John Ford: The Broken Heart

(716 words)
  • Lisa Hopkins (Sheffield Hallam University)

John Ford's The Broken Heart was published in the same year as his more famous 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, but it has not excited the same speculation about whether it might in fact have been written much earlier, for it looks more like a mature work. It is also a far calmer and quieter piece, with perhaps its main interest lying in the strange tension between the deep sufferings of its characters and the muted, stylised way in which these find expression. When the play opens, Orgilus, whose name means “angry”, is talking to his father, Crotolon, about his wish to go and study in Athens. He explains that he wishes to leave Sparta because the match between him and his sweetheart, Penthea (“sorrow”) has been recently …

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Hopkins, Lisa. "The Broken Heart". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2000
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]