'Tis Pity She's a Whore

by

John Ford

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Annabella Character Analysis

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 suitors wish to win her hand in marriage, including Soranzo, Grimaldi, and Bergetto. Yet when Giovanni confesses his love, she gives in to her own desires and begins a sexual relationship with him. She is caught between those passions and the social and religious mores of her society, particularly as a woman. When she becomes pregnant, custom would dictate that she marry the man who impregnated her, but she cannot—due to the fact that she is not allowed to marry her own brother. Thus she marries Soranzo instead, but he is enraged when he discovers that she was not a virgin when he married her. Compared to Giovanni, Annabella suffers a great deal more for her sins: she is violently threatened by Soranzo; she goes through the difficult process of repenting for her sins; she is ultimately killed by Giovanni; and she is the one who is ultimately called a whore by the Cardinal even though her “crime” is the same as her brother’s. In this way, Annabella represents the double standard to which women are held,

Annabella Quotes in 'Tis Pity She's a Whore

The 'Tis Pity She's a Whore quotes below are all either spoken by Annabella or refer to Annabella. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Publishers edition of 'Tis Pity She's a Whore published in 2014.
Act 1, Scene 1 Quotes

O Giovanni, hast thou left the schools
Of knowledge to converse with Lust and Death?
For Death waits on thy lust. Look through the world,
And thou shalt see a thousand faces shine
More glorious than this idol thou ador’st.

Related Characters: Friar (speaker), Giovanni, Annabella
Page Number: 1.1.57-61
Explanation and Analysis:

All this I’ll do to free me from the rod
Of vengeance; else I’ll swear my fate’s my god.

Related Characters: Giovanni (speaker), Annabella, Friar
Page Number: 1.1.84-85.
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 1, Scene 2 Quotes

I would not, for my wealth, my daughter’s love
Should cause the spilling of one drop of blood.

Related Characters: Florio (speaker), Annabella, Soranzo, Vasquez, Grimaldi
Related Symbols: The Golden Calf
Page Number: 1.2.60-61
Explanation and Analysis:

The rich magnifico that is below with your father, charge, Signor Donado his uncle, for that he means to make this his cousin a golden calf, thinks that you will be a right Israelite and fall down to him presently; but I hope I have tutored you better.

Related Characters: Puttana (speaker), Annabella, Donado, Bergetto
Related Symbols: The Golden Calf
Page Number: 1.2.118-122
Explanation and Analysis:

Oh, that it were not in religion sin
To make our love a god and worship it!

Related Characters: Giovanni (speaker), Annabella
Related Symbols: The Golden Calf
Page Number: 1.2.145-146
Explanation and Analysis:

On my knees,
Brother, even by our mother’s dust I charge you,
Do not betray me to your mirth or hate:
Love me, or kill me, brother.

Related Characters: Annabella (speaker), Giovanni
Related Symbols: Swords and daggers
Page Number: 1.2.247-250
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2, Scene 1 Quotes

Nay, what a paradise of joy have you passed under! Why, now I commend thee, charge. Fear nothing, sweetheart. What, though he be your brother? Your brother’s a man, I hope; and I say still, if a young wench feel the fit upon her, let her take anybody: father or brother, all is one.

Related Characters: Puttana (speaker), Giovanni, Annabella
Page Number: 2.1.41-45
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 2, Scene 5 Quotes

Marriage? Why, that’s to damn her; that’s to prove
Her greedy of variety of lust.

Related Characters: Giovanni (speaker), Annabella, Friar
Page Number: 2.5.41-42
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3, Scene 2 Quotes

These scornful taunts
Neither become your modesty or years.

Related Characters: Soranzo (speaker), Annabella
Page Number: 3.2.37-38
Explanation and Analysis:

Yet know –
Thus far I give you comfort – if mine eyes
Could have picked out a man, amongst all those
That sued to me, to make a husband of,
You should have been that man.

Related Characters: Annabella (speaker), Giovanni, Soranzo
Page Number: 3.2.49-53
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3, Scene 4 Quotes

RICHARDETTO: Her sickness is a fullness of her blood –
You understand me?
FLORIO: I do – you counsel well –
And once within these few days will so order’t
She shall be married, ere she know the time.

Related Characters: Florio (speaker), Richardetto (speaker), Annabella, Soranzo
Page Number: 3.4.8-11
Explanation and Analysis:

‘Twas well done, Giovanni: thou herein
Hast shown a Christian’s care, a brother’s love.

Related Characters: Florio (speaker), Giovanni, Annabella, Friar
Page Number: 3.4.32-33
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 3, Scene 6 Quotes

There stands these wretched things,
Who have dreamt out whole years in lawless sheets
And secret incests, cursing one another.
Then you will wish each kiss your brother gave
Had been a dagger’s point.

Related Characters: Friar (speaker), Giovanni, Annabella
Related Symbols: Swords and daggers
Page Number: 3.6.24-30
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 4, Scene 1 Quotes

Burn, blood, and boil in vengeance. Oh, my heart!
My flame’s intolerable! – May’st thou live
To father bastards; may her womb bring forth
Monsters; and die together in your sins,
Hated, scorned and unpitied!

Related Characters: Hippolita (speaker), Annabella, Soranzo
Page Number: 4.1.60-61, 64-67
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 4, Scene 3 Quotes

Yet will I not forget what I should be,
And what I am: a husband. In that name
Is hid divinity. If I do find
That thou wilt yet be true, here I remit
All former faults, and take thee to my bosom.

Related Characters: Soranzo (speaker), Giovanni, Annabella, Vasquez
Page Number: 4.3.135-139.
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 1 Quotes

My conscience now stands up against my lust
With depositions charactered in guilt,
And tells me I am lost.

Related Characters: Annabella (speaker), Giovanni, Friar
Page Number: 5.1.6-10.
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 2 Quotes

VASQUEZ: Let not your pity betray you till my coming back:
Think upon incest and cuckoldry.
SORANZO: Revenge is all the ambition I aspire;
To that I’ll climb or fall. My blood’s on fire!

Related Characters: Soranzo (speaker), Vasquez (speaker), Giovanni, Annabella
Page Number: 5.2.22-25
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 5 Quotes

Kiss me. If ever after-times should hear
Of our fast-knit affections, though perhaps
The laws of conscience and of civil use
May justly blame us, yet when they but know
Our loves, that love will wipe away that rigour
which would in other incests be abhorred.

Related Characters: Giovanni (speaker), Annabella
Page Number: 5.5.68-73
Explanation and Analysis:

ANNABELLA: What means this?
GIOVANNI: To save thy fame, and kill thee in a kiss.
Stabs her [as they kiss].
Thus die, and die by me, and by my hand.
Revenge is mine, honour doth love command.

Related Characters: Giovanni (speaker), Annabella
Related Symbols: Swords and daggers
Page Number: 5.5.84-87
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 6 Quotes

We shall have time
To talk at large of all; but never yet
Incest and murder have so strangely met.
Of one so young, so rich in Nature’s store,
Who could not say, ‘’Tis pity she’s a whore’?

Related Characters: The Cardinal (speaker), Annabella
Page Number: 5.5.153-156
Explanation and Analysis:
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Annabella Character Timeline in 'Tis Pity She's a Whore

The timeline below shows where the character Annabella appears in 'Tis Pity She's a Whore. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
Desire vs. Duty Theme Icon
...sister is simply a “customary form,” and explains why the love he bears his sister Annabella is not sinful. The Friar cries that Giovanni has turned away from religion, and Giovanni... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 2
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
Injustice Theme Icon
Florio asks what the cause of the argument is as Annabella and Puttana enter on the balcony of the house, unseen. Soranzo chimes in that he... (full context)
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
Florio questions Soranzo’s actions, stating that Soranzo already has Annabella’s heart and so he should not worry about what Grimaldi says about him. He says... (full context)
Desire vs. Duty Theme Icon
Female Sexuality vs. Social Expectation Theme Icon
Annabella and Puttana, meanwhile, have been listening in on the conversation from the balcony. Puttana asks... (full context)
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Puttana describes Annabella’s potential suitors. There’s Grimaldi, the well-built soldier, whom Puttana does not like because she says... (full context)
Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
Female Sexuality vs. Social Expectation Theme Icon
Bergetto and Poggio enter below. Puttana reveals that Bergetto is another one of Annabella’s suitors, and remarks that he is an “ape in a silken coat.” Bergetto tells Poggio... (full context)
Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
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Annabella and Puttana remark on how idiotic Bergetto is. Puttana tells her that Bergetto’s uncle, Donado,... (full context)
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At that moment, Giovanni enters below. Annabella, who cannot fully make out who it is, says that the man who has entered... (full context)
Desire vs. Duty Theme Icon
Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
...that instead of worrying about his sins, he could make the love he feels for Annabella a god and worship that god instead. He soliloquizes that he must tell Annabella how... (full context)
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Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
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Annabella and Puttana reenter, and Annabella asks Giovanni if he will tell her what is wrong.... (full context)
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Giovanni offers Annabella his dagger and asks her to stab him to see what is in his heart.... (full context)
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Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
Giovanni tries to quell Annabella’s fears, arguing that it makes sense for siblings to love each other because nearness in... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 3
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Florio and Donado enter. Florio tells Donado that he will not force Annabella to marry someone against her will. He reasons that he only has two children, and... (full context)
Desire vs. Duty Theme Icon
Injustice Theme Icon
Donado worries that Bergetto is such a dunce that he won’t be able to woo Annabella, and says that he’ll have to teach Bergetto how to do so. At that moment,... (full context)
Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
Bergetto says that he spoke with Annabella and made her laugh heartily. Donado asks what he said, and Poggio explains that Bergetto... (full context)
Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
...the three of them should return home so that Donado can write a letter to Annabella on Bergetto’s behalf, enclosing a “rich jewel” in the letter as well. Then Donado, Bergetto,... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
Desire vs. Duty Theme Icon
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Some time later, Giovanni and Annabella reenter from their bedchamber. He tells her not to blush with modesty, but instead to... (full context)
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
Female Sexuality vs. Social Expectation Theme Icon
...why it is said that one “loses” one’s virginity, when nothing is actually lost and Annabella is still the same. She chides him for speaking so openly about sex, and he... (full context)
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Giovanni worries that Annabella will have to marry someone else. She swears that she will marry no one else,... (full context)
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Female Sexuality vs. Social Expectation Theme Icon
Puttana enters, seeming already to know that Annabella has lost her virginity to Giovanni. Puttana tells her not to be ashamed that they... (full context)
Desire vs. Duty Theme Icon
Florio calls from outside, and Annabella pretends to be working at her needlework. He commends her on her diligence as he... (full context)
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
Female Sexuality vs. Social Expectation Theme Icon
Richardetto explains that many people have spoken of Annabella’s virtue and beauty, and that he has brought his niece Philotis to play music for... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
Desire vs. Duty Theme Icon
...own version stating that love’s troubles cause happiness. He says that if Sannazaro had met Annabella, he would never had written that verse. (full context)
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
Female Sexuality vs. Social Expectation Theme Icon
...way out of admitting to the abuse he has done to her. She says that Annabella will rejoice at the expense of her dejection. Soranzo replies that she is “too violent,”... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
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Female Sexuality vs. Social Expectation Theme Icon
Richardetto asks Philotis if she knows whether the marriage plans between Annabella and Soranzo have progressed. She tells him that Florio intends to give his daughter to... (full context)
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
...and asks to speak with him in private. Philotis exits. Grimaldi describes how he loves Annabella and asks whether there is a love potion that can make her fall in love... (full context)
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
...very close with Grimaldi), he must admit that there is an obstacle between him and Annabella. He tells Grimaldi that Soranzo has Annabella’s heart, and states that he will help Grimaldi.... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 4
Injustice Theme Icon
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... (full context)
Desire vs. Duty Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 5
Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
Later that same day, Giovanni returns to the Friar and confesses what he and Annabella have done. The Friar tells him that he has tried to pray on his behalf,... (full context)
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
...that the composition of the mind was related to the composition of the body. Because Annabella is beautiful, she must also be virtuous in what she does, and love is the... (full context)
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
...God, no Heaven, and no Hell, Giovanni might have some defense. But because Giovanni and Annabella know of God, they know that what they have done is a sin. Giovanni once... (full context)
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Desire vs. Duty Theme Icon
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...to try to persuade Giovanni from his sin, instead tries to persuade him to marry Annabella. Giovanni disagrees, saying that their marriage would prove her guilty of lust. The Friar then... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 6
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Meanwhile, Florio asks Annabella what Giovanni is doing, and Annabella tells him that he has gone to the Friar.... (full context)
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Donado enters and presents the letter he wrote for Annabella on Bergetto’s behalf as well as a jewel for her (a ring). He describes how... (full context)
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Annabella reads the letter at Florio and Donado’s insistence. She returns the jewel she was given,... (full context)
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Florio ignores Annabella’s explanation of her ring’s disappearance and returns to asking what she thinks of Bergetto. She... (full context)
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Bergetto and Poggio enter. Bergetto has bandages on his head. He asks if Annabella liked his letter and proceeds to tell her a funny story. He describes how he... (full context)
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
Desire vs. Duty Theme Icon
...be amazed at Bergetto’s stupidity, thanks Florio for allowing his nephew to try to woo Annabella. Donado tells her to keep the jewel in anticipation of her marriage. Donado, Bergetto, and... (full context)
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Giovanni asks Annabella whose ring she has. She jokes that “a lusty youth” (Donado) gave it to her.... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
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Florio, Giovanni, Annabella, Puttana, Soranzo, and Vasquez are all gathered. Florio says that although there have been many... (full context)
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Annabella asks what Soranzo wants. He says it must be obvious that he loves her. He... (full context)
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Soranzo is taken aback by Annabella’s bluntness and asks her if she cannot love. She says she cannot love Soranzo. Soranzo... (full context)
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Annabella tells Soranzo plainly that if she loved him, she would be nicer to him. She... (full context)
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Annabella suddenly falls ill and starts to faint, and Giovanni immediately exits the balcony to come... (full context)
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Vasquez enters and finds Soranzo alone. Soranzo tells him of Annabella’s refusal of his advances, and how she immediately fell ill afterward. He worries her life... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
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Female Sexuality vs. Social Expectation Theme Icon
Puttana and Giovanni are outside Annabella’s chambers. Puttana is in great distress, saying that Annabella is undone. Giovanni asks if she... (full context)
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Giovanni asks how Annabella’s condition is. Puttana says that she is fine, but that this fainting and vomiting will... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
Female Sexuality vs. Social Expectation Theme Icon
Florio and Richardetto (still disguised as a doctor) enter. Florio asks how the doctor finds Annabella, and Richardetto explains that she seems to be no longer in danger. She said that... (full context)
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
Female Sexuality vs. Social Expectation Theme Icon
Florio resolves to have Annabella married at once to cure her of this sickness. He says that she will marry... (full context)
Desire vs. Duty Theme Icon
...explains that he called on the Friar so that he might provide some comfort to Annabella. Florio commends him on his “Christian’s care” and “brother’s love.” Florio asks the Friar to... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
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Grimaldi enters, saying that if the doctor keeps his word, Soranzo will die before marrying Annabella. Grimaldi understands that his plot is not the most virtuous, but says that when merit... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 6
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The scene opens on the Friar and Annabella as she is praying and weeping to him. He says he is glad to see... (full context)
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Anabella asks if there is any way that she can redeem herself. The Friar says that... (full context)
Desire vs. Duty Theme Icon
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...come, and Florio says that he is waiting downstairs and is overjoyed to be marrying Annabella. Giovanni sees his sister weeping and fears that the Friar is false. Annabella says that... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 8
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Vasquez informs Hippolita that Soranzo and Annabella are going to be married in two days. Hippolita wishes that they would marry in... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 9
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...any further. They reveal that the person was a soldier who was a suitor to Annabella. Florio realizes that it was Grimaldi. (full context)
Injustice Theme Icon
Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
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Time jumps ahead to just after Annabella and Soranzo have been married, at their wedding banquet. The Friar tells them to feast... (full context)
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...the joy of the feast. Giovanni says he would prefer ten thousand deaths to watching Annabella marry another man. Donado is also still grieving at his nephew’s death, and Florio urges... (full context)
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...maidens of Parma wanted to perform a masque (a performance with music and dance) for Annabella. Hippolita (who is masked) and other ladies enter and dance. Soranzo asks which of them... (full context)
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...that the only thing she wants is to address the rumors in Parma. She joins Annabella’s and Soranzo’s hands and says that she is glad that they have been married. Soranzo... (full context)
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
Injustice Theme Icon
...Richardetto, exclaim that there has been justice. As Hippolita succumbs to the poison, she curses Annabella’s womb and swears that Soranzo will father bastards. She dies. (full context)
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
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...guests remark at how vile Hippolita was. Soranzo thanks Vasquez for his loyalty and takes Annabella home. The Friar remarks to Giovanni that what has transpired is very worrisome, since a... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
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Richardetto explains that already the marriage between Annabella and Soranzo is souring, as there are rumors that they fight and that she scorns... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
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Soranzo enters with his clothes unfastened, his sword drawn, and dragging Annabella behind him. He has discovered that she is pregnant and calls her an adulterous whore.... (full context)
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Annabella argues that Soranzo pursued her, and that she denied him many times. She tells him... (full context)
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Soranzo remains unmoved and continues to call Annabella a whore. He demands to know by whom she is pregnant. She says only that... (full context)
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Soranzo threatens Annabella violently, saying that if she does not reveal the man’s name he will rip up... (full context)
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At that moment, Vasquez enters and sees Soranzo pointing his sword at Annabella. He steps between the two. Vasquez argues that it would be “unmanlike” to kill her... (full context)
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Soranzo affirms that Annabella should not live. Vasquez argues again that it is an unfair demand to ask Annabella... (full context)
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Soranzo cries out that he really did love Annabella, and if she had been virtuous, he would not have wanted to live with anyone... (full context)
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Annabella is taken aback by these words, admitting that they wound deeper than his sword. Soranzo... (full context)
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Soranzo turns to Vasquez, saying that he is hungry for revenge and will eventually make Annabella tell him who got her pregnant. Vasquez tells him that being gentle with her may... (full context)
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...that when the wife rules the husband there are usually domestic issues. He worries that Annabella seems already quite late in her pregnancy, and it will be difficult to conceal the... (full context)
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While Vasquez muses on how to find out who impregnated Annabella, Puttana enters, crying. Vasquez sympathizes with her that Soranzo can be furious and demanding. He... (full context)
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...he wouldn’t be angry anymore—as long as he didn’t find out by having to force Annabella to confess. Vasquez continues by saying that it would be terrible if she revealed Annabella’s... (full context)
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...is so damning. He starts to leave to tell Soranzo, but Giovanni enters, looking for Annabella. Vasquez tells him that she is in her chamber and that she has become sick.... (full context)
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Soranzo enters after Giovanni leaves. Soranzo tells Vasquez that he dealt with Annabella gently. Vasquez asks for privacy in order to tell him what he has found out.... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
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Annabella enters on the balcony with a letter. She says goodbye to pleasure and tells Time... (full context)
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The Friar is moved by Annabella’s honest and free confession, and when she reveals her hope that she might bear her... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
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...come to pass: first Soranzo married a whore who threw herself onto him, and then Annabella laughed at cuckolding him. (full context)
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Soranzo begins to develop another scheme. He says that he will bid Annabella to dress in her bridal robes, and then asks Vasquez if the Banditti are ready... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
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Giovanni enters in a good mood, musing that he thought his and Annabella’s love would die when she married, but that he enjoys having her just as much... (full context)
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The Friar enters, bearing Annabella’s letter. Giovanni reads it and turns cold. The letter is written in Annabella’s blood, and... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 4
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...will and reminds Soranzo of all the wrongs that have been done to him by Annabella, Giovanni, and Hippolita. He tells Soranzo to let Giovanni have Annabella once more so that... (full context)
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Giovanni enters and Soranzo welcomes him. Giovanni asks how Annabella is, and Soranzo tells him that she is still getting ready for the feast. He... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 5
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The action jumps to Annabella’s chamber, where Annabella and Giovanni are lying on the bed. He asks why she has... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
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Giovanni and Annabella share a kiss, and Giovanni tells her that in the future he hopes that even... (full context)
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Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
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... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 6
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
...a heart on his dagger. Giovanni tells them that the heart on his dagger is Annabella’s. (full context)
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
...Giovanni confesses that he is indeed mad, and tells his father how much he loved Annabella and how he enjoyed her bed the past nine months, but she became pregnant. Florio... (full context)
Passion, Lust, and Bloodlust Theme Icon
Injustice Theme Icon
Religious Piety vs. False Idols Theme Icon
...in the justice that has occurred. Giovanni asks only that he be able to see Annabella’s face again. (full context)