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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Allwit has cgeapside affair with Sir Walter Whorehound. In A Chaste MaidMiddleton creates a similar comic action, but he eliminates some of the complexities of the plot Macchiavelli uses, though he utilizes not one, but two fertility potions. He even adds his own line of mockery to Touchwood’s little farce declaring, “I wonder things can be so warily carried, and parents blinded so; but they’re served right that have two eyes and wear so dull a sight. Tim says he can prove anything by logic and says that he will prove a prostitute to be an honest woman.

The first promoter says to his partner after letting a man sneak some meat by them, “Tis Mr Beggarland’s man, the wealthy merchant. Moll appears to die and is carried out.

Allwit delivers a lengthy monologue that describes how Sir Walter has taken care of the Allwits for many years. He instructs the servants to pay Touchwood Senior his cheapsode hundred pounds.

The Reformation was an attack on the corruption in the Roman Catholic Church by various popes and many clergy members. Allwit sides with her husband.

A Chaste Maid in Cheapside

Kix and her husband learn of the special fertility drink that Touchwood Senior can sell them, Mrs. However, while Middleton’s comedies have been enjoyed by many, two of his chwapside Women Beware Women performed in and The Changeling performed in and written by Middleton and William Rowley —are often considered his two masterpieces.

At Allwit’s house, he repents all of his sins, condemning the Allwits for indulging him. When Sir Walter seeks chespside at the end chealside the play, thinking he is mortally wounded, Allwit tries to comfort him by bringing in some of the bastard children that Mrs. The play was originally staged by the Lady Elizabeth’s Men. The women glut themselves on comfits and get ludicrously drunk on the wine offered them, making sexual advances, in their hiccoughing overindulgence, at the first males to come into reach, Tim Yellowhammer and his Cambridge tutor.


Wallace is a freelance writer and poet. This transformation of winding-sheets into wedding-sheets makes their caskets into life and fertility symbols: Clarendon Press, ; Vol. Yellowhammer and Maudlin enter too late to stop the marriage. This is important because if they have a child, Sir Walter chsapside relation of theirs will not inherit their fortune, on which he has confidently depended, going so far as to live beyond his means.

A Chaste Maid in Cheapside – Drama Online

In the seventeenth century when a man slept with another man’s wife, he was said to have cuckolded the woman’s husband. She says that it is Touchwood’s bastard child and she threatens to announce this fact. The play presents multiple plots centered on the marriage of Moll Yellowhammer, the titular maid, who is daughter to a wealthy Cheapside goldsmithand, in particular, her intended husband, Sir Walter Whorehound.

On the second occasion, Maudlin literally drags Moll out of the river by her hair. With her husband’s knowledge, Mrs. Cambridge University Press, ; pp.

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. This “landed niece” is in reality one of Sir Walter’s mistresses, who has no land in actuality. The nurse comes in bringing sweets and wine and Allwit notices that cheapsiee of the women take more than their share.

Allwit, Wat and Nick, come in to say hello, and Sir Walter makes plans to get rid of them before his marriage by sending them off to be apprentices.

When the play begins, Chxste. The women squabble over their line order for going into the christening. Middleton calls attention to Sir Walter’s particular moral deformity by attributing to him the kind of thin-skinned jealousy we would expect of the husband, not the cuckolder: The Sir Walter-Allwits’ plot, then, may raise some serious ethical questions; but, as is evident in the christening party scene and the strong presence of the fertility theme much is made of Mistress Allwit’s pregnancy and the Allwit household has a total of seven childrenthere is something comically alive about it.


The two lovers have done nothing wrong: The two are wed, as Tim and the Welsh “niece” had been earlier that day; Kix promises to support the family of Touchwood Senior, who announces that Sir Walter has cheapzide imprisoned for debt.

Dahanna is hoping that if Allwit can stop the marriage and Sir Walter dies childless, Dahanna may gain the inheritance from his distant relation, Sir Kix. Sir Oliver leaves for his five-hour journey, and Touchwood Senior and Lady Kix go to her coach so that he can impregnate her. Allwit tries to intervene on Sir Walter’s behalf at first.

It is no accident that the play’s loveless couples, the Purges and the Glisters, are childless, and the lecherous gallants, Lipsalve and Gudgeon, comically impotent in their sexual frustration. In fact, some critics have gone so far as to call Middleton a realist, since he, above many other playwrights of the time, was so adept at exposing the harsh, unromanticized reality of human vice and corruption. In terms of the drama’s festive conclusion, the child born to this anonymous girl is, as in The Family of Lovea sign of a languishing society’s capacity for regeneration.

Another man works for somebody who pays off the promoters so they let him go. Chast arrives with Touchwood Senior and the secret ceremony begins but is broken up by Yellowhammer and Sir Walter. He remarks with genial self-mockery:.

Elizabethan dramas were performed on stages that were vastly different from those used in classical and medieval times.