INTRODUCTION. Most scholars believe that Thomas Middleton’s A Chaste Maid in Cheapside was first performed sometime between and , although. Complete summary of Thomas Middleton’s A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. Thomas Middleton’s early 17th-century city comedy is set very particularly during Lent, a time when eating and trading in meat was forbidden.

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Originally a whore, she passes for a maid and becomes a wife, serving as a foil to Mistress Allwitt who passes for a wife but serves as a whore. When the play begins, Mrs. Thomas MiddletonMiddleton’s realism differs from the realistic, or naturalistic, movement that took place at the turn of the twentieth century.

A Study of Some of the Representative Plays, Allwit and Yellowhammer have specific moral codes that allow them to commit certain acts. The first promoter says to his partner after letting a man sneak some meat by them, “Tis Mr Beggarland’s man, the wealthy merchant. English Renaissance plays s plays Plays by Thomas Middleton. Since Yellowhammer does not know who Allwit is, he does not realize that Allwit is talking to him.

A Chaste Maid in Cheapside

Plays in the Elizabethan period were also often characterized ccheapside double entendres or double meanings. The crowd says yes, at which point the two lovers rise from their coffins admitting that they faked their deaths and are married by the parson. To avoid sinking completely into depravity, Middleton’s characters need those lovely speeches.

Next, they try to run away together across the river, but Maudlin Yellowhammer jumps in the river, catches Moll and drags her out. Davy says, “[Aside] Pure Welsh virgin, she lost her maidenhead in Brecknockshire.

Most scholars believe that Thomas Middleton ‘s A Chaste Maid in Cheapside was first performed sometime between andalthough it was not published untilwhen it was published in a quarto edition in England. Moll is the chaste maid of the play’s title who wishes to marry Touchwood Junior, but her parents try to force her to marry Sir Walter Whorehound instead.

But that doesn’t stop the good citizens of London from trading in human flesh. Throughout the play, character after character makes beautiful written and morally sound speeches on the way life ought to be—then goes on to belie this, sometimes with their very next act. In this area, prostitutes also peddled their wares and the area itself had an unseemly reputation. Poquette has a bachelor’s degree in English and specializes in writing about literature.

At the funeral, Moll and Touchwood Junior rise from their coffins and the mourning turns inn celebration.


A Chaste Maid in Cheapside – Drama Online

Moll loves Touchwood Junior, a poor gallant; her father, however, has betrothed her to Whorehound, a philandering knight eager for Moll’s dowry. Wallace is a freelance writer and poet. Unpublished until and long-neglected afterwards, it is now considered among the best and most characteristic Jacobean comedies. In Middleton’s artifice-infested Cheapside, the simple truth can’t seem to survive on its own.

Touchwood Junior also encourages his virile older brother to get Lady Kix pregnant so that Touchwood Senior can claim that it was due to the fertility water and make money out of the deal. As for the Allwits, in the end they use the property and possessions that they have gotten from Sir Walter to better their position in life. He instructs the servants to pay Touchwood Senior his next hundred pounds.

When it looks as though Moll’s unhappy engagement to Sir Walter might end his comfortable arrangement, Allwit resorts not to artifice, but to truth, going to the girl’s father, Yellowhammer, with the facts of Sir Walter’s domestic situation.

A Chaste Maid in Cheapside |

Yellowhammer further notes, “His creditors are so greedy. Through all the complicated wordplay and the sometimes bewildering tangle of revelations and protestations, Middleton inexorably explores the difference between what truly is and what can be seen, and the human need for both truth and artifice. In addition, both of the Allwits refuse to acknowledge the fact that he has slept with Chqste. Sir Walter Whorehound wishes he possessed the wealth his title suggests he merits.

For example, many scholars consider Thomas Middleton an Elizabethan dramatist even naid the majority of his plays were written and performed during the Jacobean era. It served as one of London’s marketplaces where merchants like Mr.

However, Protestants thought she was not hard enough on Catholics, and Catholics—backed by the pope—thought Elizabeth a heretic. InMiddleton started serving as city chronologer, a post he held until his death. Sir Walter leaves and the Allwits resolve to use the riches that they have acquired over the years from Sir Walter to get a house in the Strand, the most fashionable part of London.

The other major example is the imprisonment of Sir Im at the end of the play. A maid tells the Kixes that Touchwood makes a special fertility potion; Touchwood deceives his way into the bed of Lady Kix.

Unlike medieval plays, Elizabethan drama used very few props or sets, putting the burden on the actors, the dialogue, and the actors’ movements to communicate what was going on in the play. Steen examines how various audiences and readers have received Middleton’s plays throughout the years.

They on the other hand, are cheapsice but have been unable to conceive, a fact that makes both of them bitter and causes them to fight because they need an heir to claim the property that will otherwise go to Sir Walter.


For Touchwood Junior, he fakes his by acting like he is mortally wounded in a duel with Sir Walter Whorehound.

During the christening, the various women remark how much the large child looks like its father, meaning Allwit. He and his wife must separate to avoid another pregnancy, which they cannot afford. Chste Kix and his wife chsste, fighting about their inability to conceive. When Yellowhammer asks cheapsixe big the intended bride’s finger is, Touchwood Junior says that it is the same size as Moll’s. If Middleton punishes those that refuse to see clearly, he also rewards those who are true to themselves, however imperfectly.

Not only does he horrify Sir Walter with his directness about the reality of their relation, he seems to take glee in telling the truth in other instances as well: In addition to double entendres, which are spoken out loud in dialogue with another character, Middleton also makes use of asides—comments directed at the audience, which the other characters cannot chaepside.

However, after he dupes Sir Kix into believing that it was his fertility water—and not Touchwood Senior’s affair with his wife—that got Lady Kix pregnant, Sir Kix offers to take care of whatever children Touchwood Senior has.

Since Middleton builds a farcical symmetry into his play in assigning to Sir Oliver Kix and his wife a problem precisely opposite to theirs wealth and childlessnessit is inevitable that the two should cancel each other out. As a result, he tries to use Latin whenever he can, much to the dismay of his mother and the Welsh Gentlewoman who thinks he is insulting her.

However, when Allwit is gone, Yellowhammer notes that he himself has kept mistresses before, and that cgeapside still plans on going through with the marriage of Chastte and Sir Walter. Sir Walter enters and asks Mr. In fact, by linking Allwitt’s corruption with chastw brash insistence on looking the truth square in the face, Middleton seems to suggest that some artifice may, in fact, be a necessity for the human race. Sir Kix is so happy when his wife conceives that he offers to feed and house Touchwood Senior and all of his children including any other children that Touchwood Senior might have in the future.

Touchwood Senior enters with a letter from his younger brother, whom chast says is dead.

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