The Broken Heart by John Ford was written between 1625 and 1633. The Broken Heart is set in ancient Greece and revolves around two noble Spartan families. The families had a feud against each other until their children got engaged. Penthea and Orglius we engaged to be married, but before there could be a wedding Penthea’s father, Tharsus, died. The death of her father made way for Penthea’s twin brother, Ithocles, to trick her in to a more socially beneficial marriage with Bassanes. Bassanes is not a very good husband, he is violent and jealous.
Ithocles goes to fight in a war against Messene. Orglius asks his father if he can leave to go to Athens to recover from losing Penthea, his father agrees. Orglius doesn’t actually go to Athens, he stays in Sparta in a disguise. While he is disguised he hears his sister, Euphrania, and one of Ithocles friends, Prophilus, speaking of how they love each other. The two discover that the disguise is Orglius and they ask him to pass love letters between them. Meanwhile Ithocles returns to Sparta and is now a war hero, he is crowned with a wreath made by Calantha, which is when he falls in love with her.
Orglius reveals himself to Penthea and tells her how much he loves her, but she refuses to take him back no matter what might happen to Bassanes. She feels tainted and spoiled by her marriage and she doesn’t want to hurt Orglius. Ithocles, after forcing Penthea into a horrible marriage, asks her to make him look good to Calantha. She agrees to help him, but she also reminds him he feels for Calantha what she felt for Orglius, which is what he has deprived her of. It is now that Bassanes, crazy and jealous, rushes in accusing the two of incest. This is when Penthea is taken form him until he can learn to control his jealousy and crazy behavior.
I can see Orglius wanting revenge for his wife being taken away from him. And since this a revenge tragedy I’m sure in the next two acts we can expect the demise of some characters.