The Broken Heart, a 1629 tragic-comic gem written by John Ford, (Tis Pity She's a Whore), is set in ancient Sparta, but Ford's world more closely resembles the 17th Century court of Charles II. A young woman forced to marry a ridiculously jealous codger. A cruel nobleman bent on frustrating his sister's happiness. A princess who tries to stand aloof from the emotional discord, but lives to feel love ruining her composure. These are the main plot engines.