Download e-book for kindle: Thomas Middleton, Renaissance Dramatist by Michelle O'Callaghan


By Michelle O'Callaghan

ISBN-10: 0748627812

ISBN-13: 9780748627813

Thomas Middleton is an enormous English Renaissance dramatist, in league with Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson. identified for his darkish humor and wry remedy of sexuality, morality, and politics, Middleton is a consummate expert dramatist, combining the visible and the verbal to surprising impression. Michelle O'Callaghan experiences the stagecraft of Middleton's significant performs. The playwright experimented with various genres—city comedy, tragicomedy, romance, and revenge tragedy. O'Callaghan figures how those performs paintings when it comes to the early glossy theater and dramatic genres, and he or she elucidates the wider cultural concerns shaping the performs. She additionally introduces the severe readings of Middleton's performs and their sleek performances, mapping how sleek critics, manufacturers, dramatists, and filmmakers deal with Middleton's darkish and tough works in our time. (1/1/10)

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Additional resources for Thomas Middleton, Renaissance Dramatist

Example text

From around 1604 to 1608, when the company ceased public performances, Middleton wrote at least five plays for the boy players: The Phoenix, Mad World, My Masters, Michaelmas Term, Your Five Gallants and Trick to Catch the Old One. These plays were performed at an indoor theatre situated inside the churchyard of St Paul’s Cathedral and surrounded by the fashionable West End of London. The plays he wrote for the company, to take Middleton’s own metaphor, were similarly cut to the latest ‘fashion of playmaking’ ((‘Epistle’, The Roaring Girl) 2007: I, 1).

However, this does not mean that the edition rejects a notion of the ‘author’. On the contrary, Taylor argues that the early modern period recognised ‘individual authorial agency’. In any case, the function of an edition is to assign the ‘name of the author’ to his collected works (Middleton 2007: II, 38, 40). One effect of these editorial practices is an instructive tension between collaborative and individualised models of authorship. This study of Middleton will draw attention to collaboration and its implications for the study of Middleton’s plays, yet it will also attempt to discern various elements of a dramatic style or styles that we might assign to ‘Thomas Middleton’.

In Trick, in particular, this strategic and affectionate partnership between Witgood and the Courtesan displaces the traditional love relationship between the gentleman and the chaste maid in romantic comedy. As his ‘aunt’ (slang for prostitute) does indeed become his aunt at the end of the play, thus the restoration of networks of credit is mirrored in the witty extension and reconfiguration of kinship relations. It should be pointed out that, although female characters like the Courtesan and Thomasine do have a limited agency in these plays, the culture of credit is a homosocial formation.

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Thomas Middleton, Renaissance Dramatist by Michelle O'Callaghan

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