The Changeling

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U of Nebraska Press, Jan 1, 1966 - Drama - 112 pages
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A changeling is a fickle person, a waverer, a person posing as another person, or an idiot. The Changeling portrays them all. The play interchanges not only characters, but authors, too. Written in 1622, it is one of the most successful collaborations in the history of the theater. Two plots, each the work of one playwright, interweave and collide. Words, lines, episodes, and scenes mix double meanings. Rowley's tragic plot combines hypocricy and love. Middleton's comic plot mixes madness and educated fools. Deceits tie things together, suspicions tear them apart.

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New Mermaids are modernized and fully-annotated editions of classic English plays. Each volume includes The playtext, in modern spelling, edited to the highest bibliographical and textual standard ... Read full review

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Another Jacobean triumph which has deep meaning to today with the quest for passion above all Read full review

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About the author (1966)

Thomas Middleton, 1580-1627 Middleton wrote in a wide variety of genres and styles, and was a thoroughly professional dramatist. His comedies were generally based on London life but 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 resembles Shakespeare.

Williams is a graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, where he obtained a Bachelor of Philosophy Degree and a Master of Arts Degree.