Berowne is a lord at the court of Navarre, among the King’s best friends and one of the three who agree to join him on his scholarly retreat, though he is rather skeptical of the feasibility of the plan.
He has a well-earned international reputation for mockery, and is accepted to be the most intelligent of the courtiers of Navarre, a fact that pleases him. He is looked up to by others, including the King, when it is necessary to get out of a tight spot, as he is able to rationalize anything if need be. He does not expect Rosaline’s ability to match him in wit, and is put slightly off-kilter by her ability, though even more so by having fallen in love with her. He recognizes that she is unfashionably dark-complexioned, and is amazed that he could fall for her even so. Love has long been the chief subject of his mocking, and he especially likes to comment on bad love poetry, though he commits some himself. Extremely long-tongued, he can riff for hours on a theme when he takes it up, and his linguistic extravaganzas continue even after he swears to give them up. His joking can be extremely nasty at times, and he is called on this by both Holofernes and Rosaline. He accepts Rosaline’s prescription to take the edge off his humor by spending a year comforting the dying.