(Critical Survey of Literature, Revised Edition)

THE BONDMAN is a fine expression of Massinger’s philosophy of human liberty. Through the action and the declarations of his characters, he reveals that man may be as fully enslaved by his jealousy, lust, and greed as by physical bondage. A second merit of the play is its swift, gripping action. To attain these two excellences, however, Massinger makes sacrifices in his portrayal of character. Often poorly motivated, his characters’ behavior at times approaches the absurd.