The Dutch Courtesan

Definition

Theater

  • A comedy by John Marston first performed in 1605 inLondon by the Children of the Queen's Revels, one of the boy companies.The play has enjoyed several successful revivals.

    The youthful Freevill, having become engaged to the virtuousBeatrice, wishes to end his relationship with Franceschina, the Dutchcourtesan. Freevill introduces Franceschina to his puritanical friendMalheureux, who becomes infatuated with her. Franceschina agrees tobecome his mistress if he will murder Freevill and, as proof, bringher the ring that Beatrice gave him. Malheureux informs Freevill,who agrees to help by staging a bogus quarrel, giving him the ring,and disappearing. When Malheureux gives Franceschina the ring sheimmediately informs the fathers of Freevill and Beatrice. Malheureuxis arrested for the murder and sentenced to death. He is freed, however,when Freevill suddenly reappears; Franceschina is flogged and imprisoned.The main plot is supported by rude farce involving the prankster Cocledemoy.

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