The Way of the World

The Way of the World

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Waitwell is Mirabell’s hardworking servant who Mirabell allows to marry Foible. Newly married, he is eager to sleep with his wife throughout the play. In fact, it is one of his many motivators to comply with Mirabell’s plan. Though not as cunning as his wife, he does put forth a good effort at trying to deceive Wishfort into thinking that he truly is a gentleman named Sir Rowland.
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Waitwell Character Timeline in The Way of the World

The timeline below shows where the character Waitwell appears in The Way of the World. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 2
Jealousy, Deceit, and Intrigue Theme Icon
...also gives Mirabell the marriage certificate and tells him that the clothes Mirabell ordered for Waitwell, Mirabell’s manservant, are ready. Before the footman departs, Mirabell gives him further instruction for the... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 4
Jealousy, Deceit, and Intrigue Theme Icon
Love and Money Theme Icon
...and asks him whom he has chosen to play the role of his uncle, Sir Rowland, the same relation that Witwoud described as estranged from Mirabell. Mirabell reveals that Waitwell, his... (full context)
Jealousy, Deceit, and Intrigue Theme Icon
Love and Money Theme Icon
Mirabell explains that he decided to have the servants get married because he feared that Waitwell might try to betray him. Mirabell worried that Wishfort might try to marry his “uncle”... (full context)
Jealousy, Deceit, and Intrigue Theme Icon
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Mrs. Fainall checks whether he would release her mother from the marriage by producing Waitwell’s marriage certificate to Foible, if Wishfort proceeded to marry Sir Rowland/Waitwell. (full context)
Act 2, Scene 7
Jealousy, Deceit, and Intrigue Theme Icon
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Suddenly, he sees his “pair of turtles,” the newly married Foible and Waitwell. He calls out, teasing them by asking if they are still celebrating Valentine’s Day. (full context)
Act 2, Scene 8
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It is now one o’ clock and Waitwell and Foible have arrived at Rosamond’s pond to meet Mirabell. Mirabell jokes that Waitwell seems... (full context)
Jealousy, Deceit, and Intrigue Theme Icon
Waitwell apologizes. He admits that he and his new bride have “been solacing in lawful delights”... (full context)
Jealousy, Deceit, and Intrigue Theme Icon
...her lady, Wishfort, without telling her where she was going or what she was doing. Waitwell affirms that his wife did try to get back to Wishfort’s but that it’s his... (full context)
Jealousy, Deceit, and Intrigue Theme Icon
Female (In)dependence Theme Icon
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...tells Mirabell that she promised to bring Wishfort a picture of Mirabell’s (fake) uncle, Sir Rowland. She also plans on lying to Wishfort that, after seeing her picture, Sir Rowland was... (full context)
Jealousy, Deceit, and Intrigue Theme Icon
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...as a reward gives her some money. Foible thanks him, calling herself his “humble servant.” Waitwell turns to his wife and begins to ask her to give it to him. (full context)
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Mirabell steps in and tells Waitwell to back off. The money is only for Foible, he warns. He tells her to... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 9
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Mirabell and Waitwell are left standing near the pond. Waitwell jokes that Foible forgot to call him by... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
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...whether she’s told Mirabell anything. Foible lies, saying that she’s given Wishfort’s picture to Sir Rowland, who fell immediately in love with her. Foible promises Wishfort that she hasn’t betrayed her... (full context)
Jealousy, Deceit, and Intrigue Theme Icon
Men vs. Women Theme Icon
Female (In)dependence Theme Icon
Love and Money Theme Icon
...Mirabell by poisoning his wine. Foible proposes that Wishfort instead “starve him” by marrying Sir Rowland, which will disinherit Mirabell. Foible adds that Mirabell still thinks that Wishfort’s plan is to... (full context)
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Foible also informs Wishfort that Rowland longs to see her, but Wishfort can’t stop talking about her revenge against Mirabell. Her... (full context)
Wits and Fools Theme Icon
Wishfort wonders how Rowland will try to court her. Will he be obvious about his love or play it... (full context)
...one that her niece, Millamant, only “affects.” She begs Foible to tell her more about Rowland, particularly whether he is handsome. She is happy to hear that he is a “brisk”... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 6
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...Millamant. Mrs. Fainall reveals that she knows about Mirabell’s entire plan, including Foible’s marriage to Waitwell that very morning. (full context)
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...the room, Foible asks Mrs. Fainall to give Mirabell an update about Wishfort’s interest in Rowland and that Marwood seems to be watching them. Mrs. Fainall exits with Foible, taking the... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 12
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Wishfort rejoins Waitwell, who is disguised as Sir Rowland, in her dressing room. She apologizes for her absence... (full context)
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When Wishfort tells him about all the ways that Mirabell has wronged her, Waitwell pretends to be angered by this news and vows to kill Mirabell. Wishfort urges him... (full context)
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Rowland quickly agrees to follow her plan instead. Wishfort, happy they have decided to take this... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 14
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Alone with his wife, Waitwell turns to Foible and complains about his job playing Sir Rowland. He begs her for... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 15
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...the penmanship as Marwood’s and knows that it can contain nothing good. She whispers to Waitwell to take it from Wishfort. Sir Roland exclaims that he recognizes the handwriting and that... (full context)
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She opens the anonymous letter and begins to read its contents to Rowland. She reads that Rowland is not a real person and is shocked. Though Foible exclaims... (full context)
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...the news earlier because she didn’t want to upset her while she was with Sir Rowland. Sir Rowland cuts off the dialogue between the women. He vows to kills Mirabell, then... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
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...have destroyed her honor by marrying her to Mirabell’s servant. Foible tries to explain that Waitwell was already married to her and that she would never have allowed the deception to... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
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...sent to prison. Mrs. Fainall informs her that Mirabell has gone to post bond for Waitwell’s release. She recognizes Marwood and Fainall’s hand in this turn of events. Foible tells Mrs.... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 11
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...gun. Mirabell assures her that there are more surprises for her and asks permission for Waitwell, Petulant, and Witwoud to enter. (full context)
Act 5, Scene 12
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When Waitwell enters the room carrying a box of papers, Wishfort asks him what he wants. Waitwell... (full context)