A Love Triangle

Understanding Obstacles

Prince Edward

Lacy (Scott Clarkson) is an obstacle to the Prince's desire: Margaret (Julian DeZotti).

Prince Edward

Prince Edward (Paul Hopkins) with his dagger drawn.

Margaret has been the object of the Prince's desires from the opening scene of the play. She is the objective that has motivated his actions. He sent Lacy to woo her on his behalf. He visited Bacon to ask for magical assistance in his seduction. Although the prince also wants vengeance on Lacy in this scene, Margaret is still his primary objective. From this perspective, Lacy is an obstacle to the Prince's desires.
Obstacles are crucially important to acting since without resistance to a character's will there is no conflict. Characters in drama struggle to overcome their obstacles in pursuit of their objectives. While characters usually have one clear objective, they often have many obstacles in their way.

Edward's Obstacles

The text tells us that the prince enters with his "poinard in his hand" and it seems that the Prince intends to kill Lacy and thus remove the major obstacle to his objective. Lacy and Margaret are defenceless, so in principle he could simply kill Lacy and carry Margaret away, but he doesn't do that. Why not? This may seem like a silly question but it is an important one. The actor has to decide what is stopping him from simply acting on his desire. What further obstacles are in his way?

In this instance we can rely on common sense and information from the given circumstances of the scene. The two most important obstacles to Edward here are the fact that:

1. Killing without a trial is illegal and dangerous even for a Prince especially when the victim is a powerful Earl.
2. Lacy was Edward's close friend.