The next morning, Bradley finds that Julian is gone. He runs around the house yelling her name and drives through town, but he can find her nowhere.
The name of the cottage, Patara, references a location that Saint Paul visited during his journey to preach the message of Christ. Murdoch's decision to reference this classical location evokes the relationship of religion to Bradley Pearson's own quest. Religion, like love and art, provides a sense of the eternal. By placing Bradley in a location with religious significance, Murdoch indicates her belief that the universal mystical feeling that inspired Saint Paul may also be able to inspire him. Unlike Saint Paul's more pure thoughts, however, Bradley Pearson's ability to create a universal truth will be inspired by his relationship to Eros.
The motif of Hamlet appears again in this chapter with Julian's portrayal of the prince. By dressing like Hamlet, Julian again appears androgynous. The relationship of her masculine appearance to Bradley's heightened sexual desire argues for Bradley's repressed homosexuality. Androgyny is a motif that recurs in the novel. There is no strong proof, however, that Murdoch wanted to indicate that Bradley was a homosexual. She seems more interested in toying with the idea of him not having a firmly fixed identity and with suggesting the possibilities of androgyny in general.
Bradley and Julian's secret romantic flight evokes similar mythical romantic trysts, but their age difference and Bradley's lustful thoughts ruin the purity of their union. Julian embodies youthful impetuous love. Her willingness to throw herself from a car to prove her love signifies the strength of her romantic fervor. Her desire to marry Bradley and live happily ever after with him appears equally naïve, since it is a longing formed after just one day. Julian's style of sincere, foolish love is similar to that of Shakespeare's Juliet, her close namesake, a character who acts in equally impetuous ways. Still, while Julian may resemble Juliet, Bradley Pearson makes a very poor Romeo. Bradley exhibits none of the zealous love that Julian maintains and that he felt a few chapters ago. His thoughts are almost entirely fixated upon the possibility of sex. By showing Bradley's perpetually sexual thoughts, Murdoch demonstrates that to a large extent, lust rather than love motivates him. Bradley's desires reveal him to be a lustful older man who takes advantage of the naivete of a younger woman, much like Humbert Humbert in Nabokov's Lolita.
The violent sex scene between Julian and Bradley shatters Julian's illusions about the nature of their love. Many critics compare Bradley's rough seduction of Julian to rape, since he fails to heed her requests to slow down, and she weeps bitterly afterward. When their sexual encounter has ended, Julian appears changed and confused. She no longer idealizes their love and married life together. The reality of sex with an overly forceful older man has sharpened her perception of the nature of their relationship. Her realization becomes more clear when her father arrives and explains Bradley's true age and his concealment of Pricilla's death. Arnold's suggestion that lust led Bradley to keep Priscilla's suicide a secret is correct. The way in which Priscilla's death hastens Bradley's sexual urges suggests that he is a cold, lustful figure. Bradley's behavior in this section seems to differ from his earlier experience of "pure love".