Boy meets girl, boy loves girl… girl destroys boy. Sound familiar? That's because it's the oldest story in the book—or rather, the Book. Like, you know, the Bible. Ever since Eve gave Adam that blasted apple, the idea that all women are deceiving deceivers has been an ever-popular theme with creative types. We can't say that we gender-neutral Shmoopers appreciate this misogynistic treatment of ladies, but we do have to admit that it does make for some pretty excellent stories, and this is one of them. "Lord Randall"'s tragic tale of betrayal by his ladylove is a heartbreakingly simple and elegant example of this classic theme.
Questions About Betrayal
Betrayal is another thing that's not openly stated here (you're probably not surprised about that). How do we know what happened to Lord Randall?
Why do you think Lord Randall chooses not to directly accuse his girlfriend of poisoning him?
Lord Randall seems more sad than angry that his no good, poisoning, dishonest lady friend has betrayed him in the worst way. How do you read his reaction?
Are you surprised? Sympathetic? Annoyed?
Chew on This
Lord Randall's complete passivity and resignation to his fate suggests that it is not the poison, but his lover's betrayal that kills him in the end.
Lord' Randall's honey probably killed him so she wouldn't have to deal with his meddlesome, nagging mother. Just sayin'.