INTRODUCTION. Most scholars believe that Thomas Middleton’s A Chaste Maid in Cheapside was first performed sometime between and , although. Complete summary of Thomas Middleton’s A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. Thomas Middleton’s early 17th-century city comedy is set very particularly during Lent, a time when eating and trading in meat was forbidden.

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These writings detail each writer’s view of what life was like in England in this time period.

A Chaste Maid in Cheapside

Their daughter, Moll, wishes she were engaged to a different man. The various witnesses including Puritan women, arrive on the scene and get ready to go inside to the christening.

Right from the start, the play takes on sexual overtones, which remain throughout the work. However, as a maid, Maudlin was “lightsome, and quick, two years before I was married. Allwit a very generous gift which the various women cheapsiee on, saying it is too rich.

While they can’t live up to them, the fact that they can still speak of better things provides the proof that chsste human flame is still flickering. He may be making a more complicated point: Works by Thomas Middleton. In Shakespeare’s words to the young man of the sonnets: Certain characters seem to have codes of morality that are conveniently flexible.

However, while Kix is off taking the elixir, Touchwood Senior impregnates Mrs. The purest example of this is the young lovers, who refuse to betray their hearts, against strong odds.

A Chaste Maid in Cheapside |

His solution was to utilize much of the thematic material he had handled in his earlier works—materialism and avarice, bourgeois pretensions, aristocratic degeneracy, religious hypocrisy, cheapsdie and prodigality—but also to expand his treatment of human sexuality to lay new stress on the theme of fertility and, hence, make Eros, not Momus, the god of his chaate world. Anthony Covatta says in his book Thomas Middleton’s City Comedies, “It is beyond doubt that his characters are usually ‘low,’ both morally and socially.


Yellowhammer tells Sir Walter that they should be married first thing in the morning to prevent her from escaping again.

Even the language Middleton chooses is rife with double meanings. Scholars still debate which of his plays Middleton wrote alone, which ones he wrote cheeapside collaboration, and which ones were actually written by others. Sir Oliver speaks with his servants noting that his wife, Lady Kix, is newly pregnant.

shakespearefactory | A CHASTE MAID IN CHEAPSIDE

Touchwood Senior sells Kix the fertility water, which is really just almond milk, then tells the knight that he must ride for five hours to shake up the elixir and make it work.

Touchwood Junior is very bold in this ruse, telling Yellowhammer that he intends to use the ring to steal away a man’s daughter. Allwit, Sir Walter pays for the children they have, as well as all of the Allwits’ living expenses. Touchwood Senior is an extremely fertile man who has more children than he can support and as a result, he and his wife plan to live apart before they have any more children.

However, Yellowhammer does not suspect that he is that man and so criticizes any father who is so blind. In the face of the worldly pressures which sympathetic characters like Sir Oliver, Lady Kix, Touchwood Senior, Touchwood Junior, and Moll face—poverty, society, biology—Middleton’s realistic about the fact that it’s almost impossible to live a life of absolutes and survive. In the Sir Walter Whorehound-Allwits plot, the comic action is more obviously satiric, since the fertility theme is subordinated to the moral issue of the bourgeois couple’s adulterous relationship with their degenerate patron.


When Sir Walter seeks redemption at the end of the play, thinking he is mortally wounded, Allwit tries to comfort him by bringing in some of the bastard children that Mrs.

Allwit tells the audience that he will fight to keep Sir Walter single, so that the knight continues to feel compelled to sleep with Mrs.

In the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, England underwent a Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation, huge theological battles between various Christian churches. The nurse comes in bringing sweets and wine cheapzide Allwit notices that some of the women take more than their share.

Tim and his new wife enter kn Tim is upset that he has married a prostitute. Their attempts to marry are thwarted on several occasions. However, despite the trickery of Moll and Touchwood Junior, their marriage is motivated by love, which makes them seem more moral than other characters. InMiddleton started serving as city chronologer, a post he held until his death. Allwit calls for Tim’s tutor who has arrived with him from college. Davy says, “[Aside] Pure Welsh virgin, she lost her maidenhead in Brecknockshire.

A maid breaks up their fight, saying that Touchwood Senior has a fertility water that he drinks, which could make Lady Chaepside pregnant. Besides references to marriage, the play is saturated with sex, most notably extramarital affairs.