From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 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