Presentation on theme: "THOMAS MIDDLETON BY STEVIE CROISANT. QUICK FACTS NAME Thomas Middleton OCCUPATION Playwright BIRTH DATE c. April, 15801580 DEATH DATE July 4July 4, 16271627."— Presentation transcript:
QUICK FACTS NAME Thomas Middleton OCCUPATION Playwright BIRTH DATE c. April, 15801580 DEATH DATE July 4July 4, 16271627 EDUCATION Queen's College, Oxford PLACE OF BIRTH London, EnglandLondon, England, United KingdomUnited Kingdom PLACE OF DEATH Newington Butts, Surrey, EnglandNewington Butts, Surrey, England,United KingdomUnited Kingdom
EARLY LIFE Christened son of William Middleton and Anne Snow on Aril 18, 1580 Was a “gentleman born” His father died when he was 5, mother remarried, lawsuits surrounding his inheritance Matriculated at Queen’s College, Oxford in April 1598 Left degreeless
EARLY WRITINGS Published The Wisdom Of Solomon Paraphrased (1597), Micro-Cynicon and Six Snarling Satires (1599) No record of connection to the theater until May 22, 1602 Henslowe recorded in his diary a payment made to him for a work called Caesar’s Fall After leaving school, switched from elite to popular genres Needed money after inheritance was lost to Harvey
EARNING PRESTIGE May 22, 1602: writing for Shakespeare’s chief rivals, the Admiral’s Men Collaborated with Thomas Dekker, Michael Drayton, Anthony Munday, and John Webster Wrote first solo play, The Chester Tragedy Both of the above plays have been lost Early works belong to genres pioneered by others By 1602, established credentials as a commercial playwright Collaborated with same authors, all committed Protestants Had a horrible falling out with Ben Jonson
“THE WONDERFUL YEAR” Commissioned to write speech at one of the 7 Arches of Triumph to welcome the new monarch First surviving play in 1603, The Phoenix, performed in front of the new King Married Mary Marbecke, granddaughter of famous English musician and niece of chief physician to Elizabeth I Only son Edward was born between Nov 1603 to Nov 1604 Dekkar and Middleton both survived the bubonic plague of 1603 Theaters were closed until April 1604 Worked with Dekkar to produce plays to publishers, not theater companies, and write pamphlets again
CONTINUED FAME Became an industrious, prolific writer Wrote for the Admiral’s Men and Boys of St. Paul Primarily wrote citizen comedies from 1602-1607 From 1613 to his death, he wrote City of London Pageants for the Lord Mayor and served as the City Chronologer from 1620 until his death while still writing plays Anything done in 1612 is lost or he was inactive After 1613, with The Triumphs of Truths, he never wrote another comedy independently He never lost his lewd, ironic, grounded comic genius, but the later comedies and tragicomedies achieve a wider emotional range and a more complex orchestration of tones Ben Jonson’s city comedies were rejected after 1614 Only playwright trusted by Shakespeare's company to adapt Shakespeare's plays after his death Citizen, or city comedy describes a group of Elizabethan and Jacobean plays set in London, and whose characters are mostly common laborers and middle-class tradesmen and merchants. They usually employ benevolent satire of the commercial, bourgeois attitudes, but criticize harshly persons willing to go to any lengths for financial gain. Citizen comedy is typically moral, set out to denounce anyone and anything that may tarnish the name of London.
FINAL YEARS Began his 40 th year working on commission for the court and the city Greatest theatrical triumph was also his last A Game at Chess performed by the King’s Men only had 9 showings due to the political controversy surrounding the play as the Spanish ambassador had it shut down (Aug 5-14, 1624) The biggest box-office success and most talked-about dramatic work of its era, Middleton's modern history play survives in more manuscripts than any other play and was the first single play printed with engraved title- pages Middleton went into hiding after there was a warrant out for his arrest, was released on the grounds that he stop writing for the stage Was no longer allowed to write for the Pageants Wrote smaller works until his death On July 4, 1627, Middleton was buried in St. Mary’s in Newington
PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT Middleton and Shakespeare were the only writers of the English Renaissance who created plays still considered masterpieces in all four major dramatic genres: comedy, history, tragedy, and tragicomedy Middleton wrote successful dramatic texts for more theatrical venues than any of his contemporaries His work was not collected until 1840
THE COMPLETE WORKS SOLE AUTHORSHIP Phoenix 1603-04) Michaelma’s Term (1605) A Mad World, My Masters (1605-06) A Trick to Catch the Old One (1606) The Puritan (1606) The Revenger's Tragedy (16 06-07) Your Five Gallants (1607) The Second Maiden's Tragedy (1611) No Wit, No Help Like a Woman's (1611) A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (1613) The Witch (c. 1613) More Dissemblers besides Women (1615) The Widow (1616) Hengist, King of Kent (1619- 20) Women Beware Women (c. 1622) A Game at Chess (1624) COLLABORATIONS The Family of Love (1602-03) The Honest Whore, Part I (1604) A Yorkshire Tragedy (1605) The Roaring Girl (1611) Wit at Several Weapons (1613) The Nice Valour (1615-16) A Fair Quarrel (1615-17) The Old Law (1618) Anything for a Quiet Life (1621) The Changeling (1622) QUESTIONABLE ATTRIBUTION The Bloody Banquet (1600) Blurt, Master Constable (1601- 02) Timon of Athens (1607-08) The Spanish Gypsy (1623) 74 total works, 30 plays
MORE ON THE ROARING GIRL Final dramatic collaboration between Middleton and Dekker Middleton is said to have written Act II, III.i, IV, and V.ii independently Middleton: terse, witty, cynical dialogue; ironic revelation; secondary sexual meanings. Dekker: overt morals, genial tone Title derives from the riotous gallants of London known as roaring boys Title character based on Mary Frith, the real Moll Cutpurse, whose notorious exploits tested proper society and often brought her to court Wearing men’s clothes, appearing on stage, drinking, swearing, making immodest speeches, prostitution, pick-pocketing, forgery, pimping, and robbery Frith was arrested on Christmas day as a teen, which may have sparked her fame Middleton and Dekker were sympathetic to her, play gives her good PR The difference between real and stage Frith is that Middleton and Dekker give her “honesty and integrity” Crowd would have laughed at the spectacle from a man playing a woman who cross-dressed as a man Performed at the Fortune Theatre Mary Frith died of dropsy in 1659
THOMAS MIDDLETON AND THE CANON 18 sole authored plays, 10 collaborative plays, 2 adaptions Written for 7 different play companies 8 tragedies, 14 comedies, 2 English histories, 6 tragicomedies Shakespeare: 10 tragedies, 13 comedies, 10 histories, 5 tragicomedies But… more than half of Middleton’s plays have perished Not just a dramatist: playwright, poet, masque composer, chronologer, pamphleteer No accurate Middleton canon until the 1990s when Oxford published one His canon remained unfixed for so long because many of his works were not attributed him when published 4 published anonymously, 4 misattributed to other playwrights. 5 he coauthored were only attributed to the coauthor, 2 assigned to fictitious collaborators, only 1 pamphlet bore his full name on the cover page Donald P. Jackson, Middleton scholar, said: “leave no doubt whatsoever that the ‘core’ Middleton plays share a highly idiosyncratic linguistic and orthographic profile that is almost as reliable as a guide to identification as actual physiognomy or as fingerprinting.” Middleton wrote 4 works with Dekker, 1 with Ford, 5 with Rowley, 1 with Heywood, and 1 with Shakespeare Dekker and Middleton’s works are the only ones scholars have been able to attribute certain scenes to the author
WORKS CITED/CONSULTED CLEARY, CHRIS. "THE PLAYS OF THOMAS MIDDLETON." TECH. TECH.ORG, 17 DEC. 2001. WEB. 14 APR. 2014. ERNE, LUCAS. ""OUR OTHER SHAKESPEARE": THOMAS MIDDLETON AND THE CANON."JOURNAL OF MODERN PHILOLOGY (2010): 493- 505. ACADEMIC SEARCH PREMIER. WEB. 13 APR. 2014. FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY. "THOMAS MIDDLETON'S LIFE AND WORK." THOMAS MIDDLETON. N.P., 2005. WEB. 14 APR. 2014. HENDRICKS, MARGO. "A PAINTER'S EYE: GENDER AND MIDDLETON AND DEKKER'S "THE ROARING GIRL"" WOMEN'S STUDIES 18 (1990): 191- 203. ACADEMIC SEARCH PREMIER. WEB. 12 APR. 2014. "INTRODUCTION: THE TEXT AND STAGING." THE ROARING GIRL. ED. PAUL MULHOLLAND. MANCHESTER, UK: MANCHESTER UP, 1987. 1-43. PRINT. JOIKEN, ANNIINA. "THE LIFE OF THOMAS MIDDLETON." LUMINARIUM. N.P., 2 JUNE 2006. WEB. 14 APR. 2014AP. "THOMAS MIDDLETON." BIOGRAPHY.COM. N.P., 14 APR. 2014. WEB. 2014. "THOMAS MIDDLETON." ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA. ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA ONLINE ACADEMIC EDITION. ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA INC., 2014. WEB. 15 APR. 2014. YACHNIN, P. "A GAME AT CHESS THOMAS MIDDLETON'S "PRAISE OF FOLLY"" MODERN LANGUAGE QUARTERLY 48.2 (1987): 107-23. ACADEMIC SEARCH PREMIER. WEB. 13 APR. 2014.