The article is devoted to the consideration of the motif of "lapse from virtue" based on the example of the heroine of the Renaissance revenge tragedy "The Changeling" (1622) by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley. The article identifies the key scenes of the tragedy, helping to understand the multidimensionality and allusiveness of the heroine. In the context of the relationship of the heroine to other characters in the tragedy, the authors determine and analyse the character metamorphosis and stages of the moral decay of Beatrice-Joanna Examples of the subversion of the audience's expectation are given. The authors examine scenes of the tragedy, which help to reveal the motifs of the double and shapeshifting, related to the image of the main character. The system of characters in the play by Middleton and Rowley is considered in the context of the most significant dramatic works of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras.