In many ways, the characters of The Rover conform to the traditional gender roles found in comedies of the Restoration period: the dishonorable men, like Willmore, seek pleasure; the honorable men, like Belvile, seek to protect women; the honorable women, like Florinda, seek matrimony; and the dishonorable women, like Angelica and Lucetta, seek to ensnare men. Men bear swords and seek out violence; women are peaceful and are threatened by violence.
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The characters within The Rover constantly try to distinguish whether they are feeling love or lust. The line between the two is a blurry one, but an incredibly vital question within the play. In fact, each character can be defined by their attitude towards these two emotions. In general, men prefer lust while women seek out love, but the play complicates matters. The rakish Willmore uses the ambiguity between love and lust to his advantage…(read full theme analysis)
Although not a particularly romantic topic, the issue of money runs throughout The Rover. The cavaliers constantly bemoan the fact that they do not have sufficient funds, while Don Pedro picks a husband for his sister based almost solely upon fortune. Angelica, too, is obsessed with money, and must crucially decide whether she will give her heart to Willmore for free, or hold out for the highest bidder. In fact, the themes of…(read full theme analysis)
In the largely immoral world of The Rover, wit and facility with language are the most highly prized virtues that a person can possess. The characters constantly reference wit, and the audience is invited to judge the inhabitants of the play based on how clever they are. Blunt, for instance, is instantly a figure of fun as soon as the audience hears his dull, plodding speech; he becomes even more so when he…(read full theme analysis)