'Tis a Pity She's a Whore


'Tis a Pity She's a Whore


Similar to Romeo and Juliet

In act 1 scene 1 he is blasphemous and self isolated

Jealous of Annabella's suitours

He comes slightly possessive of Annabella 

Heart motif - 'Enter Giovanni with a heart upon his dagger'

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Beautiful. Giovanni describes her as 'Greater than art can counterfeit or nature frame'

Enflames Giovanni with desire - 'Such lips would tempt a saint'

She wants to be honest - relieved when Soranzo finds out that she is pregnant

Loyal to Giovanni

Sturggles between virtues and conformity

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In Greek Mythology this is an Amazon Queen defeasted in battle by Theseus, and an adulterous woman who takes revenge on a young man who refuses her advances

She breaks 4 of the deadly sins; Lust (disobeyed her marriage vows), Pride (revenge against Soranzo to gain self respect), Envy (envious of Annabella and Soranzo's marriage) and Wrath (she seeks revenge which backfires)

'Learn to repent and die; for by my honour learn to repent and die; for by my honour I hate there and thy lust. You have been too foul.' Soranzo act 2 scene 2 - This shows Hippolita's motivation for revenge, because of the anger of rejection

Violent = dies 'Here's the end / Of lust and pride'

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Friar Bonaventura

Like Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet

Confident male protagonist

Appears virtuous and sincere - tries to persuade Annabella out of the incestious relationship

Cowardly - leaves fate to deal with Annabella and Giovanni's relationship

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Putana - 'whore'

Modelled on the nurse in Romeo and Juliet

Bawdy (deals with sexual matters in a comical way)

Provides comic relief

Annabella's tutoress

Reveals the secret in turn for 'everlasting love and preferment' from Vasques

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Little patience with conventional morality - sleeps with the married Hippolita

Critics have argued he is the opposite of Giovanni - he is fickle and desires whereas Giovanni believes in true love

Similar to Othello in Romeo and Juliet

Confident but needs Vasques to take revenge

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Outsider - Spanish not Italian, results in him having a lower social status than the other characters

Old character - wishes 'to live in these my old years with rest and security'

Loyal to Soranzo - gives poison to Hippolita rather than Soranzo and fights his rival (Grimaldi)

It is injustice that he lives as he is a murderer

Violent yet a sympathetic character

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Provides comic relief - Florio refers to him as 'the fool'

Unsuitable suitor for Annabella

Bergetto's accidental death is shocking - sympathy

Wants to escape to a fairground from the repressive atmosphere of Parma

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Like Capulet in Romeo and Juliet but does not get violent when his daughter (Annabella) does not marry Soranzo

Gives annabella freedom to marry - blinds him of incestious relationship

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Bergetto's uncle - often embarrasses him

Moved by Bergetto's death, but there is not an awkward relationship afterwards with the Cardinal

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Moral Commentator - 'the effect of pride and lust at once / Brough to shameful ends'

Disguised as a doctor (doctors suspicious at the time eg Apocothecary in Romeo and Juliet), can give out posions

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Richardetto persuades her to try and marry Bergetto for financial reasons, as her parents are dead

Although there is a general attraction between her and Bergetto as she weeps when he dies

Richardetto encouraged her to become a nun - 'Who dies a virgin lives a saint on earth'

Represents a turning from moral courruption:

Abandons revenge to avoid the fate of Soranzo

Rejects marriage and sexual fulfillment

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Ford could have been inspired to write the play as there was a case of Sir Giles Allington who was put to trial in 1631 for marrying the daugther of his half-sister. His penalty was a fine of £12,000

In Act 1 Scene 2 Annabella does not recognise Giovanni when she sees him from her balcony. It is possible that they have not lived together for many years and that Giovanni's return from universiry marks their renewed intimacy.

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1633 play written by John Ford, ofeten considered to be the last of the great Renaissance dramatists.

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very helpful, thanks a lot :)

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