(Critical Survey of Literature, Revised Edition)

In this play Beaumont, possibly with some assistance from Fletcher, attempted to do more than could be successfully accomplished in one work. The result is a comedy which has some good moments, but which contains much undigested material. Gondarino, who gives the play its title, is a character of Jonsonian humours who is motivated solely by a pathological hatred of women. Little is done with him, however; at the end of the play he remains unregenerate, a speaker of satirical truth in his anti-feminine attitude. Lazarillo, whose only aim in life is the consumption of rare delicacies of the table, is a Gondarino on a different level. In spite of his foolishness, he carries about him such an air of genial absurdity that his punishment, marriage to a prostitute, seems unduly harsh. Oriana is an emancipated woman—beautiful, witty, bold, yet honest as well. However, with an almost incredible stupidity she allows Gondarino to maneuver her into a highly compromising position. In addition, the play also presents satirical glances at the stupidity of middle-class citizens, the affectations of courtiers, and the dishonesty of the lower class. The plot, unfortunately, is not constructed with sufficient care to carry all the burdens placed upon it.