Witwoud’s best friend, Petulant is a boisterous, foolish, and naughty fellow, who wants to be known as a ladies’ man but goes about it by hiring actors to help him gain a reputation. He likes to start arguments over trivial matters and usually has no real substantive points to make. He thinks Millamant is beautiful as one might think a vase is beautiful, but has no real interest in formally courting her. At first, Witwoud is the only one who really enjoys his company but by the play’s end, Sir Wilfull has warmed up to him, as well. Hardly responsible, he can only be relied on to pick arguments and follow Mirabell’s orders.
Petulant Quotes in The Way of the World
The The Way of the World quotes below are all either spoken by Petulant or refer to Petulant. 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: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of The Way of the World published in 1993.).
Act 1, Scene 9 Quotes
Where modesty’s ill manners, ’tis but fit
That impudence and malice pass for wit.
Petulant Character Timeline in The Way of the World
The timeline below shows where the character Petulant appears in The Way of the World. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
...and Fainall ends the conversation by suggesting they go and visit with their mutual friends, Petulant and Witwoud, who are lounging in an adjoining room. Mirabell declines, and Fainall exits. (full context)
Act 1, Scene 6
Act 1, Scene 7
...in a coach just outside the chocolate house send a coachman in to inquire whether Petulant is there. Betty responds that he is indeed. The coachman, then, asks for refreshments for... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 8
...observes the exchange between Betty and the coachman and comments to Mirabell and Fainall that Petulant actually hired the women outside to pretend to be his lovers and thereby make him... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 9
...with him and go for a walk in the Mall. When Witwoud invites himself and Petulant along, Mirabell wonders aloud whether Witwoud should instead stay and wait for his half-brother. Witwoud... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 9
Act 3, Scene 10
Marwood leaves Foible and Wishfort to entertain the guests but finds, not Witwoud and Petulant, but rather a very angry Millamant and her servant Mincing. Millamant greets Marwood and complains... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 13
Act 3, Scene 14
Act 3, Scene 15
...group first. Marwood admonishes Witwoud for not speaking to Wilfull. Witwoud, in an aside, instructs Petulant to speak on his behalf. Petulant greets Wilfull. Witwoud remarks to himself that Wilfull seems... (full context)
...interrupts the argument by asking Wilfull about his intention to travel. Wilfull, still mad at Petulant and Witwoud, addresses only Marwood. He tells her that he wants to see other countries... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 7
Act 4, Scene 8
Act 4, Scene 9
Act 5, Scene 11
Act 5, Scene 12
Act 5, Scene 13
Act 5, Scene 14
...to his friend Mirabell. Wilfull reaffirms his desire travel and asks if she can spare Petulant and Witwoud to serve as his travel companions. Wishfort is delighted by this turn of... (full context)