In ‘The Rover’ Angellica Bianca is a famous courtesan. The shorter Oxford Dictionary defines a courtesan as, ‘A court mistress; a prostitute’. This is the correct definition but does not fully describe Angellica. She is not a court mistress, neither a common whore; she is able to charge extremely high prices, as she is famous for her beauty.
Men came from far and wide to admire her good looks, “She’s now the only adored beauty of all the youth in Naples, who put on all their charms to appear lovely in her sight â€“ their coaches, liveries and themselves all gay as on a monarch’s birthday to attract the eyes of this fair charmer, while she has the pleasure to behold all languish for her that see her. ” This extract from Belvile reveals Angellica’s classy reputation and how widely desired she was. When Angellica arrives in Naples she gets a very warm reception.Order now
She seems to find pleasure in the attention she receives when men are admiring her pictures, although they think the price is too dear, “I’m not displeased with their rallyng; their wonder feeds my vanity and he that wishes but to buy gives me more pride than he that gives my price can make my pleasure. ” When we are first introduced to Angellica she appears arrogant and very self-assured. When conversing about love she seems very unfeeling and cold, “Nothing but gold shall charm my heart”.
This reveals an avaricious side to her nature, and makes it appear questionable that she has the capacity to love. She also mentions that being a courtesan has made her associate money too much with sex that she no longer believes love and sex go together, “Yet I have had no time for love; the bravest and noblest of mankind have purchased my favours at so dear a rate, as if no coin but gold were current with our trade. ” When Angellica talks of her lack of ability to love, this does create pathos towards her, but it is difficult to feel a lot of sympathy for her because of her attitude to work.
She treats it like a profession and is very ambitious; she knows that Don Pedro is interested in her services but wants Don Antonio because he’s wealthier and more of a challenge, “I have spread my nets”. She doesn’t seem to care about hurting her client’s feelings as long as she can extort a lot of money out of them first. This is evident in the way she takes advantage of the way they feel for her and teases them. Don Pedro obviously views her very highly, “I have seen the original, nor is there one charm here more than adorns her face and eyes; all this is soft and sweet, with a certain languishing air that no artist can represent. which is why he is keen to fight with Don Antonio for her affections.
However when Angellica meets Willmore, ‘The Rover’, a completely different side of Angellica’s character is revealed. When conversing they are equally matched and Angellica immediately falls for him. She is surprised by her attraction and tries to fight it, but is unsuccessful. When they are talking Angellica takes offence to what Willmore says to her as he refers to her practice in a derogatory tone and treats her like a commodity, “I’m a gentleman, And one who scorns this at which you practise.
Poor as I am, would not sell myself. No, not to gain your charming high prized person. Though I admire you strangely for your beauty, Yet I condemn your mind. ” But he is still not ashamed to inform her of his strong attraction towards her and how would pay to sleep with her. Moretta, Angellica’s ‘saleswoman’ is shocked that she can withstand his rudeness so calmly, “Sure she’s bewitched, that she can stand thus tamely and hear his saucy railing. ” Angellica seems affected by his words, but more moved than angry “His words go through me to the very soul. Angellica’s deep feelings for Willmore reveal she is not the shallow, cold character assumed from the start.
It shows she has the capacity to love, which she, like us, had previously doubted. She is hurt when he talks of her degrading profession and seems to look down on her for being a prostitute, which shows she can be offended and has genuine feelings. This may be revealing that underneath the confident faÃ§ade she appears to have, that she is unhappy and detests being thought of us a commodity that can be used at a fee.
She informs Willmore of her love for him when agreeing to sleep with him for free. Willmore misunderstood at first, thinking that offer was too good to be true and expected that the “price” she wanted him to pay was money, when she wanted reciprocated love, “The pay I mean is but thy love for mine. ” This statement takes back what Angellica said before; she is a hypocrite. Obviously something, which isn’t gold, has charmed her heart. Willmore agreed to pay Angellica with reciprocated love; but he was not being truthful. I think he just wanted the free service.
He is very happy and full of himself when he leaves Angellica’s, and boasts to his friends about his experience. He reveals his disrespect towards women when describing his time at Angellica’s, “All the honey of matrimony, but none of the sting”, implying he dislikes commitment. Unfortunately, he is playing two women along at once; he also has an interest in Hellena, which reveals that he cannot be in love with Angellica. She is not too happy about this, “Heavens, tis he! And passionately fond to see another woman! ” is what she said when she sees Willmore with Hellena.
She is upset and shocked because she has a romantic view of love, a severe contrast with Willmore. She feels used because she has let herself be vulnerable by revealing her feelings, and he has been deceitful and obviously just wanted free sex. The reader feels sorry for Angellica at this point as she is showing that she has emotions, and is heartbroken. This pain develops into revenge when she hears him partaking in a flirting banter with Hellena, “I can endure no more. Nor is it fit to interrupt him, for if I do, my jealousy has so destroyed my reason, I shall undo him. She wants to pay him back for hurting her feelings and pride. I find Angellica a sympathetic character because beneath her harsh exterior there is a vulnerable girl who needs to be loved. I think she is presented to us as a character to feel pathos towards because of how heartbroken she is when she sees Willmore with another woman directly after she had expressed her love for him. When she was first introduced I didn’t feel that much sympathy towards her because of the supercilious attitude she puts across.
When you read on and learn more about her, you discover that she may be pretending to be happy with her profession by acting arrogant and self-assured, but in fact it is doubtful that she really is fine earning money by being used for sex. Although she a prestigious courtesan, not a common whore, it is basically the same principle; being paid for sex, just is a more expensive commodity because she’s aesthetically pleasing. She may be confident in her appearance but in her personality I doubt she has high self-esteem, as men are never interested in getting to know her when they’ve got what they wanted.