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The Maids Tragedy

Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

Book Overview: 

Beaumont and Fletcher's The Maid's Tragedy is a sensational Jacobean sex tragedy. When gentleman soldier Melantius returns to Rhodes, he finds his dear friend Amintor is recently married - but not to his troth-plight love Aspatia (the maid of the title). Instead, the King has arranged a match between Amintor and Melantius' sister, the beautiful Evadne. On his wedding night, Amintor finds that his new wife has married him under false pretenses - and this unleashes a torrent of dire consequences, sexual, emotional, and ultimately political.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Alas, I pity thee. [Exit Evadne.

Omnes. Madam, goodnight.

1 Lady. Come, we'l let in the Bridegroom.

Dul. Where's my Lord?

1 Lady. Here take this light.

[Enter Amintor.

Dul. You'l find her in the dark.

1 Lady. Your Lady's scarce a bed yet, you must help her.

Asp. Go and be happy in your Ladies love;
                 May all the wrongs that you have done to me,
                 Be utterly forgotten in my death.
               &n. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Not one of Beaumont and Fletcher's best. I found the characters flat and the mix of comedy and tragedy to be off (and I'm someone who normally loves the period's propensity to stick comic characters in the middle of the most tragic of scenes).

The women of Beaumont and Fletcher’s unforgettable play bear the consequences of the scheming men around them. The power of true love falters when the King of Rhodes asks the noble Amintor to marry Evadne instead of his beloved Aspatia. When the lascivious reason for the King’s request comes to l...more

Sometimes I just need to read a bloody, revenge tragedy to break up the monotony. Sadly, this page is rarely staged or even discussed, which is a crime since it is equal parts bawdy and bloody. With the girls doing most of the dirty work which is rare in the genre.

This tragedy is steeped in the mores of its time. Such a comment might appear to be a statement of the obvious, but whereas Shakespeare and also Webster or Jonson within the compass of the mores and customs of their time, strain at the leash by the nature of their imagination and ability, this pl...more

4.7 stars

An engaging play that subverts feminine stereotypes of the time and shows the dangers of both political and masculine power. Both primary women rise up and act in a way unexpected of them with the highlight of the play being Evadne's brutal and bloody murder of her "lover" th...more

Read this for my English Renaissance class.

enjoyed the cross-dressing duelist and Evadne's transgressivity - but this is not my all-time-favourite Jacobean tragedy

Jacobean drama gone so wrong that it's glorious.

Not the greatest play but there is a woman who ties a man up in bed and murders him and another who disguises herself as a boy and forces her ex-fiancé to fight her, so John and Francis can have two stars for not writing early modern manic pixie dream girls.

The style of this early 17th-century play is strikingly similar to Shakespeare - it's full of beautiful poetry and also has a daring plot. I'd definitely recommend it to anybody who likes reading old dramas. Now I'd really like to see it on stage.

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