The Barber of Seville Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How does the scene open? Why is the Count dressed in a disguise?

It is nighttime in Seville, Spain. Count Almaviva, an attractive young aristocrat, paces the street as he waits for Rosine, the woman he loves, to appear at her window. He is disguised as a priest in a cloak and turned down hat, afraid he will be recognized by either the woman's over-protective guardian or one of his friends from the royal court. He does not want the woman to know his social status, for he fears she would only love him for his wealth and power.

2. How does the Count feel about his position? Why does he feel this way? Will the Count succeed in what he wishes for?

He feels confused about his situation: on the one hand, he is leaving behind the various, easily obtained pleasures of the court, but he is also tired of the constant pursuit of those pleasures. He longs to be loved for who he is, rather than for his position or his money. He may be fortunate and succeed in finding someone who loves him and not his money, but she may have a difficult time trusting him, if she meets him while he is disguised.

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