A King and No King by Beaumont and Fletcher

Title: A King and No King.
Authors: Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher.
Date: c. 1611.

Genre: Tragicomedy
Language Difficulty Rating: 5 (moderate).
Setting: Iberia and Armenia.

The most obviously captivating feature of the A King and No King is the presence of incestuous love – this was neither the first nor last play of the era to focus on the agonies of this unspeakable taboo. The play also features one of the funniest characters ever created for the Elizabethan stage, the cowardly Captain Bessus.

Our Story: Arbaces, the king of Iberia, has a fatal flaw: an inability to control his wild and extreme mood swings. Add into the mix the fact that he has fallen in love with his sister Panthea, and the result is a controversial, and in turn irresistible, bit of Elizabethan drama.

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