A Love Triangle


Prince Edward

Lacy and Margaret about to be married by Bungay.

Edward looks into Friar Bacon's looking glass.

Edward watches the lovebirds via a looking glass.

Before he can complete the ceremony, Bungay is
kidnapped by one of Bacon's devils.

Before an actor can analyze a scene, he or she must establish the background information that informs their characters’ actions in that scene. This background information is referred to as the “given circumstances.” Establishing the given circumstances of a scene involves a detailed knowledge of the play as a whole. To speed our process the answers to the central questions for this scene might be presented as follows:

Who are the characters?

  1. Edward is the Prince of Wales, heir to the throne of England.
  2. Lacy is an English aristocrat.
  3. Margaret is a commoner, the surprisingly beautiful and erudite daughter of a gamekeeper.

What relationship do they have to each other?

  1. Lacy and Edward are close friends.
  2. Edward is a Prince and therefore has authority over Lacy who is only an Earl.
  3. Lacy and Edward are in love with Margaret.
  4. Margaret is a commoner and therefore of inferior status to both characters.
  5. Margaret is in love with Lacy.

What has happened to these characters before the scene begins?

  1. Edward met Margaret by chance when hunting in the country and fell for her. He makes it clear in the first scene that his interests are sexual rather than romantic or honorable, complaining that "our country Margaret is so coy,/And stands so much upon her honest points,/That marriage or nor market with the maid."
  2. Edward sends Lacy to woo Margaret on his behalf.
  3. Lacy does so and falls for Margaret himself.
  4. He proposes marriage and they are about to be married by Friar Bungay when a devil appears and carries the Friar away.
  5. Edward was watching them through Friar Bacon's magic looking glass and asked Bacon to send the devil, which he did. Friar Bungay was carried to Oxford where he had dinner with Bacon and the Prince.
This information can all be gleaned from reading the play up to this point. There is much more information about the characters that could be used but this is the bare bones necessary to tackle this scene....