Michaelmas Term

Front Cover
University of Nebraska Press, 1966 - Drama - 139 pages
"Michaelmas Term" is one of five satiric city comedies that the young Thomas Middleton wrote for the boy players of St. Paul's Cathedral sometime before 1607. In its witty dialogue and complex action, the play offers an unusually cynical assessment of the displacement and alienation of life in the great metropolis of early modern London. This edition, newly collated and edited, features complete explanations of the play's often bawdy exchanges and the complex staging of secondary plots.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1966)

Middleton, who wrote in a wide variety of genres and styles, was a thoroughly professional dramatist. His comedies are generally based on London life but are seen through the perspective of Roman comedy, especially those of Plautus. Middleton is a masterful constructor of plots. "A Chaste Maid in Cheapside" (1630) is typical of Middleton's interests. It is biting and satirical in tone: the crassness of the willing cuckold Allwit is almost frightening. Middleton was very preoccupied with sexual themes, especially in his tragedies, "The Changeling" (1622), written with William Rowley, and "Women Beware Women" (1621). The portraits of women in these plays are remarkable. Both Beatrice-Joanna in "The Changeling" and Bianca in "Women Beware Women" move swiftly from innocence to corruption, and Livia in "Women Beware Women" is noteworthy as a feminine Machiavelli and manipulator. In his psychological realism and his powerful vision of evil, Middleton is close to Shakespeare.

Bibliographic information