Remind yourself of Act
Remind yourself of Act III scenes ii and iii. What is the importance of these two scenes in the context of the whole play in “tis pity she’s a whore”? Both these scenes work together as a catalyst for the rest of the corruption in the play and therefore act as a crucial turning point. The importance is recognised in these features of the scenes and is especially seen in the plot and in the characters use of language.
Scene ii opens with Florio’s consent for Soranzo to talk with Anabella about marriage. This jovial atmosphere is then seen to descend into something more sinister and threatens the rest of the events in the play to a harsh end. Firstly, Anabella’s use of sarcasm mocks Soranzo. Her response to his love sickness is belittled by her saying “why, I thought you had been sick!” And he now believes “’tis plain, she laughs at me.” We have already been introduced to Soranzo as high in status and a person who stands up to others such as Grimaldi, so Ford’s use of belittling Soranzo, especially by a woman creates great tension.
This tension is then amplified by the sudden discovery of Anabella’s pregnancy in scene iii. It is clear that her brother is the father, which furthermore implies a sense of great trouble to come, especially after just mocking Soranzo’s love. Anabella’s use of the dramatic word “o” emphasises this tension and the pace of the play also quickens to show this sudden change in mood and atmosphere of the play.
The presentation of Giovanni in scene ii is can be shown as a parallel to the mood of the play. By being above Anabella and Soranzo on the balcony the audience begin to feel a sense that Giovanni is governing the situation below and has total control as he is “confirmed” that his sister loves him. This control however, is soon lost as soon as Anabella begins to sicken. He comes to her level which could show a loss of order as things begin to collapse. The pregnancy is a catalyst for the destruction to come and Giovanni’s actual position in the scene by coming down from above symbolises this downfall to come. The audience soon realise that there is something wrong which shows that without these scenes the play would be pointless as they are a pivotal point in the play.
Putana has a great affect on the dramatic tension in the play as she reveals the sickness of Anabella to be that she is pregnant with Giovanni’s baby. The quickness of this scene causes tension and Putana’s use of prolonging the discovery of what is up with Anabella also adds to this tension. She begins by saying “o that I was born to see this day” and that heaven is the only this to help them for “’tis too late to repent.”
Her language is used to increase emotions in Giovanni and he ends up giving “the woman”, which shows his anger, a straight order to lie and say that “’twas but some ill diet” that caused her sickness rather than to reveal her pregnancy. The lies obviously enhance this feeling of an ominous atmosphere and we begin to realise that Anabella needs to come up with an alibi before the pregnancy shows. The uses of questions and exclamation marks have an effect on this tension as well, which also shows a direct change from the calmer scenes before. The contrast is easily seen and adds importance to this scene.
These scenes are very important in the play as they act as a pivotal point and forebode the malicious events to come. The use of Ford’s language from the characters emphasise the tension and change in mood. Giovanni also acts a presentation of this in his position in the scenes. Without these scenes, the rest of the play would not end in the way it does which is why they are so important.