Study Guide

Fool for Love Jealousy

By Sam Shepard


MAY: You smell.

EDDIE: I smell.

MAY: You do.

EDDIE: I been drivin' for days.

MAY: Your fingers smell.

EDDIE: Horses.

MAY: Pussy. (5-11)

May is immediately sure that Eddie has been fooling around with other women right up to the time he came looking for her and begging her to come back with him. Apparently, he hasn't been the most faithful bunny.

MAY: (quietly, staying in corner) I'm gonna' kill her ya' know.


MAY: Who.

EDDIE: Don't talk like that. (37-40)

May's jealousy about the Countess is so intense that she threatens to harm her multiple times throughout the play.

MAY: Was this before or after your little fling with the Countess?

EDDIE: (he bangs his head into wall. Wall booms) There wasn't any fling with any Countess!

MAY: You're a liar.

EDDIE: I took her out to dinner once, okay?

MAY: Ha! (She moves upstage-right wall.)

EDDIE: Twice.

MAY: You were bumping her on a regular basis! Don't gimme that s***.

EDDIE: You can believe whatever you want.

MAY: (she stops by bathroom door, opposite Eddie) I'll believe the truth! It's less confusing. (57-65)

May and Eddie both accuse each other of being unfaithful throughout the play. Of course, the difference is that Eddie was actually cheating on May (a lot, apparently), whereas it seems May had only started seeing Martin after Eddie ran out on her this last time and she flew the coop, deciding not to wait on his return.

"I don't understand my feelings. I really don't. I don't understand how I could hate you so much after so much time. How, no matter how much I'd like to not hate you, I hate you even more. It grows. I can't even see you now. All I see is a picture of you. You and her. I don't even know if the picture's real anymore. I don't even care. It's a made-up picture. It invades my head. The two of you. And this picture stings even more than if I'd actually seen you with her. It cuts me. It cuts me so deep I'll never get over it. And I can't get rid of this picture either. It just comes. Uninvited. Kinda' like a little torture. And I blame you more for this little torture than I do for what you did." (127)

Apparently May is pretty torn up by jealousy regarding the Countess, unable to get the image of Eddie and this other woman out of her mind. It's so bad, in fact, that she likens it to torture—that's pretty intense.

EDDIE: (makes a move toward her upstage) You been seeing somebody?

MAY: (she moves quickly down left, crosses right) When was the last time we were together, Eddie? Huh? Can you remember that far back?

EDDIE: Who've you been seeing? (He moves violently toward her.)

MAY: Don't you touch me! Don't you even think about it.

EDDIE: How long have you been seeing him! (136-140)

Now that the tables are turned, and Eddie has to deal with the thought of May being with another man, he does not like it. Even though he was stepping out on May left and right (and didn't have the decency to admit it outright), the idea that May moved on after Eddie abandoned her brings him close to violence here.

MAY: It'll be the same thing over and over again. We'll be together for a little while and then you'll be gone.

EDDIE: I'll be gone.

MAY: You will. You know it. You just want me now because I'm seeing somebody else. As soon as that's over, you'll be gone again.

EDDIE: I didn't come here because you were seein' somebody else! I don't give a damn who you're seeing! You'll never replace me and you know it! (206-209)

May thinks that the intensity of Eddie's current interest in her is all about jealousy—without the jealousy, in her view, he'd be hitting the road. We're not sure she's right about that, but he definitely is jealous.

"You're just like a little kid, you know that? A jealous little snot-nosed kid." (240)

May says this to Eddie after he's asked May if she'd "balled" Martin yet (238). For someone who claims he's not jealous, he sure asks a lot of personal questions.

"It's probably not ever gonna' be "him." What're you tryin' to make me jealous for? I know you've been livin' alone.' (273)

At this point, Eddie has decided that May was lying about her gentleman caller and mocks her. He pretends that she was only trying to make him jealous—but we can tell she had definitely been succeeding.

"Who is that? Did you bring her with you! You sonofab****!" (292).

May is super annoyed when the Countess shows up in her black Mercedes and thinks that Eddie brought her along. However, it seems that the Countess showed up in the midst of her own jealous rage, and she shoots out Eddie's car windshield after spotting May in the doorway of the motel room.

"I'm not going in the bathroom! I'm not gonna' hide in my own house! I'm gonna' go out there. I'm gonna' go out there and tear her damn head off! I'm gonna' wipe her out!" (329)

May's jealousy about the Countess once again comes out as violent threats here. Luckily for the Countess, it's actually Martin who's outside this time. Now would be a good time to note that no Countesses were harmed in the making of this play (as far as we know, anyway).