Punishment without Revenge is a dark and thrilling drama, an audacious blend of unbearable tension and delicious comedy, which both terrifies and delights. Regarded as the greatest tragedy of the Spanish Golden Age and the finest play of its presiding genius, Lope de Vega, this elegant work is set in the dangerous and glamorous world of Renaissance Italy.
The Duke of Ferrara has lived a wild and unconventional life. An infamous womanizer, his only son, Federico, is a bastard whom he dreams will one day succeed him. When his subjects demand that he marry and provide them with the stability of a legitimate heir, the proud and beautiful Cassandra, Duchess of Mantua, is sent to be his bride. But everything does not fall happily into place. A passionate love develops - but not between the Duke and his Duchess - and, in a culture where honour is the highest virtue, there can be only one outcome.
"A swirl of fervid melodrama, sly humour and court intrigue
a world of glittering opulence and murky moral reflection, where perception is everything. The sharpness of Meredith Oakes’s new translation makes this even clearer." Four stars - Time Out
"Convincingly explores the psychology of sexual jealousy and guilt, thanks in large part to Meredith Oakes’s gripping translation." Four stars Evening Standard
"The prolific Spanish playwright’s tale of forbidden love and its moral complexities is a marathon of achingly tense drama, interspersed with witty humour; a testament to Meredith Oakes’ triumphant new translation." Four stars - The Upcoming