'Tis Pity She's a Whore

by

John Ford

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'Tis Pity She's a Whore Characters

Giovanni

Giovanni is one half of the central couple of the play, along with his sister Annabella. A young man (his name literally means “young man” in Italian) who excelled at school and is very… read analysis of Giovanni

Annabella

Annabella is the other half of the play’s central couple, along with her brother Giovanni. Her character arc parallels his in many ways. Initially she is said to be beautiful and virtuous, and many… read analysis of Annabella

Soranzo

One of Annabella’s suitors who eventually becomes her husband. Soranzo is said to be wealthy, handsome, and noble. His character arc is similar to those of Giovanni and Annabella in that his passions drive him… read analysis of Soranzo

Vasquez

Soranzo’s servant and confidant. Prior to the beginning of the play, Vasquez promised Soranzo’s father that he would serve his son faithfully. Vasquez’s loyalty is unquestionable even though his morals are less secure. Vasquez serves… read analysis of Vasquez

Hippolita

Richardetto’s wife and lover to Soranzo, Hippolita also exemplifies society’s double standard against women. As he carried on an affair with Hippolita, Soranzo promised that he would marry her if her husband died. After… read analysis of Hippolita
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Florio

Annabella and Giovanni’s father. A wealthy merchant, Florio is defined most by his love for his children. He worries that Giovanni is too bookish and wants Annabella to be able to marry for love. He… read analysis of Florio

Puttana

Annabella’s guardian and confidant, Puttana’s name literally means “whore” in Italian. Puttana helps Annabella keep her various suitors at a distance, but when she sees the love that Annabella feels for Giovanni, she does… read analysis of Puttana

Friar

Giovanni’s tutor and confessor. He counsels Giovanni and Annabella against their relationship, but when he sees that Giovanni is beyond rescuing, he instead tries to convince him to marry his sister. He helps Annabella repent… read analysis of Friar

Richardetto

Hippolita’s husband who is presumed dead, Richardetto spends most of the play disguised as a doctor. Although he is also bent on getting revenge (against Hippolita for her infidelity, and against Soranzo for cuckolding him)… read analysis of Richardetto

Donado

Florio’s friend and Bergetto’s uncle. He spends most of the play trying to win Annabella for his nephew but acknowledges that Bergetto is too much of an idiot to succeed. When his nephew is accidentally… read analysis of Donado
Minor Characters
Philotis
Richardetto’s niece and Bergetto’s eventual fiancée. Philotis is innocent and sweet. She is the only woman to survive the play because Richardetto, seeing the harm that men and sex bring to women in their society, and advises her to leave for a convent.
Bergetto
Donado’s nephew and a suitor to Annabella. He and Poggio mostly serve as comic relief with their idiotic revelries. Later in the play he falls in love with Philotis, but when they try to marry in the dead of night, Grimaldi mistakes Bergetto for Soranzo and murders him.
Poggio
Bergetto’s friend. He serves as comic relief and facilitates Bergetto’s stupidity by allowing him to go to foolish amusements like puppet shows.
Grimaldi
Another of Annabella’s suitors and a Roman soldier. He is outmatched by Soranzo and resolves to kill him, but accidentally kills Bergetto instead. He is then protected by the Cardinal because he is of noble blood.
The Cardinal
A religious figure under the Pope, the Cardinal represents the injustice of the church. He protects Grimaldi after he accidentally murders Bergetto and unfairly judges and punishes Annabella and Puttana.
Banditti
A gang of robbers and criminals that carry out vigilante justice against Puttana and Giovanni for Vasquez and Soranzo. They are the only successful correctors of wrong-doing, but this is ironic as they are criminals themselves.