The Witch

Overview

The Witch (1615/16?), categorised by its author as 'a tragi-comedy',
pits the intrigues of a group of Italian aristocrats against the malevolent practices of Hecate and her witches' coven, leaving the audience with the impression that human malevolence is by far the fiercer and more effective. This edition sets the play into its dramatic and literary contexts, ranging from Shakespeare's Macbeth and
Middleton's own later tragedies to Reginald ...

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The Witch

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Overview

The Witch (1615/16?), categorised by its author as 'a tragi-comedy',
pits the intrigues of a group of Italian aristocrats against the malevolent practices of Hecate and her witches' coven, leaving the audience with the impression that human malevolence is by far the fiercer and more effective. This edition sets the play into its dramatic and literary contexts, ranging from Shakespeare's Macbeth and
Middleton's own later tragedies to Reginald Scot's sceptical Discovery of Witchcraft and King James's virulent Daemonologie. It also argues that Middleton wrote it as a topical satire to capitalise on the scandal involving Frances Howard, who obtained a divorce from the Earl of Essex on the grounds that he had been sexually incapacitated by witchcraft; she was also rumoured to have tried to poison him.
Middleton exposes his noble characters precisely by letting them get away with murder.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The first modern scholarly edition of Middleton's (ca. 1580- 1627) play, not published until 1778. Sebastian reclaims his betrothed from Antonio; the Duchess avenges herself on the Duke for making her drink from her father; and Abberzanes and Francesca have an illicite affair. The witches are credible forces of evil, a portrayal flying the face of 17th-century thought. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780713639452
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 9/1/2007
  • Series: New Mermaids Series
  • Edition description: New
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.06 (w) x 7.81 (h) x 0.28 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
List of Illustratons
Abbreviations
Introduction
1 Rationale for editing The Witch 1
2 A short life of Thomas Middleton 1
3 The manuscript 5
4 The Reed-Steevens editorship controversy 13
5 Date 16
6 Sources 26
7 Witchcraft in the Renaissance popular imagination 34
8 The play 38
9 Principles of this edition 69
The Witch 94
Textual Collation 177
Explanatory Notes 201
App. A Lineation 268
App. B The songs 273
App. C Source materials 277
App. D A note on stage history 279
Glossarial Index to the Commentary 280
Bibliography 291
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