The Alchemist (Jonson): Act 4, Scene 6

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Summary of Act 4, scene 6

 
Now the plot begins to unravel. Instead of seducing Dame Pliant as Subtle and Face expected him to do, Surly has told her his identity and explained the scam to her. She has almost been dishonored but he, Surly, has acted like a gentleman protecting her virtue. He thinks this will make her grateful enough to marry him.
 
Subtle enters while Surly is still dressed as the Spaniard, and he tries to pick Surly’s pockets. Surly suddenly speaks English and tells him to stop. Subtle is shocked and yells for help.
 
Face enters and Surly accuses him of fraud. Face runs off as Surly grabs Subtle.
 
Commentary on Act 4, scene 6
 
Surly acts righteous in this scene. He has not taken advantage of Dame Pliant because he hopes to ingratiate himself with her. He is no gentleman, we remember, but a gambler and a pimp. He has unmasked the culprits, but all is not over yet.
 

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