'Tis Pity She's a Whore

by

John Ford

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'Tis Pity She's a Whore: Act 5, Scene 5 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The action jumps to Annabella’s chamber, where Annabella and Giovanni are lying on the bed. He asks why she has repented, wondering if Soranzo is a more experienced lover than he is. Annabella tells him not to joke when he is in grave danger. He replies that no danger is as great as losing her. She says she believes the banquet will mean death for the two of them.
As the scene opens with Giovanni and Annabella lying on a bed, it remains ambiguous whether they have had sex. However, their dialogue implies that Annabella has indeed repented for her sins and does not want to continue to be with Giovanni, even though she still has affection for him.
Themes
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
Giovanni tells her that philosophers teach that someday the Earth shall turn to ash in a single minute, and that if this is true, Heaven and Hell may also be true.  He finds hope in that he may meet Annabella again in another life. He tells her to pray, so that she may be able to go to Heaven.
Here, Giovanni heavily questions traditional religious teaching, and once more reveals his conflicting feelings surrounding religion. He is caught between a desire to idolize Annabella and a desire to be with her in another life, and he remains hopeful of this outcome in asking her to pray.
Themes
Desire vs. Duty Theme Icon
Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
Giovanni and Annabella share a kiss, and Giovanni tells her that in the future he hopes that even though the laws may still condemn them, once people hear of their true love, they will understand their passion without feeling such a strong hatred towards them. They kiss a second time, and Giovanni asks for forgiveness and bids Annabella farewell.
This exchange seems particularly striking because, even though incest is taboo in society to this day, Ford effectively portrays Giovanni and Annabella not as monstrous villains, but as sympathetic and conflicted human beings unable to live within the confines of their society.
Themes
Desire vs. Duty Theme Icon
Related Quotes
Giovanni asks for one more kiss and draws a dagger. As they kiss, he stabs Annabella to save her reputation, saying “revenge is mine.” With her last breath, she asks Heaven to forgive him, and to forgive her for her sins. Giovanni remarks how Annabella’s unborn child owed him both its life and its death. He says that he has prevented Soranzo from executing any plots against Annabella. He urges himself to stand up to commit his last act.
Giovanni and Annabella’s final exchange shows an important difference between them. While Annabella repented and returned to religion, Giovanni continued to be driven by his passion for Annabella and even suggests that he is a godlike figure. He holds both Annabella’s and her unborn child’s life in his hands, and his statement that “revenge is mine” is a Biblical allusion, as God says that vengeance belongs exclusively to him. Ultimately, however, they were both ruled by lust, and this passion doomed them both.
Themes
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
Related Quotes
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