The City Madam

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Nick Hern, 2005 - London (England) - 143 pages
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A re-working of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure as a waspish city comedy that attacks the greed, hypocrisy and self-indulgence of 1630s London. Sir John Frugal and his daughters' spurned suitors return from their travels disguised as Amerindians. Their feigned godliness is contrasted with the failure of Christian charity.

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Gary Day
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About the author (2005)

Massinger is a prolific dramatist who wrote, or had a hand in, more than 50 plays. His specialty was tragicomedy, in which he imitated John Fletcher. His best-known play is "A New Way to Pay Old Debts" (1621), based on Middleton's "A Trick to Catch the Old One." Sir Giles Overreach reflects the historical Sir Giles Mompesson, a notorious capitalist and extortionist, who was tried in 1621. There is a good deal of snobbery in Massinger's play, and the class hatred of Sir Giles is frenzied and passionate. "A New Way to Pay Old Debts" has had an active theatrical history from its own day to the present, especially as a vehicle for the grandly histrionic role of Overreach.

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