The Rover

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Ned Blunt Character Analysis

An English gentleman like Frederick, Blunt is an oafish idiot, mocked and disdained by his friends, and valued only for his money. During the play, he believes himself in love with Lucetta, a prostitute, who tricks him out of his clothes and money with the help of her pimp Sancho and her lover Philippo. Humiliated and naked, Blunt attempts to revenge himself on the female sex by raping and beating Florinda but, upon learning that she is of noble birth and Belvile’s beloved, begs her forgiveness.

Ned Blunt Quotes in The Rover

The The Rover quotes below are all either spoken by Ned Blunt or refer to Ned Blunt. 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

A fine Lady-like Whore to cheat me thus, without affording me a Kindness for my Money, a Pox light on her, I shall never be reconciled to the Sex more, she has made me as faithless as a Physician, as uncharitable as a Churchman, and as ill-natur’d as a Poet. O how I’ll use all Women-kind hereafter! what wou’d I give to have one of ’em within my reach now! Any Mortal thing in Petticoats, kind Fortune, send me; and I’ll forgive thy last Night’s Malice

Related Characters: Ned Blunt (speaker), Lucetta
Page Number: 224
Explanation and Analysis:

Having been deceived by a woman who turned out to be a prostitute--and who stole all his money and his clothes--Ned Blunt is furious. A stupid but violent man, he decides that since his lover, Lucetta, was dishonest, all women are therefore so. In fact, he goes even beyond mistrust, vowing to "use" them violently and abusively from henceforth.

This misogynistic and deeply disturbing attitude is characteristic of the men in The Rover. Despite going to great lengths to seduce and possess women, the men also deeply distrust and even despise the opposite sex, believing that women are deceitful creatures out for all they can steal. Although this mindset may explain Blunt's hateful, violent treatment of women for the rest of the play, it by no means excuses his behavior. Instead, playwright Aphra Behn is offering her audience yet another example of how quickly a seemingly humorous objectification of women can turn into a misogynistic, violent worldview. 

Cruel, adsheartlikins as a Gally-slave, or a Spanish Whore: Cruel, yes, I will kiss and beat thee all over; kiss, and see thee all over; thou shalt lie with me too, not that I care for the Injoyment, but to let you see I have ta’en deliberated Malice to thee, and will be revenged on one Whore for the Sins of another; I will smile and deceive thee, flatter thee, and beat thee, kiss and swear, and lye to thee, imbrace thee and rob thee, as she did me, fawn on thee, and strip thee stark naked, then hang thee out at my Window by the Heels, with a Paper of scurvey Verses fasten’d to thy Breast, in praise of damnable Women—Come, come along.

Related Characters: Ned Blunt (speaker), Florinda
Page Number: 225
Explanation and Analysis:

The virtuous (and luckless) Florinda stumbles into Ned Blunt's rooms, looking for Belvile. Blunt believes that he has found the answer to his prayers: a woman for him to rape and abuse. Here we find the most naked and disturbing instance of misogyny yet within the play. Blunt tells Florinda that he will force her to lie with him solely so that she can experience his "Malice." He will do so, he explains, in order "to be revenged on one Whore for the Sins of another." In other words, since one woman has wronged him, he has turned against the whole sex.

This marks the second time in the play that the chaste Florinda is mistaken for a "whore." Playwright Aphra Behn does this deliberately, showing how men, with their violent and misogynistic mindsets, can believe even the most virtuous of women to be promiscuous and worthy of abuse. In truth, the men who act in this manner don't care what type of woman they abuse. Believing all females to be essentially the same--passive objects to be seduced or abused--they may claim to value virtue, but in truth, they value violence and domination more. 

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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Ned Blunt Character Timeline in The Rover

The timeline below shows where the character Ned Blunt 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... (full context)
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Blunt and Frederick speculate that Belvile must want either money or a woman. When Belvile continues... (full context)
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Blunt and Frederick continue to mock, telling Belvile that while he may be in love, they... (full context)
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...and Sancho plot—she is a prostitute and he is her pimp. They decide to target Blunt, and Lucetta begins to flirt with him; he flirts back. (full context)
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...sees her again. All the women exit, except for Lucetta, who stays behind to seduce Blunt. (full context)
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Blunt, meanwhile, exits with Lucetta, and the other men snicker at his actions, speculating that Lucetta... (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... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
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Blunt enters in a state of sheer bliss, and calling himself an idiot for having avoided... (full context)
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When Belvile and Willmore question him further, Blunt reveals that he does not know the name of his new love. They ask if... (full context)
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When Willmore says that they should all go to meet Lucetta, Blunt responds jealously, saying that he cannot compete with their wit. Frederick warns Blunt to be... (full context)
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Frederick goes on to suggest that Lucetta may be a whore, and Blunt reacts with disbelief and anger, referring to Lucetta’s fine clothes and beautiful house. Belvile responds... (full context)
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Blunt, still angry, tells his friends that many women are attracted to him although he is... (full context)
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...include a price, since Angelica is a prostitute. Willmore is entranced by the picture, while Blunt scoffs, condemning Angelica as an immoral prostitute. (full context)
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Ignoring Blunt, Willmore marvels at Angelica’s beauty, saying that although she may cost a thousand crowns for... (full context)
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...will pay a thousand pounds. The two men quarrel and begin to duel. Willmore and Blunt enter to part the fray, and Willmore comments that if fighting were all it took... (full context)
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...the commotion, Angelica asks Moretta what is happening. Although she commands the men to stop, Blunt and Willmore begin to fight Antonio and his companions. (full context)
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The Englishmen discuss the duel; Blunt is proud of his sword fighting skills, while Belvile is concerned that that the Spaniards... (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... (full context)
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Blunt asks if Willmore and Angelica have married, and Willmore answers that they have shared all... (full context)
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Expressing a wish to see his own beloved again, Blunt sees Sancho, who is masquerading as Lucetta’s page. He tells the Englishman that Lucetta expects... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
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Later in the day, Blunt and Lucetta enter a room in her house. Lucetta tells the Englishman that they no... (full context)
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Lucetta excuses herself to go undress, and Blunt urges her to hurry. She exits, and Blunt begins to rejoice at his good fortune.... (full context)
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...changes to Lucetta’s inner chamber, which contains a bed, a table, and an undressed Lucetta. Blunt takes the candle from Sancho, who exits. As Blunt undresses, he continues to swear his... (full context)
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...They rejoice at their fine catch, and begin to count their substantial booty, including even Blunt’s sword and hat. They assert that they will not be caught, since Blunt does not... (full context)
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Blunt reenters, dirty and unclothed. He curses Lucetta, and indeed, all women, and laments his own... (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 offers to take Pedro to... (full context)
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The scene changes to the inside of Belvile’s lodgings, where Blunt, in only his shirt and underthings, sits and reads a book about the dangers of... (full context)
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In a massive stroke of bad luck, Florinda enters and begs Blunt to protect her from Willmore. Blunt is scornful and violent, telling Florinda that he would... (full context)
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Frederick enters, and rather than helping Florinda, he reacts with amusement, mocking Blunt for his nakedness. Florinda’s pleas for help have the opposite effect; Blunt proposes that he... (full context)
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...knows they are his companions and asking them to treat her kindly for his sake. Blunt responds disgustingly, saying that they will feast on her and then leave Belvile the leftovers.... (full context)
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A servant enters, announcing Belvile’s arrival along with that of Don Pedro. Blunt refuses to see either of them, while Frederick goes down to meet them—but not before... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
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The still humiliated Blunt hides in his room, but to no avail; his friends literally besiege the door, attempting... (full context)
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As Blunt reacts angrily, the others try to coax him into a good mood even as they... (full context)
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Frederick urges Blunt to show their companions Florinda’s ring; when he does so, Belvile immediately recognizes it as... (full context)
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...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 swords, and that the man... (full context)
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A relieved Florinda embraces Valeria. Willmore and Blunt look on, confused, as Valeria urges Florinda and Belvile to marry each other quickly before... (full context)
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Lastly, Blunt begs Florinda’s forgiveness, and she grants it immediately. He gives Belvile back Florinda’s ring, too... (full context)
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...once again, telling Willmore that a woman is here to see him, and adding that Blunt’s tailor is here to make him new clothes. Blunt leaves, while Willmore asks that the... (full context)
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Blunt enters, looking ridiculous in Spanish clothes. He is furious about the new clothes, and the... (full context)
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...that revelers have come into the house to dance with them. The masqueraders enter, and Blunt wishes he could remove their masks to see if Lucetta is among them. As the... (full context)