Our production of Beaumont and Fletcher’s tragedy used a minimalist set to emphasize the stark isolation of the play’s characters. Trapped in the web of corruption created by the King’s attempts to conceal his own sins, Amintor, Melantius, and Evadne are each destroyed by their inability to cope with the moral vacuum upon which their nation rests.
Beaumont and Fletcher’s A Maid’s Tragedy was written c. 1608-1611. When the play opens, Amintor has just married Evadne by order of the King of Rhodes. Melantius, Evadne’s brother, has returned from the field of battle to attend Amintor’s wedding and is surprised to find Amintor wed to his sister instead of Aspatia, daughter of Calianax.
As Amintor and Melantuis discover, the marriage between Amintor and Evadne was forced as a cover for the King’s indiscretions with Evadne. Insulted by the King's dishonesty, Melantius plots with Calianax to secure the fort and orders Evadne to redeem herself by killing the King.
Evadne kills the King to regain Amintor's love, yet he still refuses her driving her to suicide. Aspatia, planning her death, dresses as her own brother and challenges Amintor to a duel, deliberately receiving a mortal wound. Surrounded by the bodies of his wife and former fiance, Amintor gives in to despair and stabs himself. The play closes on the disscovery of the bodies, with Melantius promising to follow his friend Amintor to the grave.