Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Melantius, a military hero, returns to Rhodes from the wars. There he finds himself involved in a difficult situation. The king, ostensibly to show his gratitude, has given the hand of Evadne, Melantius’s sister, to Amintor, a young courtier and a dear friend of Melantius. The difficulty lay in Amintor’s having already promised himself to Aspatia, daughter of Calianax, an old lord.
Preparations are being made for elaborate nuptial festivities. Aspatia grieves. In the royal banqueting hall, just before the presentation of the marriage masque, Melantius encounters Calianax, who insults him. The king’s entrance checks animosities. A masque follows, after which the king, wishing the wedded couple goodnight, asks Amintor to father a boy who will grow up to defend the kingdom.
As Evadne prepares to retire, Aspatia, who is present, cannot share the general enthusiastic anticipation of the marriage night, and she expresses her belief that she will soon be dead of a broken heart. Amintor, coming into the apartment, receives a kiss from Aspatia before she departs. He suffers momentary misgivings for having forsaken her, but he forgets her when he sees Evadne. His bride, as he soon discovers, does not appear to be interested in the consummation of their marriage. In fact, she tells Amintor that she hates him and will never share his bed. Threatened by Amintor, she finally confesses that she has already given herself to the king. Amintor is deeply...
(The entire section is 1121 words.)
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