Fifth Business Character foils of Dunstan Ramsay and Percy Staunton

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Robertson Davies’ novel, Fifth Business, revolves around guilt, competition, and two men who are foils of each other. Although Dunstan Ramsay and Percy Boyd Staunton are parallels to each other, they contrast in a great number of ways. Their awkward relationship plays a significant role in the number of elements which make Fifth Business such an interesting story. While Dunstan Ramsay had never been too interested in competing with Percy Boyd Staunton, Percy from a …

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…beautiful one with whom I could play Oedipus to both our hearts’ content. If I could manage it, I had not intention of being anybody’s own dear laddie, ever again. (Page 88) There are many ways in which Dunstan and Ramsay are parallel, yet contrast each other. The way in which Davies makes the characters foil each other adds excitement and stability to the novel. Dunstan and Percy are perfect best friends, and perfect enemies.