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)
Of you to come before they light the hall!
(Puts his arm around her)
FIRST CAVALIER (Receives a thrust of the foil)
THE GUARDSMAN (Pursuing the girl)
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.