Thomas Middleton

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Middleton, Thomas,

1580–1627, English dramatist, b. London, grad. Queen's College, Oxford, 1598. His early plays were chiefly written in collaboration with 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.
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, DraytonDrayton, Michael,
1563–1631, English poet. The son of a prosperous tradesman, he received his educational training in the house of Sir Henry Goodere, where he served as page.
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, and others. Between 1604 and 1611 he wrote realistic, satiric comedies of London life, including A Trick to Catch the Old One (c.1604), Michaelmas Term (c.1605), The Roaring Girl (c.1610, with Dekker), and A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (1611). His comedies, like his early pamphlets, expose contemporary vice and give graphic pictures of the more scabrous side of Jacobean life. During the years 1613 to 1618 he wrote tragicomedies. From 1621 to the end of his career he wrote his most notable plays, two powerful tragedies about the corruption of character, The Changeling (1622, with William RowleyRowley, William
, 1585?–1642?, English playwright and actor. He collaborated with many noted dramatists, including Dekker, Ford, and Webster; his best work, notably The Changeling (1622), was written with Thomas Middleton.
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,) and Women Beware Women (1625). Some modern scholarship suggests that he wrote a significant portion of ShakespeareShakespeare, William,
1564–1616, English dramatist and poet, b. Stratford-upon-Avon. He is widely considered the greatest playwright who ever lived. Life
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's Timon of Athens (c.1607, pub. 1623). Middleton was severely reproved by the Privy Council for his anti-Spanish political satire, A Game at Chess (1624). In addition to his plays, he wrote civic pageants and masques.

Bibliography

See his works ed. by A. H. Bullen (8 vol., 1885–86); bibliography by S. J. Steen (1985); studies by C. Asp (1974) and A. L. Kistner (1984); B. Vickers, Shakespeare, Co-Author (2003).

Middleton, Thomas

 

Born Apr. 18, 1580, in London; died July 4, 1627, at Newington Butts. English playwright.

Middleton graduated from Oxford University in 1598. From 1620 to 1627, he was chronologist of London. His creative work reveals the crisis of the humanistic world view and of Renaissance drama.

Middleton’s allegorical satire The Blacke Booke (1604) expresses the notion of the depravity of human nature, an idea that pervades his dramatic works. The comedy A Tricke to Catch the Old-one (staged 1604, published 1608) is a satire on bourgeois money-grubbing. In the play Women Beware Women (staged 1621, published 1657) a society corroded by vices is depicted. The tragicomedy The Witch (published 1778) develops the theme of man’s weakness in the face of demonic forces. Middleton collaborated with other playwrights on many plays.

The allegorical drama A Game at Chesse, which contained topical political allusions, was suppressed by order of the king. In the 1960’s several successful performances of Middleton’s plays were staged in Great Britain.

WORKS

Works, vols. 1–8. London, 1885–86.
A Critical Edition. Michigan, 1958.

REFERENCES

Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 1, fasc. 2. Moscow, 1945. Pages 126–29. Barker, R. H. T. Middleton. New York, 1959.
Eliot, T. S. “T. Middleton.” In his book Elizabethan Dramatists. London, 1963.
Holmes, D. M. The Art of T. Middleton. Oxford, 1970. (Bibliography, pp. 227–32.)
MIDDLETON, THOMAS. Born Apr. 18, 1580, in London; died July 4, 1627, at Newington Butts. English playwright.
Middleton graduated from Oxford University in 1598. From 1620 to 1627, he was chronologist of London. His creative work reveals the crisis of the humanistic world view and of Renaissance drama.
Middleton’s allegorical satire The Blacke Booke (1604) ex-presses the notion of the depravity of human nature, an idea that pervades his dramatic works. The comedy A Tricke to Catch the Old-one (staged 1604, published 1608) is a satire on bourgeois money-grubbing. In the play Women Beware Women (staged 1621, published 1657) a society corroded by vices is depicted. The tragicomedy The Witch (published 1778) develops the theme of man’s weakness in the face of demonic forces. Middleton collaborated with other playwrights on many plays.

E. V. KORNILOVA

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