‘Tis A Pity She’s A Whore

916 words - 4 pages

Tis’ a Pity She’s a Whore was written by John Ford during the reign of King Charles I. During this time, England faced decline in its economy and mannered society. The theatre was less attended and theatre companies were surviving at the mercy of their patrons. The government censorship was pushing theatre productions to follow the neoclassic rules once again. However, Ford was able to manage fashioning the last few Jocabean, Carolinean masterpieces before the Reformation took place. He challenged the English society to view scandalous events and characters he neither condoned nor condemned, especially in his most famous play ‘Tis a Pity She’s a Whore.
English playwright John Ford was born during the year 1586 in Ilsington, Devon, England. Ford lived through the Jacobean and Carolinean Period (1603-1660) as well as the Renaissance Period (1500-1660). On March 26, 1601, before Ford’s sixteenth year, he was admitted to the Exeter College, Oxford. When he was sixteen, Ford attended the Middle Temple, an institution known to have a prestigious law school as well as a strong focus on literary and dramatic activity. He was expelled from the Middle Temple due to financial difficulties in 1606. Ford was able to overcome this dilemma with the success of his first published works Fame’s Memorial and Honour Triumphant. He secured enough money to be readmitted to the Middle Temple by June 1608 and continued to publish his works.
Ford focused on writing non-dramatic literature prior to becoming a playwright in 1620. After 1620, Ford collaborated with experienced playwrights including Thomas Dekker, William Rowley and John Webster to produce dramatic literary pieces including The Witch of Edmonton and The Sun’s Darling. He later moved on to work individually. Ford’s plays covered themes of internal conflict, such as individual passion verses the conscience verses societal laws and morals, as well as abnormal psychology. His plays show evidence of being influenced by Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy. In fact, one can determine the conflicts or ideas which possessed Ford’s mind while he wrote by reading his plays’ titles. Some of his dramatic works include, but are not limited to, The Lover’s Melancholy, The Broken Heart, The Fancies Chaste and Noble, Love’s Sacrifice as well as ‘Tis a Pity She’s a Whore. ‘Tis a Pity She’s a Whore soon became Ford’s most famous work as it shocked the world with its incestuous themes.
‘Tis a Pity She’s a Whore was published during a shifting point of England’s history. The Elizabethan period was coming to an end during Ford’s lifetime allowing for the Jacobean, Carolinean, and Renaissance periods to emerge. Theatrical plays centered on situations rather than characters, and were targeted to entertain the upper-class. The theatre architecture...

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