Our Country’s Good

by

Timberlake Wertenbaker

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Our Country’s Good can help.

Major Robbie Ross Character Analysis

A major in the Royal Marines, and one of the guards in the penal colony. Along with Tench, Ross is one of Our Country’s Good’s primary antagonists, since he doesn’t believe it’s a good idea to let convicts rehabilitate themselves by acting in a play. In keeping with this belief, he does whatever he can to interfere with Ralph’s rehearsals. When he catches John Arscott and brings him back, Ross accuses Liz Morden of helping Kable—one of the other escapees—steal food for the journey. He also implicates Wisehammer in the escape simply because he’s Jewish. Despite Ross’s best efforts, though, Ralph manages to put on a successful play, and none of the actors are executed.

Major Robbie Ross Quotes in Our Country’s Good

The Our Country’s Good quotes below are all either spoken by Major Robbie Ross or refer to Major Robbie Ross. 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:
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
).
Act Two, Scene One Quotes

WISEHAMMER. I am innocent. I didn’t do it and I’ll keep saying I didn’t.

LIZ. It doesn’t matter what you say. If they say you’re a thief, you’re a thief.

WISEHAMMER. I am not a thief. I’ll go back to England to the snuff shop of Rickett and Loads and say, see, I’m back, I’m innocent.

LIZ. They won’t listen.

WISEHAMMER. You can’t live if you think that way.

Page Number: 67
Explanation and Analysis:
Act Two, Scene Two Quotes

When he treats the slave boy as a rational human being, the boy becomes one, he loses his fear, and he becomes a competent mathematician. A little more encouragement and he might become an extraordinary mathematician. Who knows? You must see your actors in that light.

Page Number: 71
Explanation and Analysis:
Act Two, Scene Five Quotes

I have seen the white of this animal’s bones, his wretched blood and reeky convict urine have spilled on my boots and he’s feeling modest? Are you feeling modest, Sideway?

(He shoves SIDEWAY aside.)

Modesty.

Bryant. Here.

(DABBY comes forward.)

On all fours.

(DABBY goes down on all fours.)

Now wag your tail and bark, and I’ll throw you a biscuit. What? You’ve forgotten? Isn’t that how you begged for your food on the ship? Wag your tail, Bryant, bark! We’ll wait.

Page Number: 78
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Our Country’s Good LitChart as a printable PDF.
Our Country’s Good PDF

Major Robbie Ross Character Timeline in Our Country’s Good

The timeline below shows where the character Major Robbie Ross appears in Our Country’s Good. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act One, Scene Six
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Theater, Liberation, and Unity Theme Icon
Governance and Justice Theme Icon
...number of his fellow guards debate the pros and cons of staging a play. Major Ross is strongly against the idea, thinking that everyone has better things to focus on, though... (full context)
Theater, Liberation, and Unity Theme Icon
...vote regarding who wants to do the play and who’s against the idea. Tench and Ross are the most outspoken critics of the idea, but they’re outnumbered. Furious, Ross erupts, saying... (full context)
Act One, Scene Eleven
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Theater, Liberation, and Unity Theme Icon
...would eat if they were rich. Soon enough, they get back on track, but Major Ross and Captain Campbell barge in and inform Ralph that five prisoners—including John Arscott and Henry... (full context)
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Theater, Liberation, and Unity Theme Icon
“Caesar!” Ross shouts, noticing the convict amongst the actors. “He started going with them and came back.”... (full context)
Act Two, Scene One
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Governance and Justice Theme Icon
Guilt, Regret, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...life,” she says, pondering the idea of a fresh start. However, she notes that Major Ross doesn’t like her, so it’s unlikely that her life will change. Turning her attention to... (full context)
Act Two, Scene Five
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Theater, Liberation, and Unity Theme Icon
Governance and Justice Theme Icon
Major Ross and Captain Campbell escort Caesar, Wisehammer, and Liz to the second rehearsal of The Recruiting... (full context)
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Theater, Liberation, and Unity Theme Icon
Turning to Mary, Ross orders her to lift her skirt to show her tattoo. Just as she’s about to... (full context)
Act Two, Scene Ten
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Governance and Justice Theme Icon
In a meeting about Liz Morden, Judge Collins tells Ralph, Major Ross, Captain Campbell, and Governor Phillip that the convict declined to speak on her own behalf... (full context)
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Governance and Justice Theme Icon
...As this conversation continues, Ralph, Phillip, and Collins insist upon finding out the truth, but Ross disparages them for being too kind to a convict like Liz. “Truth is indeed a... (full context)
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Theater, Liberation, and Unity Theme Icon
Governance and Justice Theme Icon
...wouldn’t have mattered,” she says. “Speaking the truth?” Phillip asks. “Speaking,” she replies. Cutting in, Ross says that Judge Collins should listen to the soldier who claimed to have seen Liz... (full context)
Act Two, Scene Eleven
Theater, Liberation, and Unity Theme Icon
Love, Sex, and Power Theme Icon
Governance and Justice Theme Icon
...that Dabby could fill in for her, but Duckling insists upon doing it herself. Apparently, Ross kicked her out of Harry’s tent, saying that “a whore [is] a whore.” As she... (full context)
Punishment and Rehabilitation Theme Icon
Theater, Liberation, and Unity Theme Icon
Governance and Justice Theme Icon
...We left our country for our country’s good.” When he finishes, Ralph notes that Major Ross will have a “fit” if he hears this, and though he admits it’s quite good,... (full context)