John Ford's The Broken Hear t has been said to be written as homage to Sidney's Astrophel and Stella and to his love affair with Penelope Rich. While this could be true, Ford offers a similar love triangle between Orgilus, Penthea, and Bassanes. Orgilus and Bassanes have clear parallel roles to each other throughout The Broken Heart in regard to their relationship to Penthea; Orgilus was at one time betrothed to her, and Bassanes is her current husband. Through an exploration and close analysis of their two very different reactions to the proposed marriage of Euphrenia and Prophilus, it is possible not only to see foreshadowing of certain characters' deaths but also to link the death of Orgilus and Penthea to each other as well as Bassanes being the cause.
[...] The parallels to Penthea's death seem rather numerous in that they both she and Orgilus commit a kind of suicide, Bassnes can be seen as at least somewhat responsible for both (though in completely different ways), and both Orgilus and Penthea deprive themselves of something vital to life. Orgilus' and Bassanes' rather dense relationship/friendship ( 5.1 .24- 25) with one another in not alone in Ford's The Broken Heart, nor is the connected death of Orgilus and Penthea. If nothing else, this odd connection in death between the two would-be [...]
[...] The definitions of “restoratives” and “constant” can offer an interesting take on Bassanes' description of marriage. The Oxford English Dictionary offers a definition of “constant” as “standing firm in mind or purpose; steadfast, unmoved, resolute .with a descriptive n., as martyr” as well as “steadfast in attachment to a person or cause; faithful, true.” Both of these definitions describe Penthea as being completely resolute, but the irony is that she is not mentally true to Bassanes but Orgilus. The foreshadowing comes in with the idea of martyrdom being related to a particularly resolute person, so filled with conviction that they are willing to die for their cause. [...]
[...] There is also the possibility of “purchase being defined as exert oneself in order to achieve an object or attain a the line can be read in a slightly different light, adding a darker mood and the tint of obsession with attaining something. However, the Oxford English Dictionary also defines as “fortune, good or bad.” If the reader combines this ambiguous definition with a rather dark definition of “purchase” as the act of “[devising or instigating] (esp. something harmful) to or for a person or group of people,” the speech becomes far more ominous. [...]
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