A Love Triangle

Edward's Response


1Injurious Lacy, did I love thee more
Than Alexander his Hephestion?

2Did I unfold the passion of my love,
And lock them in the closet of thy thoughts?
Wert thou to Edward second to himself,
Sole friend, and partner of his secret loves,
And could a glance of fading beauty break,
The enchained fetters of such private friends?

3Base coward, false, and too effeminate
To be co-rival with a prince in thoughts.
From Oxford have I posted since I dined,
To quite a traitor 'fore that Edward sleep.

What will the Prince say in response to Lacy?

1. Did I love thee more...?

Through his rhetorical question, the Prince compares his love for Lacy with the classic example of platonic love between two male soldiers. (The fact that Alexander and Hephestion were lovers was not commonly known at the time.)

2. Private Friends

The next two questions are reminiscent of Edward's first speech but the topic here is Lacy's betrayal of trust and more specifically the fact that, subject to the love of a woman, he has betrayed the trust between two men.

3. Honour Amongst Men

He calls Lacy "coward" and "effeminate" because the Earl has allowed feminine love to break his bonds of honour with a man.

Interestingly, the prince does not directly address the arguments presented by Lacy; he does not defend himself from Lacy's accusation that he was going to make Margaret his concubine. Instead, he recalls their friendship as an ideal of masculine love and attacks Lacy's manhood and honour. The Prince is picking up on Lacy’s challenge to his honour, but the shift of focus implies that while he was listening to Lacy, the questions about his motives were secondary to the fact that his old friend had betrayed him – his first two words “Injurious Lacy” are persuasive evidence that Lacy’s betrayal is in the forefront of his mind.

The process I am taking you through is one of analysis and discovery and at every turn there are various possible answers to the questions presented. The goal is to find the actions that allow the actors to play out the scene and justify all the things their characters say and do, creating a causal chain of action and reaction. There are no absolutes here: each actor finds their own way through a script and part of the pleasure in theatre is that no two performances will be the same.

On the page Edward's words look very similar to his first speech and we might select similar verbs to help make the language active. As a director, I might tell the actor to use these words to boldly challenge Lacy's honour and attack his manhood, but let's watch how Paul Hopkins chose to interpret this moment in performance.

Watch Edward and Lacy's Dialogue

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Edward Video 2
Edward Responds to Lacy

Did You Notice?

As he listens to Lacy, Edward sees his old friend plead eloquently in his defense and, while he is offended and returns accusation for accusation, his speech at first has a reflective and sorrowful quality as he recalls their lost friendship. It is as if he is adding adverbs to his action - he is accusing sorrowfully, or mournfully. At "Base coward.." he resumes a more aggressive tone, driving through to the articulation of his intention to take vengeance on the "traitor" Lacy. This is not the only way it might be performed but it is an effective choice and one that our Lacy picked up on in performance.

Paul’s choice was a strong one. It was based on firm evidence in the text and helped set up a later moment in the scene by making Lacy confront the fact he has betrayed his friend. It is important that the prince's arguments hit home with Lacy as later in the scene Lacy accepts his guilt and says he deserves to be killed. First however, Margaret intervenes.