Give a character sketch of Sir Ralph the Rover as presented in Robert Southey’s poem The Inchcape Rock.
Sir Ralph rover was the evil character who played an important role in the poem. he is a man full of over confidence and wickedness. he has an evil mind and becomes rich by looting ships. he is jealous of the Abbot and therefore cuts the bell not realizing that one day even he would fall in trouble. In the end he realizes his mistake but it was too late and he died.
Sir Ralph the Rover, the villain in the legends of the Inchcape Rock, is portrayed carefully by the poet here to deliver his message. The character is introduced in the 6th stanza of the poem. He is simply a sea-pirate, whose job is to loot the ships by putting them in danger. When the Abbot of Aberbrothok tied the bell to the perilous rock and saved many shipwrecks, he was feeling jealous of the Abbot’s fame and reputation. He cut the bell off to spoil the Abbot’s reputation and also to carry on his business of looting ships. So, he essentially had an evil mind. He used to enjoy his notorious deeds and had no regret for that.
One more thing about the character is that the rover was somewhat over-confident. When he cut the bell, he didn’t think that his own ship can hit the rock someday. Even when they lost the way and was approaching the rock, he said, “It will be lighter soon, / For there is the dawn of the rising moon.” And when his ship hit the rock and he was sure to die, he tore his hair in despair. So, he never thought that he can fail, or something may not go his way. That is typical of a foolish but villainous person we see in literature as well as in real life.