February 8, 2023

Anselmo and Lotario: Best Friends Turned Rival Lovers

Anselmo and Lotario’s Similarity of Age and Background: Since Anselmo and Lotario are bachelors, young men of the same age and habits, they soon become great friends.

Anselmo and Lotario - Don Quixote
Don Quixote Novel

Anselmo and Lotario Pursue Each Other’s Interests: When the occasion arises, Anselmo pursues Lotario’s interests and Lotario pursues Anselmo’s interests.

Anselmo Asks Lotario To Treat His Home As If It Is His Own: Anselmo asks Lotario to treat his home as if it is his own and to come and go as he pleases.

When Anselmo Wants To Marry Camila He Asks For Lotario’s Consent: When Anselmo asks for Camila’s hand in marriage he consults Lotario because he never does anything without Lotario’s consent.

After Anselmo Marries Camila Lotario Visits His House Less Often: After Anselmo weds Camila, Lotario frequents his house for the first few days as before, doing all he can to honor, regale, and delight him. But once the celebrations are over—and the congratulatory visits abate ? Lotario neglects to see Anselmo as before, because it seems to him that a man should not frequent his friend’s house once he is married, to give husband-and-wife privacy.

Anselmo Says That Lotario Should Visit Him As Often As Before: Anselmo, noticing that Lotario’s visits are falling-off, says that if “he’d known getting married was going to erect such a barrier between them he would never have taken such a step.” Furthermore, Anselmo says that their reputation as “two friends” must be maintained and that Lotario must not allow his circumspection to destroy such a famous and agreeable title. Therefore, Anselmo begs Lotario to treat his house as his own again, and to come and go as before, with the assurance that his wife Camila has no pleasure or desire other than those he wants her to have, since he is her lord and husband, and she, in turn, willingly follows his lead. With these reasons, Anselmo convinces Lotario to dine with him twice a week and on holy days.

Anselmo and Lotario’s Relationship Is Built On Trust: Lotario says that true friendship must be above all suspicion, since trust is a requisite of close amity.

Anselmo Thinks That Lotario Has The Best Of Intentions: Lotario replies with such prudence, good sense, and wisdom to Anselmo’s inquiries that he is convinced that his friend has the best of intentions.

Lotario Is Concerned About Anselmo’s (and his Own) Honor: Since the honor of a married man is so delicate, Lotario decides to be circumspect around Camila, since he holds his friend’s honor in as high esteem as his own. In fact, Lotario holds his, and Anselmo’s honor, in such high regard that one of the arguments that he puts to Anselmo, when Anselmo tries to convince him to test his wife by seducing her, is that he should not try to deprive himself of his own honor. Since Lotario thinks that a man without honor is worse than a dead man, Lotario reasons that his friend should not be the instrument of his own dishonor. What’s more, Lotario tells Anselmo that if he values Lotario’s honor, he should not ask him to commit the dishonorable act of trying to seduce his wife.

Actions Lotario Takes To Preserve Anselmo’s Honor: Evidently, Lotario watches over Anselmo’s honor with such care and vigilance that he contrives to pare and whittle down the number of visiting days agreed upon, to prevent the idle vulgar herd from gossiping about the visits of a well-born, young gentlemen, to the house of his best friend’s wife. Since Lotario does not want to put his best friend’s good name at risk he finds other occupations, and activities, for most of the agreed visiting-days.

Lotario Urges Anselmo To Tell Him What Is On His Mind: When Anselmo tells Lotario that he is assailed and tormented by a peculiar desire, Lotario, wondering where such a long preamble is leading, says to Anselmo that he should ease the agony of his suspense since it is “offensive to their close friendship for him to search for roundabout ways to convey his most secret thoughts.”

Lotario Goes Along With Anselmo’s Plan To Seduce Camila Since He Does Not Want Anselmo To Reveal His Shameful Thoughts To Anybody Else: When Anselmo threatens to tell others about his desire to test Camila’s virtue, Lotario decides to “keep him happy and prevent a greater ill” by doing as he asks, with the intention of managing the affair to satisfy Anselmo without disturbing Camila’s peace of mind.

Arguments Lotario Uses To Dissuade Anselmo From Testing Camila

  1. Lotario Says That Camila’s Virtue Will Not Be Improved By Testing It: Lotario asks Anselmo that if he knows that his wife is modest, virtuous, high-principled, and prudent, what more does he need to know? Then Lotario says that if Camila emerges victorious from Lotario’s seductions, “in what way will she be a finer woman than she already is and what finer names does he intend to call her afterwards than she already deserves?” In sum, Lotario says that it is inappropriate to perform experiments on Camila’s purity because it will have no greater value afterwards than it had in the first place.
  2. Lotario Says That If Anselmo Has Reason To Doubt Camila’s Virtue He Should Confront Her Directly: Lotario says that if Anselmo has reason to doubt Camila’s faithfulness he should confront her directly, since to attempt things that are more likely to do him harm than good is an act of a rash, unstable mind.
  3. Lotario Says That Anselmo Should Not Perform Experiments That Are Offensive To God: Lotario tells Anselmo that good friends should verify their friendship and help each other in a way that is not offensive to God because love of God must not be lost for the sake of human love. Afterwards, Lotario says that “if a friend goes so far as to set aside his duty to heaven to attend to the duties of friendship, this mustn’t be for petty, trivial matters, but for matters involving his friend’s honour and life.”
  4. Lotario Says That Friends Must Not Ask Friends To Do Things That Undermine Their Honor: Lotario says that Anselmo’s drive to test Camila’s purity is improper because it undermines their honor. Lotario’s honor because once Camila sees that he is trying to seduce her she will take him for a man without scruple, and, Anselmo’s honor, because he choose a cad for a friend that would stoop so low as to seduce his wife.
  5. Lotario Says That Since Difficult Tasks Are Attempted For The World’s Sake Or For God’s Sake His Request Will Satisfy None Of These Conditions: Lotario says that since difficult tasks are attempted for God’s sake, or for the world’s sake, or for both at the same time, his task will not gain him the glory of God, or make him a fortune, or give him fame among men, because even if he does achieve what he seeks he won’t be any grander, or richer, or more honourable than he already is.
  6. Lotario Says That If Anselmo Achieves What He Seeks He Will Be Miserable: Lotario says that even if Anselmo keeps his project a secret merely knowing about it himself will be enough to torment and destroy him. Moreover, Lotario reasons that if Anselmo achieves what he seeks he will be left as wretched as it’s possible for a man to be.
  7. Lotario Says That It Is Unreasonable To Expose Camila To The Risk of Destruction: Lotario says that “obstacles should not be placed before Camila to make her stumble and fall because if she falters, and can’t withstand the trial, consider how he would feel without her and how justly he’d reproach himself for being the cause of her downfall and his own as well.”

Reasons Anselmo Gives Lotario To Seduce Camila

1. As A Friend Lotario Is Duty Bound To Help Preserve Anselmo’s Honor: Anselmo says that since he is resolved to carry out a test on Camila’s virtue, Lotario cannot allow him to reveal his foolishness to anybody else because that would place his honour at public risk.

2. Lotario Should Not Worry About Jeopardizing His Honor With Camila Since He Can Tell Her The Truth About The Plan Once She Rejects His Suit: Anselmo says that once Lotario encounters the firm resistance that he expects, he can restore his good name, and reputation, in Camila’s eyes by telling her the truth about his plan to seduce her.

Lotario’s Attempt to Convince Anselmo That He Is Trying To Court Camila In Earnest: When Anselmo first leaves Lotario alone with Camila, Lotario says that he would like to rest awhile until Anselmo returns. But instead of trying to woo Camila in earnest, Lotario dozes where he sits until his friend returns. Upon returning, Anselmo wakes Lotario up and asks him how his first attempt to court Camila went. Lotario replies that he started to court Camila by praising her beauty. Accordingly, he praised her fine looks as well as her intelligence, since this seems like an appropriate way to start gaining her confidence and making her ready to lend a willing ear next time. Pleased with this start, Anselmo says that he will provide Lotario with the same opportunity to woo Camila again by “finding things to do around the house in such a way that Camila is not suspicious.” Many days go by like this and Lotario does not say a word to Camila even though he assures Anselmo that he had talked to her and could not elicit the smallest hint of agreement to do anything untoward. Happy that Camila is strong enough to resist words, Anselmo gives Lotario four thousand escudos in cash and jewels to tempt her. This time, however, Anselmo, watches from a keyhole and discovers that “in over half an hour Lotario did not direct a single word at Camila” and that everything his friend told him about Camila’s replies had been fiction.

Lotario Lies to Anselmo By Telling Him That Camila Is Faithful To Him: When Anselmo returns home after a week’s absence, Lotario tells him that he has a wife worthy to be a pattern of example for all good women since: his “words went with the wind; his promises had been disdained; his gifts have been rejected; and, in short, she mocked his crocodile tears with scorn.” Little does Anselmo know, however, that rather than maintaining her chastity in the face of his persistent wooing, Camila has begun to yield to Lotario’s passes and is very much in a way to be in love with him.

Lotario Begs Anselmo To Give Up His Plan: Though Camila has not taken her love for Lotario to the ultimate extreme, Camila’s resistance to his suit begins to melt in the face of his persistence. Thus, Lotario begs Anselmo to not make any further trials on Camila’s chastity lest she yields.

Anselmo Wants Lotario To Continue His Suit Of Camila To Satisfy His Perverse Curiosity: Owing to a sense of warped duty, Anselmo begs Lotario to keep up his campaign to win over his wife by writing poetry to her.

Lotario Tells Anselmo That Camila Is Not Faithful To Him: When Lotario sees a young man leave Anselmo’s house at dawn he is so upset with Camila that blinded by the rage of jealousy he determines to avenge himself on her by telling Anselmo that the fortress of his wife’s virtue has surrendered to him and that he can do with her as he pleases on demand.

Lotario Asks Anselmo To Conceal Himself In An Alcove To Determine If Camila Will Cheat On Him: Lotario asks Anselmo to pretend to leave his house only to conceal himself in the garderrobe behind a tapestry so that he can watch what they do, or do not do, and then decide what is best to be done. By asking Anselmo to see with his own eyes what is in Camila’s mind, Lotario suggests that he can, if necessary, inflict silent, prudent, and judicious punishment for the wrong done to him. Deciding to follow his friend’s advice, Anselmo secrets himself in a garderobe, and listens to Camila’s feigned triumph over Lotario’s assaults on her virtue.

Anselmo Discovers Lotario’s Absence: When Anselmo looks for Lotario to tell him about his wife’s absence, Lotario’s servants tell Anselmo that he departed that night and had taken all of Anselmo’s money with him. Later, we discover that Lotario dies in a battle waged by Monsieur de Lautrec against the great captain Fernandez de Cordoba in the Kingdom of Naples.

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Originally posted 2020-01-16 02:37:10.