Maid's Tragedy

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A tragedy by Beaumont and Fletcher, published 1619.

Amintor, a gentleman of Rhodes, breaks his engagement to Aspatia at the king's request and marries Evadne, sister to his friend Melantius. On their wedding night, Evadne reveals that she is the king's mistress and refuses to sleep with him. Amintor initially agrees to conceal the position but later he reveals the truth to Melantius, who passionately reproaches the by now penitent Evadne, and persuades her to murder the king. Meanwhile the desolate Aspatia laments her loss in some of the finest verse in the play. Aspatia later takes action by disguising herself as her brother and provoking the reluctant Amintor to a duel. He wounds her; as she lies dying Evadne arrives, fresh from the king's murder, hoping to be pardoned by Amintor. He rejects her; she commits suicide; Aspatia reveals herself and dies; Amintor takes his own life. See Heroic Drama.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).

Reference entries

Francis Beaumont (1584—1616) playwright

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