'Tis Pity She's a Whore

by

John Ford

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'Tis Pity She's a Whore: Act 3, Scene 9 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Florio, Donado, Richardetto, Poggio, and the officers enter, discussing Bergetto’s death. Florio urges Donado to seek justice. Richardetto admits that he was somewhat at fault for not informing Donado that Bergetto and Philotis were in love.
Though Richardetto is unable to admit his guilt in the plot that killed Bergetto, he does admit guilt for not telling Donado of the marriage plan. Thus, the first casualty of the play demonstrates how easily the innocent become wrapped up in the unjust schemes of others.
Themes
Injustice Theme Icon
The officers reveal that they believe they saw the murderer go to the Cardinal’s gate, but because they have no jurisdiction in the church, they couldn’t pursue him any further. They reveal that the person was a soldier who was a suitor to Annabella. Florio realizes that it was Grimaldi.
The officers serve as a symbol of how ineffectual the law of the land is, and perhaps explain why so many of the characters choose to seek recourse elsewhere for themselves. The officers are forced to yield to the higher power in the land—that is, the church.
Themes
Injustice Theme Icon
Richardetto says the Cardinal is noble and will bring the man to justice. Poggio knocks on the Cardinal’s door, and the Cardinal and Grimaldi answer. The Cardinal scolds them for coming to his door at such a late hour. When he sees Donado, he realizes that they have come to address Grimaldi for slaying Bergetto.
Richardetto’s trust in the church proves to be overly optimistic. In contrast with the humble Friar, who offers counsel, the Cardinal is immediately harsh, and it seems that he will not be the men’s ally as he arrives at the door with Grimaldi.
Themes
Injustice Theme Icon
Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
Grimaldi kneels before the Cardinal, saying that he did not mean to hurt Bergetto, but instead wanted to avenge Soranzo. He reveals that he killed Bergetto mistakenly. He goes on to say that although it was bad luck that killed Bergetto, he submits himself to the Cardinal’s punishment.
Though Grimaldi does not lie, it is difficult to say that his reasoning is moral as he admits that he actually wanted to kill Soranzo. Although bad luck killed Bergetto in the most abstract sense, Grimaldi and his bloodlust are actually what killed him.
Themes
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
Injustice Theme Icon
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The Cardinal tells Grimaldi to rise and says to the others that he receives Grimaldi into the Pope’s protection for his offence. He says that Grimaldi is nobly born, though Florio thought him too low for Annabella. He tells the men to learn more judgement and to bury their dead. He and Grimaldi then exit.
The Cardinal’s introduction shows him to be an indulgent figure who is less concerned with religion than with wealth. It is ironic that he tells the men to learn better judgement here, because he did not judge Grimaldi harshly enough.
Themes
Injustice Theme Icon
Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
Donado is appalled by the Cardinal’s words and asks where justice is. Florio tells Donado that although these great men do what they want, Heaven will eventually judge them.
With the final statement of the third act, Florio draws a distinction between all religious figures and those that have actual religious piety. The Cardinal falls victim to vice in holding wealth and nobility above morality.
Themes
Injustice Theme Icon
Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
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