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'Tis Pity She's A Whore (Arden Early Modern Drama) Paperback – February 15, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1904271505 ISBN-10: 1904271502 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Series: Arden Early Modern Drama
  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Arden Shakespeare; First Edition edition (February 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904271502
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904271505
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Five-act tragedy by John Ford, performed sometime between 1629 and 1633 and published in 1633. The story concerns the incestuous love of Giovanni and his sister Annabella. When she is found to be pregnant, she agrees to marry her suitor Soranzo; the lovers' secret is discovered, but Soranzo's plan for revenge is outpaced by Giovanni's murder of Annabella and then Soranzo, and Giovanni himself is murdered by Soranzo's hired killers. The play exhibits an eloquent and glowing sympathy for the lovers, despite the unlawful nature of their union. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Sonia Massai is Reader in Shakespeare Studies at King's College, London.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Gunter on January 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Had there been no Shakespeare, John Ford's play "'Tis Pity She's a Whore" would never have been written--but Shakespeare's tremendous example not only provided part of context of this play, but also obscures it. "'Tis Pity" is not as good as Shakespeare's very best works (the great tragedies and romances). Ford struggles to match Shakespeare's second-best works (e.g., the great comedies such as "As You Like It").

But judging Ford in comparison with Shakespeare is unfair. Perhaps a few score of writers really match Shakespeare: Homer, Sappho, Ovid, Virgil, perhaps Dante. I wouldn't give Shakespeare a five-star rating and give, say, Pope, Keats, or Austen a four-star rating. Nor would I give Ford a three-star rating next to Shakespeare's five-star and Keats' and Austen's four-star ratings.

In the bell curve of literature, Shakespeare and Homer (in my opinion) occupy the vanishingly small right side of the curve. Very few writers match Ford's achievement in "'Tis Pity." The play is powerful, cleanly plotted, and brilliantly written. In particular, Ford does a great job in creating sympathy for all of his major characters, and in particular for the incestuous lovers at the heart of the play. The play suffers only by comparison with Shakespeare and perhaps a handful of other great dramatists.

More important, the New Mermaids edition is very useful. The introduction is thoughtful and thorough; the page layout is clear (especially important with drama); and the footnotes are generally useful. The editor, Wiggins, sometimes elucidates matters that are perfectly clear--but I would rather the editor take that approach than leave me in the dark.

In short, serious students of literature will want to read this play, and the New Mermaids edition provides a well-annotated text using modern English spelling.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stacey on April 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
This play is an excellent example of incest in the Renaissance. It's also fairly short and very readable. Bergetto is an interesting character and provides much needed comic relief in this play which is ultimately quite tragic. The title is misleading in many ways, but female sexuality is problematic throughout.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Roger Bagula on July 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
Incest and dirty double hearted deeds that led all to this tragedy!

In cattle and horses siblings are breed that good genes double and bad ones die out.

In humans it engenders a madness of the superego

that leads to downfall and disgrace for all.

" Get thee to a nunnery " is the other side of "Tis Pity She's A Whore".

There is no wrong save "they" said it were so.

For men are but animals and their empty morals

all useless inventions?

We would better in these latter days trust

to DNA science than outmoded conventions.
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1 of 16 people found the following review helpful By acad on March 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was reluctant to pick up this book because of the title, but I decided to read it because it was around. I was mildly entertained and finished the book very quickly due to the short length. It is a tragedy in which almost all are killed in the end. I did not care much for the plot, which involves an incestuous relationship between brother and sister. After reading the beginning, it was rather easy to predict the ending. It is not tremendously detailed or emotional. I'm not sure if this is a title that would often come up in conversations between friends or colleagues, but avid readers might want to pick up the title to have read it.
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