thomas middleton (1580-1627)
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DESCRIPTIONThomas Middleton (1580-1627). Sex, money, marriage, mothers, morality, and death. Selected Writings (dates often uncertain). 1599 Microcynicon : Six Snarling Satyres 1600 The Ghost of Lucrece 1604-6 Michaelmas Term 1605 A Trick to Catch the Old One - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
Sex, money, marriage, mothers, morality, and death
Thomas Middleton(1580-1627)1599Microcynicon: Six Snarling Satyres1600The Ghost of Lucrece1604-6Michaelmas Term1605A Trick to Catch the Old One1605-6Timon of Athens (with Shakespeare)1606The Revengers Tragedy1609The Two Gates of Salvation (treatise on Calvinism; rep. 1620 as The Marriage of the Old and New Testament)1611The Roaring Girl (with Thomas Dekker)The Ladys Tragedy 1613A Chaste Maid in CheapsideThe Triumphs of Truth1614Masque of Cupids (lost; for the marriage of Robert Carr and Frances Howard)1616The Witch1617The Triumphs of Honour and Industry1620Hengist, King of Kent1621 Women Beware Women1622 The Changeling (with William Rowley)1624A Game at Chess
Selected Writings (dates often uncertain)2[Lucres] WifeI have a plot in my head, son; ifaith, husband, to cross you.
SamIs it a tragedy plot, or a comedy plot, good mother?
A Trick to Catch the Old One (2.1.347-9) (c. 1606; printed 1608)3LeantioHonest wedlockIs like a banqueting-house built in a garden,On which the springs chaste flowers take delightTo cast their modest odours; when base lustWith all her powders, paintings, and best pride,Is but a fair house built by a ditch side.
(WBW, 3.1.89-94)Narrative parallels
Runaway marriages Forced marriages (attempted and actual) Failed attempts to lock women up Illicit sex leading to pregnancy Repentance and spiritual reawakening Abrupt change of tone and dramatic style at endStructured around significant communal ceremonies and rites of passage
Chaste MaidCelebrations for christening of Baby AllwitFirst attempted wedding of Moll and Touchwood JuniorOff-stage marriage of Tim Yellowhammer and the Welsh gentlewomanFuneral of Moll and Touchwood transformed into a wedding
Women Beware WomenAnnual solemn procession of the Duke, Cardinal and States of FlorenceDukes banquet for Bianca, including the display of Isabella to the Ward in song and danceProcession for the wedding of Bianca and the Duke, disrupted by the CardinalWedding masque transformed into mass slaughter
Groups of characters interlinked by sex and money with one acting as a linchpin
Sir Walter WhorehoundFather to Mistress Allwits children; maintains the AllwitsRival suitor to Moll Yellowhammer with Touchwood JuniorBrings his Welsh niece to marry off to Tim YellowhammerIs heir to the Kixes unless they have children (provided by Touchwood Senior)Believes hes killed Touchwood Junior in a duel
LiviaSister to Fabritio and Hippolito, aunt to Isabella, friend and collaborator with GuardianoBrings Bianca and the Mother to her house so the Duke can seduce the formerArranges for her brother Hippolito to seduce her niece IsabellaPersuades Isabella that her interests will be served by marrying Guardianos WardSeduces LeantioArranges the final masque
Touchwood J.My knight, with a brace of footmen,[aside]Is come, and brought his ewe-mutton to findA ram at London; I must hasten it,Or else pick a famine; her bloods mine,And thats the surest. Well, knight, that choice spoilIs only kept for me.(CM, 1.1.131-6)
LeantioCanst thou forget[aside]The dear pains my love took? How it has watchedWhole nights together, in all weathers for thee And then received thee from thy fathers windowInto these arms at midnight; when we embracedAs if we had been statues only made fort And kissed as if our lips had grown together.
(WBW, 3.2.248-50, 254-6, 258)Yellowhammer The very posy mocks me to my face: Love thats wise Blinds parents eyes! I thank your wisdom, sir, for blinding us; We have good hope to recover our sight shortly; In the meantime I will lock up this baggage As carefully as my gold: she shall see As little sun, if a close room or so Can keep her from the light ont.(CM, 3.1.35-43)
Leantio At the end of the dark parlour theres a place So artificially contrived for a conveyance, No search could ever find it. When my father Kept in for manslaughter, it was his sanctuary. There will I lock my lifes best treasure up, Bianca.(WBW, 3.1.243-8)Sir WalterWhy have you used me thus, unkind mistress?Wherein have I deserved?Yellowhammer Tomorrow morn,As early as sunrise, well have you joined.MollO, bring me death tonight, love-pitying fates Sir WalterI never was so near my wish As this chance makes me: ere tomorrow noonI shall receive two thousand pound in goldAnd a sweet maidenhead worth forty.(CM, 4.4.31-2, 35-7, 48-51)
IsabellaByr Lady, no misery surmounts a womans:Men buy their slaves, but women buy their masters.(WBW, 1.2.173-4)
Though the match may seeme meet in the parents eie, yet he may not force his childe thereto.  I denie not that parents may vse all manner of faire meanes to moue their children to yeeld to that which they see good for them: but if they cannot moue them to yeeld, to referre the matter to God, and not against their childrens minds to force them.  For the neerest bond of all is betwixt man and wife;  man and wife must alwaies liue together: great reason therefore that at the first ioyning them together there be a mutuall liking of one another, lest euer after there be a perpetuall dislike.William GougeOf Domesticall Duties (1622), sig. Oo2v
Parents, destroy not your children by matching them to miserable riches.William WhatelyA Care-Cloth: or a Treatise of the Cumbers and Troubles of Marriage (1624), sig. F5r
Angel (turnd Diuell) Pride:by thee I fellWhen heere on earth I dwelttooth pit of Hell:Yet spite of all thy Poysons,I am faireNow in Gods eyes,Women by me Beware.Women Beware WomenWomen, Beware WomenWomen, beware! Women!
Robert Car Earle of SomersetAnd the Ladie Frances his wifeBorn Frances Howard, she was previously married to the Earl of Essex, whom she divorced for impotence after undergoing virginity tests; in 1616 pleaded guilty to causing her servant Anne Turner to poison Sir Thomas Overbury in the Tower of London in 1613. The Somersets were imprisoned in the Tower until 1622.
George Villiers b. 1592
Knighted 1615Viscount Buckingham 1616Earl of Buckingham 1617Marquis of Buckingham 1618Duke of Buckingham 1623
Frances Cokec. 1601-1645
1617 m. Sir John Villiers, Viscount Purbeck
Joseph Swetnam, author of the pamphlet The arraignment of lewd, idle, froward, and unconstant women (1615), appears in this play as Swetnam, alias Misogynos; in the epilogue he is muzzled, hald in by Women to express his repentance to the women in the audience.Misogynos.And Fortune, if thou beist a deity,Give me but opportunity that IMay all the follies of your sex declareThat henceforth men of women may beware.
Swetnam the Woman-Hater, 1617-18
DukeCome, Bianca,Of purpose sent into the world to showPerfection once in woman; Ill believeHenceforward they have evry one a soul too,Gainst all the uncourteous opinionsThat mans uncivil rudeness ever held of em.
(WBW, 3.2.22-7)MaudlinHave you played over all your old lessons othe virginals?MollYes.MaudlinYes, you are a dull maid alate, methinks you had need have somewhat to quicken your green sickness; do you weep? A husband. Had not such a piece of flesh been ordained, what had us wives been good for?
MotherThy sight was never yet more precious to me;Welcome with all the affection of a mother,That comfort can express from natural love.
Vanessa Kirby as Isabella, Harriet Walter as Livia National Theatre, 2010
Penelope Wilton as Livia, Peter Guinness as Guardiano, Susan Engel as Mother/WidowRSC, 2006
Sure I thinkThou knowst the way to please me. I affectA passionate pleading bove an easy yielding,But never pitied any they deserved none That will not pity me. I can command,Think upon that.(2.2.356-61)RSC, 2006
Tim Pigott-Smith and Hayley Atwell
National Theatre, 2010
DukeThis swerves a little from the argument though:Look you, my lords!(5.2.124-5)
Livia descends like Juno
IsabellaAnd after sighs, contritions truest odoursI offer to thy powerful deityThis precious incense 
[The incense sends up a poisoned smoke.]
Twill try your immortality ere t be long,I fear youll never get so nigh heaven again When youre once down.
Artemisia GentileschiDanae (1612)
Throws flaming gold upon Isabella, who falls deadSir Walter O, how my offences wrestle with my repentance!It hath scarce breath;Still my adulterous guilt hovers aloft,And with her black wings beats down all my prayersEre they be half way up.(CM, 5.1.72-5)
HippolitoLust and forgetfulness has been among usAnd we are brought to nothing. mans understandingIs riper at his fall than all his life-time.
(WBW, 5.2.148-9, 154-5)
CardinalSin, what thou art these ruins show too piteously.Two kings on one throne cannot sit together,But one must needs down, for his titles wrong;So where lust reigns, the prince cannot reign long.RSC, 2006