'Tis Pity She's a Whore

by

John Ford

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on 'Tis Pity She's a Whore can help.

'Tis Pity She's a Whore: Act 2, Scene 4 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The action cuts to Donado, Bergetto, and Poggio, carrying the letter Donado wrote to Annabella on Bergetto’s behalf. Donado says that he will also deliver it to her, but Bergetto says that he wants to deliver the letter. Donado points out the silliness of that idea, because there would be no need to write a letter if he simply meant to deliver it himself. Bergetto reveals that he has written his own letter.
Bergetto and Poggio continue to provide the comic relief of the play, and the more that Bergetto is portrayed as a harmless idiot, the more tragic and unjust his accidental death becomes later in the play, as he is truly innocent of any kind of harmful impulse.
Themes
Injustice Theme Icon
Donado asks to hear Bergetto’s letter. Bergetto cannot read his own handwriting and so he asks Poggio to read it. The letter is foolish, crude, and also somewhat insulting to Annabella (one line reads, “I will marry you in spite of your teeth”). Donado is ashamed of his nephew’s letter. He tells the two boys to go home and wait there until he returns, and not to run off and waste time on silly amusements. After Donado exits, Bergetto immediately decides to go see the strange horse.
Even though the societal expectations are particularly harsh around women in this play, the conflict between Donado and Bergetto also demonstrates the harmful effects these expectations have on young men. Bergetto seems uninterested in Annabella and merely wants to be amused, but is driven by a duty to his uncle to try to woo her.
Themes
Desire vs. Duty Theme Icon