woman will “raise a new Desire” in him, and offers... (full context)
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Blunt asks if Willmore and Angelica have married, and Willmore answers that they have shared all the joys of matrimony, but... (full context)
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As the two converse, Angelica enters, accompanied by Moretta, and her servants Biskey and Sebastian. Expressing surprise at finding Willmore... (full context)
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Incensed, the hidden Angelica expresses rage at Willmore’s inconstancy. (full context)
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Enraged beyond endurance, Angelica resolves to leave, since her jealousy will get the best of her if she stays.... (full context)
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...Willmore that she will unmask again only if he reveals what he was doing in Angelica’s house. Willmore responds lamely, asserting that he went in to see a male friend. Hellena... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
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Seeing that they have reached Angelica’s house, Willmore recalls that he has promised to spend the night with her, and is... (full context)
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...Antonio into the house, Willmore reacts with rage that another man will be sleeping with Angelica. He and Antonio begin fighting as Belvile and Frederick watch, aghast that their “mad” companion... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
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...not know the identity of his opponent), who bitterly accuses him of finding favor with Angelica. Belvile is shocked that Antonio would be fighting for Angelica—a “common Prize”—rather than Florinda, but... (full context)
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...enter, looking for Belvile. Willmore is dressed in fine clothes that he has bought with Angelica’s money. Seeing their companion, the ever-indiscreet Willmore runs to embrace him, calling his name. Don... (full context)
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Angelica enters with Moretta and Sebastian, demanding to know if Willmore has just left. Frederick reveals... (full context)
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Sebastian reenters with Willmore, and Angelica turns away from him. Willmore asks why she flees when he pursues her and pursues... (full context)
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Angelica remains furious, accusing Willmore of courting Hellena for her two hundred thousand-crown fortune, and revealing... (full context)
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Hellena herself enters, disguised as a boy. She recognizes both Angelica and Willmore; Moretta notices her, and, hoping that she is a page for Don Antonio,... (full context)
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Angelica refuses to speak to Willmore, who offers to leave. Meanwhile Hellena approaches, anxious to torment... (full context)
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Hellena goes to speak to Angelica as Willmore repeatedly attempts to sneak off. The disguised girl tells the courtesan that she... (full context)
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...or a woman he can seduce; he is confused, however, about the mention of marriage. Angelica bitterly notices Willmore’s excitement. (full context)
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Perceiving the hurt in Angelica’s eyes, Hellena offers to stop her tale, but Angelica, hoping to quench her own love... (full context)
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Consumed with jealousy, Angelica asks if Willmore is the man of whom Hellena speaks. He attempts to defend himself... (full context)
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With Angelica distracted, Willmore asks Hellena who her supposed mistress is, and how he can find her... (full context)
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Breaking the cycle at last, Angelica asks Hellena to look into Willmore’s face and identify him. As their eyes meet, the... (full context)
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Willmore announces to Angelica that he has uncovered Hellena’s plot; Hellena worries that he has seen through her disguise... (full context)
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After Willmore tells Hellena to return to her supposed mistress with a scornful message, Angelica attempts to extract a promise from him to never marry the fictional gypsy girl, but... (full context)
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...Don Antonio; hearing his name, Hellena flees, believing that he may see through her disguise. Angelica resolves to go see the viceroy’s son, and Willmore pretends to react jealously, asking if... (full context)
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With Willmore gone, Angelica mourns his loss, and reveals that she has lost faith in herself and in love... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
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Angelica enters, veiled and masked. Willmore runs to her, believing it to be his gypsy girl... (full context)
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Willmore attempts to talk Angelica out of her murderous intentions and Angelica laments that, even now, his words have the... (full context)
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The cavalier retorts that Angelica herself has broken hearts, but she maintains that she has always repaid her lovers’ vows.... (full context)
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...he will pay her back for her time, and offers her a purse of gold. Angelica says that she still must kill him for the sake of all womankind as well... (full context)
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Don Antonio enters unexpectedly, having seen Angelica’s coach at the door of the house. Though injured, he immediately takes away her pistol,... (full context)
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Don Pedro reenters, but hides when he sees Don Antonio with Angelica. Obeying Angelica’s command, Antonio says that he will not shoot Willmore, for her sake. Angelica... (full context)
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As Angelica leaves, Don Antonio goes to follow her, but Don Pedro stops him, asking why he... (full context)