Critique

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.