The Maid’s Tragedy- Lauren Sink


            The Maid’s Tragedy, written by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher was first published during the Jacobean period, in 1619. The play appears to have a bit of a hazy plot which takes place at court and revolves around a secret love affair between the King and Evadne, the sister of a great general, Melantius who has just arrived back from his duties.

Melantius is surprised when he is told that Evadne is to marry one of his friends, Amintor because he was betrothed to the noblewoman, Aspatia. Apparently, the King orchestrated the whole thing claiming that he was honoring the general by marrying off his sister to a nobleman. The reader soon finds out that the King is sleeping with Evadne, so he acts quickly by covering up a potential pregnancy with her marriage to Amintor.

After their wedding, Evadne and Amintor go to their bedroom, where she refuses to sleep with her new husband. Soon thereafter however, Evadne shares with him that the King made her his mistress and arranged their marriage to cover it all up, Amintor feels badly about the whole situation and agrees to act as a married couple would. The next morning the couple keeps up the appearance when talking to various men of the court where both Evadne and her brother, Melantius notice Amintor is acting strangely. The King begins asking Amintor and Evadne questions and as they answer the King appears to grow jealous of this new partnership which he arranged. When alone with the pair, the King tells Amintor that he is to stay away from Evadne and allow her to be with the King whenever he so pleases.

Amintor reveals all that has transpired as of late to his friend and now brother in law, Melantius. Melanius tells his friend to have patience and not to do anything rash, meanwhile as soon as Melantius is left alone he begins hatching a revenge plot against the King, and reveals it to Calianax. I am very interested to see what is going to happen in the final acts of the play and whether or not Melantius will be successful in his plot against the King, and who else will perish.

5 thoughts on “The Maid’s Tragedy- Lauren Sink

  1. I think that the King will be killed by Melantius because he has dishonored his family and Melantius seems to be the only one with the gusts to go after a King. Also, in Melantius’ eyes the King has turned his sister into a “whore” before the sham marriage with Amintor. This marriage cannot change what has been done to her. But, also the marriage affects his close friend,Amintor, providing Melantius with another person to avenge. The King is the main target but if anyone else had to die for his revenge I would think that Evadne would also have to die because she is in it with the King. She also has dishonors her family with no remorse shown for her actions.

  2. The King is definitely using the marriage between Amintor and Evadne as a cover-up for their affair because if Evadne became pregnant, people would believe it was Amintor’s child, not a bastard child of the King. I too am interested to see what Melantius will do as revenge. I believe he has become a revenger to protect his sister’s honor and to support his friend Amintor. However, by Melantius becoming a revenger, this means that he has to die. I think it is ironic that the King gets jealous when Amintor and Evadne are talking because he is the one who made them become a couple.

  3. Mealantius definitely has reason for wanting revenge on the King. Although the King hasn’t done anything to Mealantius directly he has hurt his family, that is reason enough for revenge.The King is a character that I wouldn’t mind losing because of the harsh things he has done to Mealantius’ sister. Evadne is also in line for revenge. She may not be in charge of everything that has gone on, but she’s alongside the King helping him. I’m sure the play will end with some death, but whose?

  4. I believe the character that is most overlooked is Aspasia. The man she was betrothed to comes back from war and all of a sudden the King orders him to marry someone else? If anyone is due for revenge I say it is her, being scorned by the King, led to believe her love cares for another, and depressed she believes she’ll die. Mealantius is looking to revenge his sisters honor but we don’t know how she got into the relationship with the King. She may have entered willingly, making Mealantius revenge about his own honor rather than his sisters.

  5. I think it will be interesting to see the dynamic of the women in this play. I think paying attention to Evadne and Aspasia’s agency throughout the play and how their agency if they have it, plays a role in play’s revenge. The women in this place are set up to have the desire to seek revenge; Evadne and Aspasia are being treated as passive characters- they did not get to choose their own paths and who they get married to. For them, is revenge their way of having their own agency; to create a voice for themselves?

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