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Massinger, Philip(măs`ənjər), 1583–1640, English dramatist, b. Salisbury. He studied at Oxford (1602–6) but left without a degree, apparently to go to London to write plays. A prolific writer, Massinger wrote more than 40 plays (often in collaboration). He is best known for the comedies A New Way to Pay Old Debts (1625) and The City Madam (1632), in which the gluttony of the two central characters leads to tragic consequences. His other extant works, most of which were produced between 1620 and 1630, include the romantic dramas The Duke of Milan and The Great Duke of Florence and the tragicomedies The Fatal Dowry (with Nathaniel Field), The Virgin Martyr (with Thomas DekkerDekker, Thomas,
c,1570–1632, English dramatist and pamphleteer. Little is known of his life except that he frequently suffered from poverty and served several prison terms for debt. He began his literary career c.1598 working for Philip Henslowe.
..... Click the link for more information. ), and The Bondman. A sober, meticulous writer, Massinger was a harsh moralist and frequently employed humorhumor,
according to ancient theory, any of four bodily fluids that determined human health and temperament. Hippocrates postulated that an imbalance among the humors (blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile) resulted in pain and disease, and that good health was achieved
..... Click the link for more information. characters to illustrate the evils of a frivolous and avaricious society.
See studies by A. H. Cruickshank (1920, repr. 1971), T. A. Dunn (1957), D. Howard (1985), and D. Adler (1987).