Tis A Pity - Notes on the text from York Notes

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  • Created by: G Redford
  • Created on: 02-06-16 15:47
  • Printed as a quarto [small cheaply printed edition of the play, more like a pamphlet than a book].
  • Ring was a symbol of female virginity as well as intention to marry.
  • Philotis' name in Greek means love.
  • Machiavelli in The Prince 1532, asserts that he thinks a ruler should take whatever steps he thinks necessary, however immoral.
  • In 1600, a famous case reported on of Elizabeth I's maids of honour, Mistress Ratcliffe [dying of grief and self-starvation] was autopsied and her heart was "stripped all over".
  • Images of saints were often condemned for inspiring idolatry eg in Webster's White Devil [1612] Isabella's idolatrous act of kissing a picture of her husband is punished with death.
  • Giovanni may be likening himself to Cupid with the impaled heart, representing the triumph of love.
  • Ford may be recalling another famous meloncholic University student, Hamlet.
  • Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy [1621] is a textual description of melancholic personalities.
  • In myth and literature, blindness is often associated with sexual crime: Oedipus Rex in Sophocles' tragedy blinds himself are committing incest with his own mother, in King Lear, Gloucester is blinded perhaps for fathering an illegitimate child.
  • Servants in 17th century England were often bequeathed in their master's wills.
  • Perhaps Ford means to allude to a famous case of Sir Giles Allington who was put…


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