Chapter Abstracts followed by more detailed Plot Summary
Chapter abstracts are short descriptions of events that occur in each chapter. They highlight major plot events and detail the important relationships and characteristics of characters and objects. They are relatively brief, but can serve to be an excellent refresher of the text for either a student or teacher.
* A mother goes to say goodbye to her son, who is busy cutting down some grapes with a knife.
* The mother quickly becomes angry with the son because he is using a weapon to remove the grapes.
* The mother discusses her hatred of weapons and reminds him that his father and brother were killed with weapons by the Felix family, and then begs her son not to leave his home and return to the country.
* The mother meets the fiance and her father comments on how solemn she is acting, although she insists she is happy to be getting married.
* The son gives the fiance the gifts he has bought her and confirms the day of their marriage with her before leaving.
* After the mother and son leave, the fiancee's servant begs her to open her gifts but she refuses.
* The servant then asks the fiance if she saw the man on horseback at her window the previous night, to which the fiancé says she has not.
* The fiance says that it was probably her fiancé that was at her window, but the servant says that it was Leonardo.
* The fiance then admits that she knew it was Leonardo at her window.
* It is before dawn on the wedding day and the servant combs the bride's hair on the courtyard.
* The bride complains about the emptiness of the plains around her and voices her desire for trees.
* The servant tries to cheer her up and offers to put a crown of orange blossoms on her head, which the bride refuses and throws to the ground.
* Leonardo arrives at the wedding before anyone else and demands to speak to the bride.
* The servant won't allow Leonardo to see the bride because she is dressing, and when she questions how his wife and child are he acts as if he doesn't know who she's talking about.
* The bride overhears Leonardo asking if she's wearing her orange blossoms, causing the bride to come out and yell at him for questioning her.
* Leonardo confronts the bride and claims that when they dated his meager earnings were not enough for her and then blames her for his being married now.
* Leonardo tells the bride that one can't ignore something to make it go away because it will only grow stronger, which causes the bride to become defensive.
* The bride admits she is confused and upset but she doesn't want to deal with it, prompting the servant to escort Leonardo out for upsetting her.
* The bride comes out of the room dressed in black and wearing the crown of orange blossoms, and the bride and groom make small talk.
* Leonardo places a flower in the bride's hair, making the mother question why he is at the wedding in the first place.
* The bride's father asks the mother to forgive and forget about Leonardo's presence, to which she says she will tolerate him but will never forgive.
* Everyone begins to leave for the church and the bride and groom say goodbye.
* Leonardo and his wife argue because he does not want to ride with her to the church, but eventually agrees.
* The bride and groom return home from their wedding, now married.
* The bride's father mentions that Leonardo and his wife have also returned from the church and that Leonardo is looking for trouble.
* The mother and bride's father talk about their desire for grandchildren very soon, with the father saying that he wishes the grandchildren were born fully grown so that they could help him work his land.
* The bride begins to complain that she is tired, prompting the mother to scold her because she doesn't think she should act this way on her wedding day.
* The conversation between the bride and groom is awkward, with the bride halting most advances from her new husband.
* When the groom tries to show the bride public affection she shuns him.
* No one is able to find Leonardo or the bride at the wedding, assuming they are simply dancing in another room.
* The maidens start arguing over who got the bride's hairpin first because that signifies who is to be married next, but the bride refuses to play along claiming that this is a hard hour for her.
* The mother gives her son advice on marriage telling him to be loving to his wife but a little rough when necessary to show her that he's a man.
* Leonardo's wife then informs everyone that her husband has run off with the bride.
* The mother demands that everyone split into two groups and bring the bride back to the house.
* Three woodcutters talk in the woods about the others searching for Leonardo and the bride.
* One of the woodcutters claims that the two lovers will be killed for their betrayal.
* Another woodcutter says that the two lovers couldn't help themselves and that it is better to die with the one you love than live without love.
* The three woodcutters ask the moon to hide the couple so that they cannot be found, but the moon refuses and says it will shine in the darkest corners until they are found.
* The moon talks with death in the form of a beggar woman, and they say they will search for the couple until they are dead.
* The groom talks with a youth in the forest that believes he is looking in the wrong direction, to which the groom ignores him.
* The groom believes he hears Leonardo's horse and tells the youth that he will find the couple through the blood of his dead father and brother.
* The groom runs into the beggar woman (death) and she agrees to show him where the couple is hiding.
* The woodcutters plead with death to hide the couple and to bring love rather than death to them.
* The bride begs Leonardo to leave her because she doesn't want him to be killed for what they have done.
* Leonardo refuses to leave the bride because he loves her and has suffered too long without her.
* Leonardo promises to hide them in a safe place, but has to drag the bride to make her go with him.
* Leonardo tells the bride that only death can take them apart and she agrees to go with him until death.
* A child and two maidens wonder what has happened to the bride and Leonardo.
* The maidens ask Leonardo's wife and mother-in-law what they know, but they both know nothing.
* The mother-in-law tells her daughter to stop worrying about Leonardo and think about how she will raise her children alone.
* The beggar woman comes in and Leonardo's child is afraid of her.
* The beggar woman tells the women that Leonardo and the son/groom are now dead as the son's mother and neighbor enter the room.
* The neighbor starts to cry but the mother silences her and claims that she can now sleep well because she knows where both of her sons are in the cemetery.
* The bride enters the room and the mother becomes angry with her and throws her to the floor.
* The bride tells the mother that she can kill her if she wants but that she wants to say her peace.
* The bride says that she never gave her body to anyone, including Leonardo, and that she did love the son but that her love for Leonardo was too strong to ignore.
* The mother tells her that she doesn't care about her purity or life, but does allow her to grieve with her from a distance.
* The women recite a eulogy for the dead men as their bodies are being carried to the house.
The play opens in the home of the Mother and Bridegroom. It is learned that her husband and other son met violent ends, presumably in a feud. They also discuss the son's upcoming betrothal and marriage, until he leaves for work at his vineyard. A neighbor woman arrives and provides information concerning the Bride and her family. She confirms the mother's suspicions regarding the Bride having had an earlier love, and it turns out that this love, Leonardo, is from the family whose members are responsible for the deaths of her husband and son. The second scene takes place at Leonardo's house. Leonardo's wife and mother-in-law are rocking a baby to sleep. Leonardo's wife asks him why his horse is always tired these days; she says he has been seen "on the far side of the plains," which is where the Bride lives. Leonardo denies that he has been riding in that vicinity, and the subject of conversation shifts to the upcoming marriage of the Bride and Bridegroom. The third and final scene of Act I takes place at the Bride's home. The mother of the Bridegroom and the father of the Bride formalize the match, each praising the worthiness of their offspring. The Bride is demure and reticent in company, but once alone with the Servant she expresses her true frame of mind, which is impatient and frustrated. The Servant asks her if she heard a horse at the house the night before, and the Bride says no. But, at this point, a horse is heard and both see that it carries Leonardo.
Act II takes place at the Bride's house on the day of the wedding. Young girls and others appear singing and chanting wedding songs. Leonardo and his wife and mother-in-law are the first guests to arrive, and soon Leonardo and the Bride are speaking heatedly. He declaims against her marriage, their continued separation, and the disaster of their never having married. She replies that she is marrying to finally bury the past and the memory of him. By the second scene of Act II the guests have returned from the marriage ceremony. The wedding celebration is set to begin. In the midst of a large gathering, the mother and father speak of Leonardo, noting his family's reputation for violence. Soon, the overwhelmed Bride announces her wish to rest for a time. When the Bridegroom goes to find her a bit later, she is nowhere to be found. It is discovered that the lovers have fled. A party with the Bridegroom at its head is formed to seek out the lovers and exact revenge for their transgression.
Act III takes place mostly in a forest. This is as far as the lovers have managed to flee by the time the party catches up with them. Three woodcutters open the scene, commenting on the terrible events. Death and the Moon also appear in this scene, both looking forward to what will be, inevitably, somebody's death. Death, as a beggar woman, points the way to the lovers for the Bridegroom. In the meantime, the Bride encourages Leonardo to escape without her, as their horse is unable to carry them both. She knows that they will try to kill him. He refuses to leave her. With the stage directions having indicated the lovers' exit and the Moon's entrance, two shrieks are heard. At the sound of the second shriek, Death appears and moves to center stage with her back to the audience. She spreads out her arms such that a great cape unfurls. This impressive sight ends the second scene of Act III. The final scene of the play opens with two girls winding a skein of red wool. Confusion reigns with various characters appearing and asking for definitive news about the hunt for the lovers. Finally, the Mother is apprised of the terrible truth; her last son is dead at the hands of Leonardo. Leonardo is also dead. The Bride appears, dejected, asking for death. The Mother barely registers her presence as she announces her final descent into inconsolable pain and suffering.
Act 1, Scene 1 Summary
In "Blood Wedding," a woman's son falls in love with a lady who used to date a member of the family that murdered his father and brother. Although the lady knows that his love is true, she is still in love with her ex-boyfriend. She runs off with her ex-boyfriend shortly after marrying the son. The woman and her ex-boyfriend do not escape the revenge of the son. In the end the son's revenge backfires. All of the characters learn their respective lessons about revenge, love, and family.
A routine goodbye between a mother and her grown son turns cold. Before leaving to tend to his vineyard, the son asks his mother for a knife he can use to cut down grapes for his lunch. The son's request launches the mother into a speech about how she hates knives, guns, and any other weapons that can "split the body of a man apart." She reminds her son that his father and oldest brother both died at the hands of men who used weapons. His mother thinks the killers got off easy because they can still experience a decent life in prison, while her dead men will remain in the ground for eternity. Orders to be quiet come from the son amid the mother's angry comments and pleas for her son not to go back to the country.
The son offers the mother a place to stay with him and his fiancee. She refuses to leave. She must visit the grave sites of her husband and son every morning and make sure no one in the Felix family, the family who killed her men, is buried next to them. The boy's mother has not yet met her son's fiancee although they have been together three years. She inquires about the girl's mother and previous relationships. The son is happy when his mother agrees to talk with the girl's father on Sunday. When the son prepares to leave the house his mother reminds him to have lots of grandchildren, and girls too.
A neighbor comes to visit the son's mother. Since she has not been off her street in 20 years, the neighbor fills her in on what has been happening in the world. Rafael, the son of a mutual neighbor, showed up in the neighborhood without the two arms he had lost to a machine. The mother tells the neighbor that her son has bought a vineyard and then asks if she knows his fiancee. According to the neighbor, the girl is good and stays to herself. Her dead mother was beautiful but unloving and proud. The mother becomes upset when the neighbor goes on to tell her that the girl used to date Leonardo of the Felix family, who ended up marrying her cousin instead. The neighbor explains that Leonardo should not be blamed for his ancestors' mistakes in killing the mother's husband and first son. Leonardo was very young when the killings happened and took no part in them. The mother agrees to take her neighbor's advice and not tell her son about his fiancee and her past relationship with Leonardo.
Act 1, Scene 1 Analysis
Bitterness and anger are hidden in the words of the son's mother. She has not stopped mourning for her husband and first son. Weapons take lives, and she believes there to be no good use for any of them, including knives. Her anger for the Felix family is strong. The anger runs so deep that she will not move just so she can make sure her family's killers are never buried next to her family. It appears that her relationship with her son is distant. She has not yet met her son's fiancee of three years and does not approve of where he lives. The son acts unconcerned about his mother's fears of weapons. His immaturity stands out because he has not grasped the consequences weapons can bring.
The son's residence somewhere outside the home symbolizes how he has dealt with his family's deaths. The son may still mourn, but he has moved on. The deaths have not even stopped him from using the very weapons that killed his own. The mother's residence at home symbolizes how different she has dealt with the deaths of her family. The mother has not moved on. Every day she reminds herself that her husband and son were murdered when she visits their grave sites. Their deaths have consumed her to the point that she hates weapons and will not move away. The mother's decision to hide the girl's past from her son shows that although she hates the Felix family, she loves her son more. She is willing to hold important information for her son's happiness.
Act 1, Scene 2 Summary
Leonardo's wife, with the help of her mother, recites a lullaby to their baby so that he will sleep. The baby was up crying the previous night. Leonardo's wife indirectly questions him about riding the horse too much. Neighbors saw him ride the horse almost to the edge of the plain. The wife's mother says she saw the horse dripping with sweat. Leonardo is defensive and says he was only out doing man's work. When the wife mentions that her cousin is going to be married soon, her mother reminds her that Leonardo dated her cousin for three years. Leonardo says that it was he who broke it off with his wife's cousin and then demands that his wife not cry about it.
A child runs in and tells the mother-in-law that a young man was in the store buying expensive things with his mother. The man even bought silk stockings with roses. When the child tries to tell Leonardo the news, he acts uninterested and tells him to go away. The wife picks up on Leonardo's frustration and asks him what is bothering him. Leonardo continues to tell her to leave him alone and eventually leaves the house. Their baby begins to cry. Leonardo's wife and mother-in-law cry while reciting the same lullaby to the baby.
Act 1, Scene 2 Analysis
The most important thing this scene shows is the strained relationship between a husband and wife. The wife carefully questions her husband's whereabouts without having an argument. The place where they live is small enough for people to know what her husband is doing when he isn't home. Leonardo is defensive, which suggests that he may be lying to his wife about something. He is controlling enough to keep the wife scared and in her place at home. Leonardo's agitation at the mention of the marriage of his wife's cousin shows the reader that something is going on. Why is Leonardo so agitated if he broke it off with his wife's cousin? Why does the wife cry when Leonardo talks about her cousin? Her emotional state during the conversation is a sign that she and Leonardo have talked about her cousin before. The wife's inability to control her emotions shows that in her heart she does not believe what Leonardo tells her. As with any other human being, her emotions are her body's way of sending a "red flag" that something isn't right.
Act 1, Scene 3 Summary
The son's mother and her son talk with his fiancee's father. The mother complains about the four hour drive to the house sitting on empty plains. According to the mother, if her husband had plains he would have covered them with trees and not left them empty. After the greetings, the father tells the two how good it would be if the son moved his vineyard to his plains. The mother disagrees with combining all of their land together. The girl's father and son's mother briefly discuss the marriage of their children. Both mention the good qualities their child has to offer. The son says he would like to have the wedding next week on his fiancee's 22nd birthday. His mother reminds them that her oldest son would have been 22 now if he hadn't been killed.
The mother meets her son's fiancee. Her father comments on how solemn his daughter looks, but she insists that she is happy to marry. After presenting the girl with gifts and confirming the marriage date, the son and his mother leave. Immediately the servant begs the girl to open her presents and show what she has been given. The girl says she does not want to open the presents. The servant continues to beg to see the presents, but the girl refuses to touch them. The servant asks the girl if she saw the guy on horseback standing at her window last night. The girl saw no one, but says it must have been her fiancee. She is shocked when the servant tells her that it was not her fiancee but Leonardo at her window. Then the girl admits that Leonardo was indeed at her window.
Act 1, Scene 3 Analysis
The idea that something may be going on between Leonardo and his wife's cousin continues to unfold in this scene. The girl's lack of excitement about getting married shows in her actions, even though she says she is happy. Throughout the play there has been discussion on how nice and expensive the son's gifts for his fiancee are. It is strange that the bride does not open all the gifts. Her actions suggest that she may be torn about something. When her groom was at her house she spoke of wanting to be with him. Seconds after he leaves she becomes disgusted and refuses his gifts. When the servant mentions that Leonardo has come by her window, the girl tries to hide that she knows of his presence. The fact that she eventually admits that she has seen him shows the reader that there is something going on between her and Leonardo. Leonardo did ride his horse to the girl's window at night, although in the previous scene he denies riding the horse at all. Because both Leonardo and the girl are acting secretive about each other, it is obvious that they still have mutually strong feelings.
Act 2, Scene 1 Summary
Just before dawn on the wedding day, the servant combs the girl's hair on the courtyard of her room. Looking out at the plains saddens the girl. She wishes she were around trees, instead of being choked by walls and bare fields. The servant talks endlessly about the wedding as she tries placing a crown of orange blossoms on the girl's head. The girl throws down the crown. When the servant asks her how she can be so sad on her wedding day, the girl admits her fears. She likes her fiancee but thinks that marriage is a big step. The servant tries teasing her into a better mood.
Leonardo is the first guest to arrive at the bride's house on the wedding day. The servant tells Leonardo that the bride isn't available to talk because she is dressing. When the servant asks how Leonardo's baby is doing, Leonardo replies as if he doesn't know what baby she is talking about. When the servant asks about his wife, he says she is coming by road but he came by horse. The bride overhears the groom ask the servant if she has gotten her orange blossoms from her groom. She shows herself and expresses her anger at him for coming and asking questions. Leonardo brings up the past. He says that when he was with her, oxen and a lousy shack weren't good enough for her. He tells her that she is the reason he is married. She gets defensive when he tells her that someone is to blame and that ignoring something does not make it go away but grow. The bride admits she is torn up inside about something, but she doesn't want to deal with it. The servant asks Leonardo to leave because more guests are arriving and the bride is too upset.
The voices of maidens, servants, youth and family recite welcomes to awaken and bid the bride to come out of her room. The bride enters in a black gown and a crown of orange blossoms. The bride and groom exchange small talk. Leonardo places a flower the bride's hair. At this the mother asks why Leonardo and his wife have come. The bride's father reminds the mother that he and his wife are family and she should forgive. The mother agrees to tolerate their presence but says she will never forgive. The groom urges everyone to go the church. The groom and the bride tell each other that they are eager to be united. As they leave maidens and servants recite goodbyes.
When Leonardo and his wife are left alone, she tells him she wants him to go to the church with her in the wagon. Leonardo tells her he is not one for wagons. She responds by telling him she is not one to go places without her husband. Leonardo's wife then admits to him that she sees coldness in his eyes. Although she has a boy with him and another child on the way, she says she fears he might want to leave her. Raising kids without their father is the same fate her mother was dealt. Leonardo ignores her and tells her they will go to the church together.
Act 2, Scene 1 Analysis
The bride's longing to be around trees instead of bare walls symbolizes her unhappiness with being in a place she does not want to be. Her sour mood, even on her wedding day, proves that she has doubts about marrying her groom. Through the conversation between Leonardo and the servant, it is obvious that Leonardo is unconcerned with his wife. He is the first person to show up for his ex-girlfriend's wedding. His wife has not come with him because he rode his horse. His preference for riding horses symbolizes that he does not want to be around his wife. She says she hates horses, yet he rides them everywhere he goes. Riding a horse guarantees that his wife won't go with him. This suggests that Leonardo is going places he can't take his wife.
Through Leonardo and the bride's brief conversation the reader learns that they both still have feelings for each other. Leonardo implies that he tried to forget about her by marrying someone else, but that made him think of her even more. He hints to the girl that she should not marry her groom because she will be in the same situation he is in. The bride's reaction shows that Leonardo has spoken the truth. If he had not, she would not have become so upset. The color of the bride's dress foreshadows the trouble to come and shows her true feelings about the day. Leonardo's wife finally admits to herself, and to Leonardo, that she knows he does not love her. Leonardo's coldness toward her remarks reveals that she is right. It is ironic that on a wedding day, Leonardo's marriage is falling apart. The bride hesitates marrying her groom, and the two people who really do love each other - Leonardo and the bride - are not the couple getting married. The two people in love are in fact committed to other people.
Act 2, Scene 2 Summary
Servants recite greetings to welcome the bride and groom home. The bride's father and son's mother arrive home from the wedding first. The father learns that Leonardo and his wife have already come back and comments that he is looking for trouble. The mother goes off into another speech about how Leonardo can't help but be trouble since he is from a family of troublemakers and killers. They talk about how anxious they are to have grandchildren to help with work and keep them from loneliness. The father wishes they could have full grown grandchildren in one day. The mother reminds him that children grow and there is always a possibility that they won't live long, just like her son.
Relatives and people from everywhere attend the wedding. When the bride and groom return home, the bride comments that she is tired. The groom's mother says she should not be tired on her own wedding day. Conversation between bride and groom is awkward. The groom asks if the bride is happy and expresses that he can't wait until that night when they can be together. The bride hardly looks at him and shows no enthusiasm. She even shuns him when he tries to show her public affection. No one at the party can keep up with the bride or Leonardo. The groom is told his wife is in another room or undressing when he asks where she is. The wife has not seen Leonardo at the party yet and spends her time going from room to room looking for him.
The maidens begin to argue over who the bride gave a hair pin to first. Whoever gets the first hair pin is the one who will marry next. When the maidens ask her who got a pin first, the bride dismisses them. She says it is a hard hour for her. The maidens do not understand why, but the bride tells them they will know in due time. The mother gives her son words of advice about marriage before she gets ready to leave. She tells him to be loving to his wife, but to be a little rough if she gets out of line. The roughness will show her that he is a man. Around this time the father begins to look for the bride. Everyone thought she was in the house dancing in one of the rooms, but she is nowhere to be found. Leonardo's wife informs them that her husband and the bride have run off on horseback together. At this news the mother gives orders for the family to divide into two groups and go after her son's wife and bring her back.
Act 2, Scene 2 Analysis
The mother's constant reminders of her family's death begin to foreshadow something terrible. Even the father admits that Leonardo is trouble. The disappearances of Leonardo and the bride at the same time make the reader wonder if the two people are intentionally sneaking off together. The bride is pushing her groom's physical advances away. The marriage to her groom is losing strength to her desire to be with Leonardo. By the time the bride tells the maidens that it is a hard hour for her, the reader anticipates that she will run off with Leonardo. The constant worry about Leonardo from his wife shows that she knows that it is her cousin that Leonardo loves. It is ironic that the two families the mother has been speaking about the entire play are now divided at the wedding. Although Leonardo was young when his family murdered the mother's family, his blood still leads him to ultimately betray the mother's family. The mother has been physically betrayed by the Felix family. Now she is being betrayed again by the same family.
Act 3, Scene 1 Summary
Three woodcutters talk in the woods about the search for the bride and Leonardo. One woodcutter reminds the other two that the bride and Leonardo will both be killed for running away with each other. Another woodcutter says the two could not help themselves. "You've got to do what your blood tells you to," the woodcutter says. He knows the two people feel that it is better to die loving their true love than to live loving someone they don't love. The three woodcutters request that the moon hide the couple in the dark shadows where they won't be found. The moon speaks. The moon says he will not hide the couple. The moon will shine bright into the darkest corners of the forest until the couple is exposed. Death, in the form of an old woman beggar, and the moon discuss how they will seek the couple until death comes upon them.
The groom talks with a youth in the forest as they search for his bride. The youth thinks they are going the wrong way, but the groom tells him to be quiet. The groom knows he has heard the horse of Leonardo, which he thinks is the only horse out in the forest. He explains to the youth that with the blood of his murdered father and oldest son he will find the couple. The youth goes off to investigate a noise when the groom runs into the beggar. The groom inquires about the couple, and the beggar agrees to show him where they are. The woodcutters plead with death. They ask death to bring love instead of blood that night.
The bride begs Leonardo to leave her. Although she wanted to run away with him and loves him, she knows that he could be hurt because of her. Leonardo says he tried to forget her but could not resist or stop loving her. She tells him that she wants to be with him every second, but doesn't want him to suffer because of her. He promises to take her to a place where they can't be found and begins to drag her. Leonardo says that only death can part them. The bride agrees to go with him even to death.
Act 3, Scene 1 Analysis
The woodcutter's conversation brings the theme of the entire play to light. Blood is more than a liquid running through veins. Blood symbolizes the person's true intentions and desires. These intentions and desires are undeniable and impossible to get away from. If this is the case, a greater force was at work in bringing Leonardo and the bride together. It is almost as if they are not to blame for their surprising actions because their blood was too powerful to resist. The same blood runs through generations. Could the betrayal of the groom have come because it was in the blood of Leonardo Felix to betray him? Does the blood of the son seek revenge for his family's deaths?
The cooperation of death and the moon to bring about consequence suggests that all forces of nature are of one accord. When death comes, it cannot be avoided. There will be no forces of nature willing to fight the death of someone. Lorca's description of death as a beggar could mean that death does not look like what we think. Beggars are ignored and overlooked. This beggar is surprising because of its power. As with the boy in the forest, sometimes humans may even be face to face or in conversation with death and not even know it. Leonardo and the bride know their fate. The fact that they are ready and willing to sacrifice their lives in order to be with each other shows the power of their love. It is better to die with the one you truly love than to live with one that you care nothing about.
Act 3, Scene 2 Summary
A child and two maidens sing of their curiosity about what is happening on the groom's hunt for his bride and her lover Leonardo. The maidens ask Leonardo's wife and her mother what has happened to the groom and Leonardo. The wife's mother doesn't know. The wife wonders out loud. Her mother tells her to forget Leonardo and concentrate on raising her sons alone. The maidens ask the beggar what she saw when she comes in. The child is afraid of the beggar and wants her to go away. The beggar tells the maidens with excitement that both the groom and Leonardo are dead. The groom's mother and her neighbor enter the empty room. When the neighbor starts to cry, the groom's mother tells her to be quiet. She can now sleep well because she knows where her sons are - in the cemetery.
The bride walks into the room where the groom's mother and neighbor talk. The groom's mother is angry at seeing her. After trying to restrain herself the mother knocks the bride to the floor. The bride tells the mother she can kill her if she wants, but she must plead her case. The bride says over and over that she never gave her body to anyone, including Leonardo. She explains that she did love her groom, and that he was good for her, but that Leonardo's love was too strong. She didn't want to run off with Leonardo, but Leonardo's love tore her away from what was right. The mother tells her she could care less about her purity or life. She agrees to let the bride weep for her son with her but from a distance. The women recite a eulogy of remembrance for the dead young men whose bodies are being carried to the house. They take turns repeating how "a little knife too small to hold in your hands" is sharp enough to forever end lives.
Act 3, Scene 2 Analysis
The bride fought to love freely and lost. Following love does not always bring about a happy ending. Her focus on her purity overshadows her ability to see the fault in loving a man and marrying another. She is also unable to take responsibility for her feelings. The bride describes Leonardo's love as a power she could not get away from. If she really wanted to she could have resisted his advances. Because the mother was always in constant fear of her son's use of knives, his death actually frees her from this fear. This is the reason she tells her neighbor she can now sleep at night. It is ironic that death would bring about a peaceful sleep. The story ends just as it began - with a discussion about knives. Just as the mother said, knives are dangerous and ultimately killed her only living son. Just because something is small does not mean it cannot hurt you. Because the mother has spent the entire play consumed by the power of knives and the deaths of her family, she may have brought this tragedy to herself.
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