Appearances and Corelli
A major theme that Corelli touches on in the text is the importance of appearances. “In very truth, one of the reasons why fashionable men and women cannot bare to be alone is that the solitude in which they are compelled to look face to face upon their secret selves” (Corelli 236). Corelli hints at the importance of appearance throughout the book. “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players” (Corelli 205). Early in the book, even Lucio admits he is somewhat of an actor himself. Perception and appearance play a major role for Tempest’s character. Tempest only changes when the general perception of his appearance changes. Once the public starts labeling him as Geoffrey Tempest the millionaire, he slowly begins taking on the role of the wealthy Edwardian male. Tempest’s wife Lady Sybil is the love of his life until he discovers her secret love of Lucio. After this discovery her appearance changes, Lady Sybil never really was the woman Tempest had thought she was. “She was not my purchase – she was my love, my saint, my queen! – or so I chose to think, in my foolishness and vanity!” (Corelli 224). Tempest also accepts Lucio as his closest companion right up to the point when Lucio bluntly admits to being the devil. Tempest shift in perception at this point is likely what saves his life. The importance of perception and appearance is undoubtedly a vital component to Lucio’s deception, as well as Edwardian behavior and moral ethics. “Society prefers a false glare to all true radiance. And what is worse it tries to make true things take a second place as adjuncts to sham ones – and there comes in the mischief” (Corelli 231).