Renaissance and Restoration

1. Write on ONE of the following passages, showing how in attitude, themes and style it is
characteristic of the period.

b) LEANTIO O my life’s wealth, Bianca!
LIVIA Still with her name? Will nothing wear it out?
That deep sigh went but for strumpet, sir.
LEANTIO It can go for no other that loves me.
5 LIVIA [Aside] He’s vexed in mind; I came too soon to him;
Where’s my discretion now, my skill, my judgement?
I’m cunning in all arts but my own love.
’Tis as unseasonable to tempt him now
So soon, as a widow to be courted
10 Following her husband’s corse, or to make bargain
By the grave-side, and take a young man there:
Her strange departure stands like a hearse yet
Before his eyes, which time will take down shortly. [Exit]
LEANTIO Is she my wife to death, yet no more mine?
15 That’s a hard measure. Then what’s marriage good for?
Methinks by right I should not now be living,
And then ’twere all well. What a happiness
Had I been made of, had I never seen her;
For nothing makes man’s loss grievous to him
20 But knowledge of the worth of what he loses;
For what he never had, he never misses.
She’s gone for ever, utterly; there is
As much redemption of a soul from Hell,
As a fair woman’s body from his palace.
25 Why should my love last longer than her truth?
What is there good in woman to be loved
When only that which makes her so has left her?
I cannot love her now, but I must like
Her sin, and my own shame too, and be guilty
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30 Of law’s breach with her, and mine own abusing;
All which were monstrous. Then my safest course,
For health of mind and body, is to turn
My heart, and hate her, most extremely hate her;
I have no other way. Those virtuous powers
35 Which were chaste witnesses of both our troths,
Can witness she breaks first—and I’m rewarded
With captainship o’th’fort! A place of credit,
I must confess, but poor; my factorship
Shall not exchange means with’t. He that died last in’t,
40 He was no drunkard, yet he died a beggar
For all his thrift. Besides, the place not fits me:
It suits my resolution, not my breeding.
[Enter Livia]
LIVIA [Aside] I have tried all ways I can, and have not power
To keep from sight of him. [To him] How are you now, sir?
45 LEANTIO I feel a better ease, madam.
(THOMAS MIDDLETON, from Women Beware Women,

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