The Rover

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Frederick Character Analysis

An English gentleman who is good friends with Willmore and Belvile, Frederick is the common sense of the group, often trying to get his friends out of scrapes and duels. Even he, however, can act impulsively and maliciously, as when he almost helps the oafish Blunt to rape Florinda. His romance with Valeria, Florinda’s and Hellena’s cousin, is one of the subplots of the play, and he ends up marrying her at its end.

Frederick Quotes in The Rover

The The Rover quotes below are all either spoken by Frederick or refer to Frederick. 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 1, Scene 2 Quotes

I dare swear I have had a hundred as young, kind and handsom as this Florinda; and Dogs eat me, if they were not as troublesom to me i’th’ Morning as they were welcome o’er night.

Related Characters: Frederick (speaker), Belvile, Ned Blunt
Page Number: 165
Explanation and Analysis:

The vulgar Frederick makes fun of his chivalrous friend, Belvile, for being in love with the virtuous and beautiful Florinda. In so doing, he reveals an important truth about the play: the elegant and proper facade of The Rover actually masks a highly sexual and misogynistic undertone.

Here, Frederick refers to the act of sexually pursuing women, saying that while females are "welcome" during the night, they become "troublesome" during the morning (when, presumably, he wants them to leave). Essentially, Frederick thinks of all women as the same; they are fit to be objects of lust, but should not be regarded as anything more than that.

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Love and Mirth are my Business in Naples; and if I mistake not the Place, here’s an excellent Market for Chapmen of my Humour.

Related Characters: Willmore (speaker), Belvile, Frederick, Ned Blunt
Related Symbols: Carnival
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:

This passage introduces Willmore, the dashing but promiscuous "Rover" of the title. Unlike the proper Belvile or the contemptible Ned and Blunt, Willmore is both attractive and immoral. He is witty and daring, but also views women as objects to be used for pleasure and then thrown away. 

It is important to note, in this passage, that Willmore uses the word "love" to actually mean "lust." He means to physically pursue women, but certainly does not intend to lose his heart to any one of them. He has confused physical desire with emotional feeling, and will continue to do so over the course of the play.

Willmore also introduces a second vital idea: the link between love and money. Throughout the play, we will witness how characters think of love as something that can be bought and sold. By referring to Naples as a "Market" in which he will be able to take part in the "Business" of "Love and Mirth," Willmore reveals that he fully buys into this mindset. 

Act 4, Scene 3 Quotes

I begin to suspect something; and ’twou’d anger us vilely to be truss’d up for a Rape upon a Maid of Quality, when we only believe we ruffle a Harlot.

Related Characters: Frederick (speaker), Florinda, Ned Blunt
Page Number: 228
Explanation and Analysis:

About to help Blunt to rape the helpless Florinda, Frederick pauses when Florinda desperately speaks Belvile's name. Although Blunt wishes to continue, convinced that Florinda is lying, Frederick orders him to stop. If they rape a virtuous (and wealthy) maiden, he explains, they will get in far more trouble than if they merely "ruffle[d] a Harlot."

Although it is this mindset that saves Florinda, we can also clearly see the deep immorality and misogyny that underlies it. The moment that Frederick believes that Florinda might have some value to another man--Belvile--he no longer wishes to violate her. To harm a highborn maiden in that manner would be a violation of both her betrothed (Belvile), as well as her noble father. In contrast, were Florinda a "harlot"--a lowborn woman or a prostitute--it would have been completely excusable, in Frederick's eyes, to rape her. 

This belief that women are only valuable in relation to men underlies much of the action of The Rover. Women must be protected by their fathers, brothers, and lovers, who vouch for their virtue and their nobility. Women who have no value to such men, or who sell their sexuality (as prostitutes do), are worthy of contempt at best, and sexual violence at worst. 

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Frederick Character Timeline in The Rover

The timeline below shows where the character Frederick 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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A sad Belvile enters a long street along with two English gentlemen, Blunt and Frederick. Frederick teases Belvile for his melancholy, saying that it is uncalled for, especially during Carnival... (full context)
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Blunt and Frederick speculate that Belvile must want either money or a woman. When Belvile continues to deny... (full context)
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Blunt and Frederick continue to mock, telling Belvile that while he may be in love, they would never... (full context)
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Willmore, a reckless and promiscuous cavalier (hence the nickname “the Rover”), enters unexpectedly. Belvile and Frederick embrace him with delight, asking what business he has in Naples, and introducing him to... (full context)
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...where a Woman’s concerned.” He begins to joke vulgarly about Florinda, and Belvile responds angrily. Frederick stops the quarrel, and the men resolve to aid Belvile. (full context)
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...Blunt is very trusting). When Willmore asks what kind of man Blunt is, Belvile and Frederick mock his stupidity and lack of culture, but explain that they are using Blunt for... (full context)
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Willmore expresses jealousy that Blunt has found such a willing woman, and Frederick responds by asking him about the gypsy (Hellena) with whom they saw him speak. Willmore... (full context)
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Frederick tells Willmore about the beautiful Angelica, the former mistress of a now-deceased Spanish general and... (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,... (full context)
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...go to meet Lucetta, Blunt responds jealously, saying that he cannot compete with their wit. Frederick warns Blunt to be careful of his purse, since it must support all of them.... (full context)
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Frederick goes on to suggest that Lucetta may be a whore, and Blunt reacts with disbelief... (full context)
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...buy her love. He curses his poverty, which keeps him from attaining Angelica. Blunt and Frederick, meanwhile, question how the courtesan dares to charge so much money. (full context)
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...him to come into her house and explain his insolence. When Willmore agrees, Belvile and Frederick warn him against entering the house of an angry courtesan, but Willmore ignores them, saying... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
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...recalls their antics in the guise of gypsy girls, revealing that she told a stranger (Frederick) his fortune but grew nervous and almost dropped her disguise completely. As Hellena begins to... (full context)
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Belvile, Frederick, and Blunt enter and immediately notice that Angelica’s picture has been removed. Blunt believes that... (full context)
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Meanwhile, Frederick courts Valeria while Belvile talks with the disguised Florinda and sulks, still not understanding that... (full context)
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...from her window, and that women of quality like her have “few opportunities for Love.” Frederick urges his friend to take the jewel, and Belvile seems to consider succumbing to her... (full context)
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Belvile refuses, saying that taking the jewel would break his vow to his lady. Frederick is dismayed that Belvile would turn down such wealth. (full context)
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...Belvile clears up the misunderstanding by showing Willmore Florinda’s picture, and the two men, plus Frederick, resolve to rescue her that very night. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
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...belligerent, and masked Willmore enters, annoyed that he has been unable to find Belvile or Frederick. He decides that the garden will be a good place to sleep. (full context)
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Belvile and Frederick enter (they are masked), looking for Willmore. Hearing Florinda’s cries for help, they rush to... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
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Belvile, Willmore, and Frederick enter the street outside of Don Pedro’s house; Willmore is dejected, Belvile furious, and Frederick... (full context)
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...another man will be sleeping with Angelica. He and Antonio begin fighting as Belvile and Frederick watch, aghast that their “mad” companion has found even more trouble. (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
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At just the wrong moment, Willmore and Frederick enter, looking for Belvile. Willmore is dressed in fine clothes that he has bought with... (full context)
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...Incensed, Belvile draws his sword on his friend; Willmore runs out, with Belvile following him. Frederick tries to intervene, and fails. (full context)
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Angelica enters with Moretta and Sebastian, demanding to know if Willmore has just left. Frederick reveals that he has, but says that he is in danger, and quickly follows his... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
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Frederick enters with news of Blunt’s misfortune. Don Pedro and Belvile are amused, and the Englishman... (full context)
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Frederick enters, and rather than helping Florinda, he reacts with amusement, mocking Blunt for his nakedness.... (full context)
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...responds disgustingly, saying that they will feast on her and then leave Belvile the leftovers. Frederick, however, urges him to pause, and Florinda gives them a ring in order to prove... (full context)
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...arrival along with that of Don Pedro. Blunt refuses to see either of them, while Frederick goes down to meet them—but not before locking Florinda away in his chamber. (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
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...Willmore jokingly comments that he must share her with his friends; he also betrays that Frederick has told them all about the captured Florinda (although no one knows her identity). Having... (full context)
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Frederick urges Blunt to show their companions Florinda’s ring; when he does so, Belvile immediately recognizes... (full context)
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...men begin to argue, with Willmore saying that he wishes to go in first, and Frederick maintaining that he and Blunt still have custody. Willmore proposes that they all draw their... (full context)
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Frederick, too, apologizes, and Florinda says that she will forgive him as long as he follows... (full context)
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Pedro, Belvile, Florinda, Frederick, and Valeria reenter; Florinda is shocked to see her sister, and Pedro attempts to pull... (full context)