© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Dueling Imagery

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

We’re not just talking about swordfights here—we’re talking about verbal sparring and wooing. This connection is established at the beginning of the play when a guardsman’s pursuit of a flower girl is intermingled with two lackeys fighting:

A GUARDSMAN (to a flower girl who comes forward)
How sweet
Of you to come before they light the hall!
(Puts his arm around her)
FIRST CAVALIER
(Receives a thrust of the foil)
A hit!
SECOND LACKEY
A club!
THE GUARDSMAN
(Pursuing the girl)
A kiss!
THE FLOWER GIRL
(Pushing away from him)
They’ll see us!
THE GUARDSMAN
(Draws her into a dark corner)
No danger!
(I.8-10)

The language of love is mixed with the language of a duel, as are the images of pursuit, retreat, victory, and defeat.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement