Act 5 scene 1
The wedding procession of Brachiano and Vittoria passes over the stage, leaving Flamineo in conversation with Hortensio, one of Brachiano's guards. Flamineo explains he is happy about the marriage and also impressed with some new arrivals at court who have come to serve Brachiano. (He does not realise that they are Francisco, disguised as Mulinassar the Moor, with Lodovico, Antonelli and Gasparo, disguised as ex-military monks.)
Brachiano enters with ‘Mulinassar' and the ‘monks', offering them rewards and allowing them to leave their swords in his chapel. He invites them all to his wedding celebrations, in particular the barriers, a military tournament. Brachiano departs with his attendants (including Flamineo), leaving his disguised enemies on stage. The conspirators embrace and vow to carry out their plan to ingeniously poison Brachiano, though they would rather openly confront him.
All leave except ‘Mulinassar' who stands to one side, as Flamineo enters with Marcello and Zanche (Vittoria's Moorish maid). Marcello criticises Flamineo for consorting with Zanche, who leaves having noted a fellow ‘Moor'. Flamineo now talks to ‘Mulinassar', who is modest but criticises the privileges of the nobility and the corruption of the court.
Various courtiers return including Hortensio and Zanche. Flamineo confides in Hortensio that he loves Zanche but she is a risk as she knows too much, and although he has promised marriage, he won't carry it through. Zanche then comes and reminds him of his promise to marry her and he says he didn't mean it.
However, when (the briefly appearing) Cornelia and Marcello start abusing Zanche, Flamineo defends her, quarrelling with his brother. Marcello challenges Flamineo to fight and they leave agreeing to this.
Zanche is left alone and when ‘Mulinassar' enters, she tells him that she loves him. He demurs until Zanche hints she might return with significant information.
A passage over the stage: The wedding procession of Brachiano and Vittoria is another of the impressive processions in the play. It includes members of Vittoria's family and others, probably nobles and maybe the ambassadors. This underlines the increased status of the lovers on marriage. The public ceremony then gives way to private conversation.
Confirms me happy: There is dramatic irony in Flamineo expressing contentment at last, given that the plot to destroy his master's marriage is in hand.
the Moor: The Moor is Francisco in disguise. This is part of his plan to take revenge on Brachiano and Vittoria. Using disguise and subterfuge is typical of a Machiavellian villain.
order of Capuchins: The Capuchin monks are a disguise for Lodovico and Gasparo, as their dress would include long, pointed hoods. The dubious career of the supposed monks would make them suspicious characters, particularly with the convenient information that they wear armour under their monk's garments.
Some wars ... Duke of Florence: This reference to the wars is ironic as the Moor is Francisco and so is supposedly seeking to help Brachiano against himself.
Glories ... nor light: This is ironic as Flamineo is the ultimate courtier and so here appears to be criticising his own life and ambitions.
a barriers: The boundaries for a fighting tournament.
poison'd … the pommel: An attempt was made on the life of Queen Elizabeth in 1598 using this method. The conspirators' conversation displays their own blood-lust.
this devil: It was believed that there was an association between evil and darkness, here displayed as racist abuse toward Zanche
I shall never flatter him ... weather equally: here Francisco is criticising the nobility and the hierarchical organisation of society. Again this is an example of irony because here Francisco is criticising himself and obviously does not believe it. This is also true of his speeches beginning That's the misery of peace and Right; you shall see in the country.
Give me a fair room hung with arras: An arras is a wall tapestry, which could be used to hide behind in order to eavesdrop. The courtier Flamineo is saying he prefers politics and conspiracy to direct action. All this is contrasted with the persona of the Moor who is supposed to be a soldier and a man of action, although in reality, being Francisco he is just as much of a conspirator.
sparrows .. Lord of heaven: Francisco turns on its head the teaching of Jesus that even sparrows are precious to God, so his children certainly will be Matthew 10:29-31.
a new upstart: Another oblique comment on the social mobility of James I's court.
Aesop had a foolish dog ... better diners: The essential meaning of this is that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush; only a fool gives up what he has for what he desires.
Westphalia bacon: As salty food leads to thirstiness, sex leads to false promises and drunkenness.
haggard … stews … clapp'd: Cornelia hits Zanche, incensed that someone she regards as a loose woman (haggard) fit for the brothel (stews) is soliciting her son. Violence in court was strictly punished.
slaught'red sons of Oedipus: Flamineo's insult that Marcello may be illegitimate prompts memories of the feud between Polynices and Eteocles, who killed each other and were burnt together, but even then their flames remained divided.
fowl .. foul: Francisco's final couplet puns on the two homonyms fowl and foul.
Investigating Act 5 scene 1
- How is Francisco's revenge to be achieved?
- How is disguise used in the scene?
- What evidence is there that it is successful in deceiving Brachiano and his followers?
- Look back at the exchange between Flamineo and Francisco about court life.
- What view of the court is presented here?
- How are the conflicting moral viewpoints in Vittoria's family further demonstrated in this scene?
- English Standard Version
- King James Version
1And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. 2The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. 5These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7And proclaim as you go, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. 9Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, 10no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. 11And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. 12As you enter the house, greet it. 13And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. 15Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town. 16Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, 18and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. 19When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, 22and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household. 26So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. 32So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. 34Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. 37Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 40Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. 41The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person's reward. 42And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.
1And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. 2Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. 5These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. 9Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, 10Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. 11And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence. 12And when ye come into an house, salute it. 13And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. 15Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. 16Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. 21And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 23But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. 24The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household? 26Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 27What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. 28And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. 32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. 40He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 41He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. 42And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
Situation (often with tragic consequences) in which the true significance of a literary character's words or actions is revealed to the audience but not understood by the character concerned.
A religious order of monks who follow the rule of Saint Francis of Assisi founded in 1529
Member of male religious community.
Relating to irony, in which a comment may mean the opposite of what is actually said.
The name given to the man believed by Christians to be the Son of God. Also given the title Christ, meaning 'anointed one' or Messiah. His life is recorded most fully in the Four Gospels.
The Bible describes God as the unique supreme being, creator and ruler of the universe.
Son of Oedipus and Jocasta and brother of Eteocles, the brothers dying at each other's hands.
Son of Oedipus and Jocasta and brother of Polynices, the brothers dying at each other's hands.
A rhyming 2-line unit of verse.
A play on the meaning of words, often for comic effect.
A word that has the same spelling or sound as another, but a different meaning. E.g. witch and which.