A Chaste Maid in Cheapside [NOOK Book]

Overview

Thomas Middleton (1580-1627), a bricklayer's son, rose to become one of the most eminent playwrights of the Jacobean period. Along with Ben Johnson he helped shape the dynamic course of drama in Renaissance England. His range is broad, as his work successfully covers comedy, tragedy, and history. Praised during his life as well as today, Middleton remains relevant and influential. In "A Chaste Maid in Cheapside" (1630), we see Middleton at the heights of his comedic powers. A satire set in the city, this play ...
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A Chaste Maid in Cheapside

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Overview

Thomas Middleton (1580-1627), a bricklayer's son, rose to become one of the most eminent playwrights of the Jacobean period. Along with Ben Johnson he helped shape the dynamic course of drama in Renaissance England. His range is broad, as his work successfully covers comedy, tragedy, and history. Praised during his life as well as today, Middleton remains relevant and influential. In "A Chaste Maid in Cheapside" (1630), we see Middleton at the heights of his comedic powers. A satire set in the city, this play examines the power of money and sex in rapidly growing London. The titular maid, Moll Yellowhammer, is courted by several men, all eager to gain access to her father's fortunes. This romantic comedy rolls with a bawdiness and frivolity that is the source of its hilarity. Driven by a fundamental cynicism, the play is lightened by its unrelenting wit. Considered Middleton's best comedy, "A Chaste Maid in Cheapside" resonates today as it did upon its release.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781420945805
  • Publisher: Neeland Media LLC
  • Publication date: 4/25/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,357,937
  • File size: 80 KB

Meet the Author

Thomas Middleton (1570-1627) was an English dramatist, who excelled in both comedy and tragedy. Whilst his so-called 'city comedies' provide insight into 17th-century London life and manners, his tragedies are noted for their richly poetic verse, their emphasis on guilt and corruption, and their understanding of feminine psychology. His admirer T. S. Eliot wrote: "Middleton was a great observer of human nature, without fear, without sentiment, without prejudice." Middleton's first plays were acted by boy companies at Blackfriars Theatre and other venues. He often worked in collaboration with other dramatists for the theatre owner Philip Henslowe. With Thomas Dekker (c. 1570-1632) he wrote The Honest Whore (1604) and The Roaring Girl (1610), and with William Rowley he produced the powerful tragedy The Changeling (1622). Some modern scholars also believe that the texts we now have of Shakespeare's Macbeth and Measure for Measure were substantially altered by Middleton. The Revenger's Tragedy (1606) is now generally attributed to Middleton, rather than Cyril Tourneur. Middleton's social comedies include A Trick to Catch the Old One (1604-05), which provided the basis for Philip Massinger's A New Way to Pay Old Debts (1623), A Mad World, My Masters (1605), which introduced Sir Bounteous Progress, a lively country gentleman who is generous to all except his heir Dick Follywit, and A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (1619), which satirized ordinary Londoners. Other works include the tragedy Women Beware Women (1621) and the political satire A Game of Chess (1624), about the futile efforts to unite the royal houses of England (represented by the White Knight) and Spain (the Black Knight). The play drew huge crowds to the Globe Theatre but the Spanish ambassador protested and James I had A Game of Chess banned after only nine performances. It proved equally popular in print.
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