The Lady's Trial

HOPKINS, Lisa, ed. (2011). The Lady's Trial. Revels Plays ; Revels Plays Companion Library . Manchester, Manchester University Press.

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John Ford is best known as the author of the controversialTis Pity She’s a Whore, but his other plays are also full of interest. The Lady’s Trial, his last play, encapsulates the final development of his own unique theatrical aesthetic while looking back to the drama of his youth, most notably Othello, whose story is here rewritten.

In Ford’s version, the supposedly wronged husband, the victorious general Auria, does not simply take the word of his friend, the well-intentioned but overly suspicious Aurelio, that his wife, Spinella, is unfaithful: instead he does what Othello apparently never even thinks of doing, and conducts a rational, public sifting of the apprent evidence, at the end of which Spinella is triumphantly cleared. In combining this story of public vindication with his distinctive dramatic style of delicate reticence, Ford offers a powerful exploration of both the capabilities and the limitations of language and its role in human relationships.

This first scholarly edition of this undeservedly neglected play situates it in its dramatic and historical contexts and helps elucidate Ford’s understated, allusive style.

Item Type: Edited Book
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Humanities Research Centre
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2011 13:27
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 23:45

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