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Character analysis of Willmore in The Rover

Willmore, an English sea captain is the lead male character of Aphra Behn’s play ‘The Rover’. He is the friend of the other Englishmen including Belville, Frederick and Blunt. Willmore is a wandered whose job as a naval captain takes him places. He arrives at Naples to escape the reality and enjoy the rejoicing atmosphere of the carnival. The play gets its name from this character, based on his wandering characteristic and his roving eye. His roving eyes struggle harder to resist the temptation of women around him. He is quite unfaithful with women, and easily seduces the young ladies around him. Being a reckless lad, Willmore very often gets into fights and brawls with the men.

Willmore wishes to spend a night with the beautiful and expensive courtesan Angellica Bianca. However, the courtesan falls in love with him and agrees to spend a night in the cost of his love. Though Willmore falls for Angellica, he later wishes to marry Hellena. He succeeds to win the love of the noble, intelligent and witty Hellena and also of the rich courtesan Angellica. However, Willmore also displays the dark side of his character when he tries to rape Florinda multiple times.

Willmore is the central source of comedy in the play along with Hellena. The conversation between the duo produces comic elements in the story. Hellena wins him over the superior wit and Willmore gets hitched to her at the ending.

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