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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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.

Maud these jokes, Middleton uses asides in the play to apprise the audience about the various deceptions that the characters are playing on each other.

Yellowhammer reminds Maudlin that she isn’t one to criticize because she, too, has many faults. The Kixes’ childless state becomes a source of strife between them, and Sir Kix blames his wife, saying she is barren—even though Sir Kix is cheapisde old man and is more likely culpable for their sterile condition.

Whores pass for wives. Touchwood Junior tells his older brother about his plan to steal Moll away from Yellowhammer. Allwit a very generous gift which the various women remark on, saying it is too rich.

They talk about Madi Walter, who is in the debtor’s prison for failing to pay all of his bills. Sir Oliver Kix is related to Sir Walter and the two are in competition to see who can produce the first legitimate heir and thus secure the Kixes’ fortune; Kix unwittingly allows himself to be cuckolded.

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

This section contains 1, words approx. 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.

Tim is very dim-witted, but he thinks that his university education makes him smart. In A Chaste Maid in Cheapsideas in many of his other plays, Middleton’s double entendres have sexual connotations. This transformation of winding-sheets into wedding-sheets makes their caskets into life and fertility symbols: Allwit vows to stop the marriage. It served as one of London’s marketplaces where merchants like Mr.

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Although Henry intended for the Church of England to remain Catholic, his successor, Edward VIintroduced many Protestant reforms during his short reign. Middle class parents try desperately to marry their children into an upper class that tries desperately to hide the impending doom of poverty. Howard-Hill notes in his entry on Middleton for Dictionary of Literary Biography, “There is small security in his comic world for any of them, and even the best, like Touchwood and Moll, can thrive only by their wits.

Maudlin remembers her own dancing mmaid, saying, “I was kept at it; I took delight to learn, and he to teach me, pretty brown gentleman, he took pleasure in my company. In the Touchwood Jr. Their son, Tim, wants to be considered a learned gentleman. During the christening, the various women remark how much the large child looks like its chrapside, meaning Allwit.

The play is intricately plotted and consists of several stories about many families which are ultimately resolved at the same time. Davy says, “[Aside] Pure Welsh virgin, she lost her maidenhead in Brecknockshire. The gossips that attend Mistress Allwitt’s lying-in offer strings of touching blessings on the likely doomed newborn while drinking so heavily they leave staggering.

Covatta says, “Characters step outside the boundaries of propriety and morality but do so because the real advantages to be gained outweigh the hypothetical benefits of maintaining sterile order.

In the harmony that is reached between need and abundance, the force of fertility is finally liberated. Act 5, Scene 4. However, Yellowhammer arrives in time to stop the two lovers’ first attempt at marriage. There were exceptions to this, however. 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.

In the play, two men, Mr. 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.


Allwit kaid Sir Kix, are cuckolded. They also note that they have married their son Tim to the Welsh gentlewoman, who is a prostitute—a fact they learned too late. When Elizabeth I became queen inshe restored Protestantism in England, passing several acts that favored Protestants. While Sir Walter intends to marry Moll, she is really in love with Touchwood Junior, whom she wants to marry.

Kix blames her husband, saying that she never had fertility problems cheapsude. Maudlin sends the Welsh gentlewoman in to Tim, hoping to strike up a love affair between them while Maudlin and the tutor leave.

However, Touchwood Senior tells Sir Kix that in order for the drink to work, Sir Kix must take a long horseback ride to properly mix up the elixir. As a result, he tries to use Latin cjaste he can, much to the dismay of his mother and the Welsh Gentlewoman who thinks he is insulting her. Sir Walter says, “Here you must pass for a pure virgin. Browse all BookRags Study Guides.

Maod his long relationship with Mrs. Tim tries to speak to the woman in Latin, but she does not understand it and she thinks that he does not understand English.

While Allwit refers to ln as Sir Walter’s when they are alone, when others come in, such as the wet nurse, they refer to it as Allwit’s child. Moll continues to be very sick; when Touchwood Senior brings word that his brother has died, she faints and appears to die while Susan, her servant, is let in on a secret plan. Modern Language Association http: Next, they try to run away together across the river, but Maudlin Yellowhammer jumps in the river, catches Moll and drags her out.

Maudlin Yellowhammer tries to help her husband force their daughter, Moll, to marry Sir Walter Whorehound as an exchange for having their son marry the Welsh Gentlewoman, whom they believe is rich. T homas Middleton’s early 17th-century city comedy is set very particularly during Lent, a time when eating and trading in meat was forbidden.

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

However, while Kix is off taking the elixir, Touchwood Senior impregnates Mrs. What Do I Read Next? He remarks with genial self-mockery:.