Poisonous Philaster College

Philaster, a play written by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, was performed in the early 1600’s during the Jacobean period and began the early trend of tragicomedies. The plot revolves around the imprisoned Prince Philaster of Sicily and Princess Arethusa, the daughter of the king who usurped the throne of Sicily. It is meant to be an amazing tale of bravery and virtuous love amid the characters Philaster and Arethusa. However, the characters possess fatal flaws which create chaos and disaster throughout the play. The vulnerable and naïve Princess Arethusa mistakes Philaster’s narcissistic personality for bravery, ensnaring her devotion and establishing a relationship riddled with turmoil.

Philaster is hailed as a brave prince, yet is nothing more than a self-entitled narcissist. Narcissism and self-entitlement are readily apparent when Prince Philaster requests to speak. Philaster uses his time to express his utter disdain for Prince Pharamond of Spain whom has been paid to marry Princess Arethusa. Philaster shouts: When thou art king, look I be dead and rotten, and my name ashes; for hear me, Pharamond! This very ground thou goest on, this fat earth my father’s friends made fertile with their faiths, before that day of...

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