'Tis Pity She's a Whore

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U of Nebraska Press, 1966 - Drama - 110 pages
4 Reviews
John Ford's tragedy, first printed in 1633, is the first major English play to take as its theme a subject still rarely handled: fulfilled incest between brother and sister. It is one of the most studied and performed of all plays of the period, and has been successfully adapted for film and radio. The Revels Plays edition by Derek Roper has been the standard scholarly text since it appeared in 1975. This new edition uses the same authoritative text, but with notes designed for modern undergraduate use. The substantial introduction has been completely rewritten to take account of the studies and new approaches of the last twenty years. It presents the play as an 'interrogative text', in which subversive meanings are inscribed within an apparently orthodox narrative; as a courageous treatment of forbidden love; and as an astonishing work of Baroque art.

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User Review  - Roger_Scoppie - LibraryThing

New Mermaids are modernized and fully-annotated editions of classic English plays. Each volume includes The playtext, in modern spelling, edited to the highest bibliographical and textual standard ... Read full review

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User Review  - yooperprof - LibraryThing

A boy's best friend (with benefits) is his sister, in a Renaissance Italy filled with "banditti," corrupt churchmen, and Machiavellian schemers. Disturbing, memorable dialogue that mitigates (somewhat ... Read full review

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About the author (1966)

Ford, the second son of a landed gentleman, did not begin his career as a playwright until 1621, with his collaboration with Dekker on The Witch of Edmonton. As a dramatist, Ford was extremely interested in psychology, especially abnormal psychology, and his best-known plays are studies in frustration and quiet suffering. His plots tend to be static and deterministic, with the characters unable to act against a crushing destiny. In The Broken Heart (1629), because all the crucial events are fixed before the play begins, there is a heavy emphasis on pathos. 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (1632) rewrites Romeo and Juliet with brother-sister incest and a violent revenge action. Perkin Warbeck (1633) is the last of the history plays. In it, the pretender to the throne of Henry VII hardly makes much pretense to establish his legitimate claims. Ford writes in an unusually plain, lyric style that resembles that of passionate and melancholy speech.

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