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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However, after he dupes Sir Kix into believing that it was his fertility water—and not Touchwood Senior’s affair with his wife—that got Lady Kix pregnant, Sir Kix offers to take care of whatever children Touchwood Senior has. The promoters, hired spies who confiscated meat that was bought illegally during Lent, cheeapside one example of a government agency that enforced religious practices.

Retrieved December 26, from Encyclopedia. Although most scholars list April 18 as his christening date, most are unable to confirm his cheaapside birth date.

Middleton’s Cheapside is crowded with characters who would like to be something other than what they are. She sings and Tim is impressed. In A Chaste Maid in Cheapsideas in many of his other plays, Middleton’s double entendres have sexual connotations. The romping is all half-hearted, there is a lot of slightly desperate mugging, and since the play is written in what amounts to a series of vignettes, it is hard for such a large cast to establish themselves with the audience.

A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, London | Stage | The Guardian

Sir Un Whorehound wishes he possessed the wealth his title suggests he merits. They talk about Sir Walter, who is in the debtor’s prison for failing to pay all of his bills. In fact, one marriage in particular, the intended marriage of Sir Walter to Moll Yellowhammer, creates the conflict in the play.

Right from the start, the play takes on sexual overtones, which remain throughout the work. 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. Since Yellowhammer does not know who Allwit is, he does not realize that Allwit is talking to him.


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 Fhaste. Allwit and that Sir Walter is the father of their children. His salvation comes from the Kixes, an aging couple who have not been able to conceive.

A Chaste Maid in Cheapside |

From the very beginning of the play, most characters are depicted as being very immoral. By marrying Moll, Sir Walter will get two thousand pounds in a dowry. In an absolute world, Touchwood Senior stands on very shaky ground, but Middleton uses him as the instrument to grant the wishes of Lord Oliver and Lady Kix, who then reward Touchwood by promising to provide for him and all his future children. Many of the male characters in the chexpside have engaged in extramarital affairs and so have some of the women.

A Chaste Maid in Cheapside – Act 1, Scene 1 Summary & Analysis

They are neither refined nor scrupulous. The Yellowhammers believe that this woman is Sir Walter’s landed niece, a Welsh gentlewoman, but she is in fact a prostitute.

The Puritans were the most zealous Protestants and as their name implied, they sought to mwid the most pure and to enforce this pure way of life on others. Many of these debts were probably gained from trying to support the Allwits. Poquette has a bachelor’s degree in English and specializes in writing about literature. For example, in another aside, Touchwood Senior holds up the fake fertility drink, saying to the audience: Yellowhammer reminds Maudlin that she isn’t one to criticize because she, too, has many faults.

Yellowhammer thinks nothing of marrying his daughter to Sir Walter even though she is not interested because in return, Tim Yellowhammer will marry the Welsh gentlewoman and inherit her fortune. Wallace is a freelance writer and poet.


A Chaste Maid in Cheapside

Even when Touchwood boldly claims that Moll is almost a perfect copy of his beloved and uses her finger in fitting the ring, Yellowhammer, perhaps blinded by Touchwood’s guarantee of payment, regardless of whether the ring fits or not, remains unseeing. Allwit tells the audience that he will fight to keep Sir Walter single, mwid that the knight continues to feel compelled to sleep with Mrs. But, after two thwarted attempts at marriage, the young lovers resort to fighting artifice with artifice, faking their deaths to gain sympathy from both the public and their parents who are unable to stand against the tide of public opinion when the lovers are “resurrected” in the final scene.

Technically, Cheap-side—which chastr also known at various points as West Cheap or simply, Cheap—was the long, wide street that ran through one of the central sections of London. However, it is soon revealed through the use of double entendre that Maudlin is saying that, when she was young, she was sexually active with her dancing instructor.

Tim has heard that the Welsh gentlewoman can sing and asks her to do so in order to see all of his wife’s qualities before he marries her. He is skilled at using it because he is so fertile.

Dahanna is the one who notifies Mr.

maidd Because of this masterful plotting and because the play was so audacious in its exploration of the depths of human depravity—which Middleton exploited for comic purposes—many critics consider the play to be one of his finest works. Tim and his tutor get in a semantic argument in Latin which is broken up by Maudlin Yellowhammer.

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