‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore

15 down, 1 to go! (I have read all the texts now, it’s just a matter of getting the time to write about them!)

Apologies for not updating for a while, its exam period and I have spent the last few weeks revising and getting ready for them. There’s only two to go, Renaissance Drama and Shakespeare, and I thought I would take a moment out to write all about this play which will feature on one of the questions in my exam.

‘Tis Pity is a great play that focuses on love, marriage and revenge and is one of the only texts on this module that I had to read straight through. It is a play that focuses on Annabella, the female protagonist, picking one of her suitors that her father has selected. Of course, he would rather his daughter marry for money over emotional love but his daughter is tempted by a love of another kind. She and her brother share an incestuous relationship which is ultimately doomed from the very beginning. Marriage does not seem to be a very good option at all for Annabella as her suitors are all undesirable stock characters and the relationship with her true love Giovanni is prohibited by society.

In this play, religion is heavily questioned and Ford leaves the audience with many ideas that he plants throughout. Not only is the Friar very unconvincing in his arguments against Annabella and Giovanni’s ‘ultimate sin’ he also begins to listen to and reasons with Giovanni’s interests in theology. As well as this, the Cardinal is portrayed as corrupt, helping the murderer Grimaldi and taking all the wealth at the end of the play for the Church. Ford also allows the Cardinal the final words of the play that suggest that after all these events ‘ ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore.’ This suggests that Annabella is the one to blame and this final speech seems immoral, unfair and unjust. However it could be argued that by allowing him to speak the final lines, that it is in fact the church who should be blamed and that are the ones who are immoral and here, it seems that Ford is suggesting that they are the ones who have outdated views and need to change.

Most plays of this era are full of revenge and tragedy and this play is no different. Without ruining the plot too much, most of the characters have a desire for revenge and nearly all of them get some form of it. Arguably, it is Giovanni who is attains revenge of the highest level and it is this that cements his love for Annabella as an object rather than just words. Overall, this play was a really interesting read and I’m hoping for a good question to come up in the exam. This play gets a 9/10 for its interesting views on relationships, marriage, tragedy, revenge and religion whilst also having an intriguing plot that makes you keep reading until the final lines without putting the play down.

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