Women Beware Women (2016) - Stuff that happens IN the play . . .

Stuff That Happens in the Play

Stuff that happens IN the play . . .

Leantio, a Florentine merchant’s clerk, marries Bianca, a beautiful and well-born Venetian, and brings her to his mother’s house in Florence.  He worries his beautiful bride will not be content without her luxurious lifestyle.

Nearby, Livia hosts her brother Fabricio (father of Isabella) and Guardiano (uncle of a rich youth called the Ward) and they discuss the proposed marriage of their charges.  Livia, a widow, protests against loveless marriages and declares she intends to never remarry.

Isabella deeply opposes marrying the Ward.  Her dear friend and uncle, Hippolito, confesses he loves her romantically; Isabella, upset and confused, leaves him.

Leantio leaves Bianca at home with his mother, which deeply upsets Bianca.  Excitement and revelry on the streets of Florence distract Bianca from her grief and attract her to the Duke of Florence, who takes deep interest in her as he passes by her balcony.

Meanwhile, Livia conspires to help Hippolito begin an incestuous relationship with Isabella by tricking Isabella into believing she and Hippolito are not actually related.  Isabella consents to an affair with Hippolito, and decides to wed the Ward to conceal her transgression.

Not content to end her matchmaking, Livia decides to win Bianca’s heart for the Duke, who fell in love with a mystery woman after spotting her on the balcony.  Livia challenges Bianca’s mother-in-law, who doubles as her guard, to a game of chess, using the game to discover Bianca’s presence.

The Duke’s summons Bianca to his home, where he tries to woo her.  She initially refuses, pleading on behalf of her honor and virtue, though she is pleased at his attention; however, she is eager to have revenge on Livia.

Bianca grows more and more frustrated in her situation – her mother-in-law is eager for Leantio’s return. Upon his return, expecting a loving reunion, Leantio is surprised by Bianca’s anger and coldness. Before long, Bianca fully betrays her husband for the Duke.

Lust, betrayal, poison, and more poison ensues.