“I vow that never henceforth
Disgrace, reproof, lawless affections, threats,
Or what can be suggested 'gainst our marriage,
Shall cause me falsify that bridal oath
That binds me thine. And, Winnifred, whenever
The wanton heat of youth, by subtle baits
Of beauty, or what woman's art can practise,
Draw me from only loving thee, let Heaven
Inflict upon my life some fearful ruin!
I hope thou dost believe me.”
This is amazing Frank Thorney one of the first characters that I have been introduced to in The Witch of Edmonton has made a powerful declaration, which might seem too powerful. I am greatly impressed that he has the strength to make this comment, for he has promised to the women he loves that nothing will break him from her, and this aids in emphasizing the reality of their love This is a very admirable trait in Thorney. For he knows that he has made a vow of marriage to Winnifride, but he also knows that he is going to face difficulties in the days that are coming since he is going to be separated from the one he loves. From this speech the reader learns a great deal about Frank Thorney like how he wants to be strong but may fail and have inflicted upon his life a “fearful ruin”.
This statement in many ways sets Thorney up as our archetypal hero. He has a goal and he realizes that he is going to have to fight to achieve that goal of remaining true to Winnifride. Since we now know that Thorney is going to be our hero we also see that he is going to be the underdog that we root for throughout the play. Yet while I hate to be pessimistic, I feel that Thorney here has set himself up for failure. Because this separation is going to occur and most likely some problem will arise to bring dram into the play. Now one can only hope the “fearful ruin” will not be too severe.