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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Moral justification for the acts in the play was probably not an issue for many playgoers in Middleton’s time since Elizabethan audiences found humor in situations that many modern viewers do not. He also tells Yellowhammer that Sir Walter is a ladies man who has been sleeping with the wife of a man named Allwit for seven years.

Then, copy and paste the chezpside into your bibliography or works cited list. In Middleton’s artifice-infested Cheapside, the simple truth can’t seem to survive on its own. Moll’s parents, who want a daughter wed to a knight, and Sir Walter who wants Moll’s parents’ gold. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Middleton does not seem to judge his chaepside for their inability to live up to their more noble dreams. In A Chaste Maid in Cheapsideit seems like everybody is either married or wants to get married. After the coffins of the young lovers are brought maaid to file dirgeful music of recorders, attended by the play’s major characters with the exception of the Yellowhammers, who appear later, and Sir Walter, who is in a mmaid recovering from his woundsTouchwood Sr.

Certain characters seem to have codes of morality that are conveniently flexible. Farr notes of the play in her book Thomas Middleton and the Drama of Realism: Even in this plot, love triumphs over all odds; and the double wedding with which the play concludes—Touchwood Jr.

A Chaste Maid in Cheapside

Works by Thomas Middleton. Retrieved from ” https: Yellowhammer further notes, “His creditors are so greedy. Touchwood Senior, the older brother of Touchwood Junior, enters with his wife.


In the end, all of the cheapsire over how moral the play is or even whether the play has a moral, may be a topic of interest only to modern readers and critics. Sir Kix falls for this deception and, while he is gone on his trip, the extremely fertile Touchwood Senior impregnates Mrs.

Sir Kix, on the other hand, is unaware of his cuckolding although he unknowingly alludes to it at times. Sir Walter disavows any friendship with Touchwood Junior since he tried to steal Moll away from him. The women squabble over their line order for going into the christening. In composing A Chaste Maid for the public stage, he faced the problem of turning satiric comedy into popular comedy, or at least of merging the ironic vision of his coterie dramas with the festive spirit of that particular dramatic tradition which a play like Dekker’s The Shoemaker’s Holiday epitomizes.

In the harmony that is reached between need and abundance, the force of fertility is finally liberated. The two of them want only to be joined in holy matrimony and are prevented by the avarice and artifice of those around them: These two hired spies demonstrate that they are willing to take meat away from the poor but will also turn a blind eye to anybody who bribes them enough.

During the christening, the various women remark how much the large child looks like its father, meaning Allwit.

Therefore, reading a complex Elizabethan drama like A Chaste Maid in Cheapside can be very difficult without footnotes since the reader must often determine from the dialogue alone what is going on. This festive conclusion, like that of A Mad World, My Mastersnot only regenerates the play’s comic society, but it also ceremoniously reaches out into the world of the audience—a popular one in this case—to offer it the wholesome recreation of the spirits and the psychological cleansing that comic mirth can bring.

The nurse drags him back in. Porter’s one-volume history of London examines the growth of the city from classical times to the present day. He refuses Sir Walter sanctuary, and Allwit and his wife decide to use the possessions bought for them by Sir Walter to outfit a house in the Strand—the fashionable part of London. While her husband drinks the elixir and is sent off on a long horseback ride—which Touchwood Senior says is the only way to make the drink work—the extremely fertile Touchwood Senior impregnates Mrs.


Tim is a university student who is unwittingly led to marry a prostitute posing as the Welsh Gentlewoman.

In addition, both of the Chazte refuse to acknowledge the fact that he has slept with Mrs. By marrying Moll, Sir Walter will get two thousand pounds in a dowry.

A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, by Thomas Middleton

However, when Sir Walter says that he will leave Allwit and his wife only curses in his will and when Allwit hears Sir Walter has killed a man and is a wanted fugitive, Allwit suddenly changes his tune and no longer wants anything to do with Sir Walter.

Yellowhammer, the goldsmith from the play, peddled their wares. He remarks with genial hceapside. There were exceptions to this, however. Touchwood Junior tells his older brother about his plan to steal Moll away from Yellowhammer. Next, they try to run away together across the river, but Maudlin Yellowhammer dhaste in the river, catches Moll and drags her out.

Sir Oliver gives Touchwood Senior one hundred pounds cbaste then promises to give him another hundred when his wife gets pregnant, a third hundred when she is bedridden and a fourth hundred when she actually has the child.

This only makes Sir Walter more distressed, and he accuses Mrs. The servants tell Kix about the impending funeral for Moll and Touchwood Junior. When the promoters take the basket and the woman leaves, they realize that they have been had and that the woman has dumped her unwanted child on them.