• June 23, 2019

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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While Moll is cheapsidee fact a chaste maid, as the title indicates, Sir Walter’s niece—who is not his niece at all but a prostitute—is anything but the Welsh gentlewoman she pretends to be. The Welsh Gentlewoman is married to Tim at the same time as the supposed funeral of Moll Yellowhammer. Jonson’s Hymenaei offers immediate conception as cheapsside ideal in human marriage; for fertility, as the conclusion of A Mid-summer Night’s Dream and the wedding masque of The Tempest illustrate, is the greatest blessing a loving married couple can possess.

As a result, the Yellowhammers arrive too late to Moll’s funeral—where Moll and Touchwood Junior reveal that they are alive—and are unable cheapsiide stop Moll and Touchwood Junior from marrying.

Sir Walter believes that he is near death. By marrying Moll, Sir Walter will get two thousand pounds in a dowry. Allwit, Sir Walter pays for the children they have, as well as all of the Allwits’ living expenses. The lovers try to marry in secret, but they are caught before they can be wed. While Allwit refers to it as Sir Walter’s when cehapside are alone, when others come in, such as the wet nurse, they refer to it as Allwit’s child.

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 Cheaapside Whorehound. Touchwood Senior and his wife also worry about money, since his extreme fertility keeps creating children they cannot afford to raise. In the end, all of the discussion 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 tells Touchwood Senior that he and his family are free to live with Sir Kix and his chasts, and that Sir Kix will support any children that the Touchwoods have. The two lovers have done nothing wrong: Allwit is also suspicious of Sir Walter, cautious that his benefactor may cgeapside try to marry and no longer need Allwit’s wife.


Retrieved from ” https: When Elizabeth I became queen inshe restored Protestantism in England, passing several acts that favored Protestants. Writers like William Shakespearethe most famous Elizabethan dramatist, were very adept at cgaste these double meanings into the play through dialogue.

Caught while attempting to cross the Thames cheapaide, she chewpside drenched and seems to fall sick upon being brought chste. Tim and his tutor get in a semantic argument in Latin which is broken up by Maudlin Yellowhammer. They all deny it and Sir Walter says that if anybody else does sleep with her, he will marry somebody else and leave them all without money.

Moll and Touchwood Junior try to marry in secret, but they are caught before they can be wed. Middleton’s comedy may not be subtle, and his double dealers are great ones for the double entendre, but the writer knew the difference between satire and mere silliness. However, as Martin W.

Yellowhammer, the goldsmith from the play, peddled their wares. 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.

Touchwood Senior, the older brother of Touchwood Cheappside, enters with his wife. Through all the complicated wordplay and the sometimes bewildering tangle of revelations and protestations, Middleton inexorably explores the difference between what truly is and what can be seen, and the human need for both truth and artifice. They are neither refined nor scrupulous. Allwit of being his undoing.

It served as one of London’s marketplaces where merchants like Mr. As he explains to her in the very first scene in which they appear:.

shakespearefactory | A CHASTE MAID IN CHEAPSIDE

Although Yellowhammer tells Allwit that he will not let Sir Walter marry his daughter, secretly, he says he will, since Yellowhammer himself has also kept mistresses. They on the other hand, are rich but have been unable to conceive, a fact that makes both of them bitter and causes them to fight because they need an heir to claim the property that will otherwise go to Sir Walter. Touchwood Senior’s speech on marriage at the opening of act 2 chasste perhaps the best example.

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. The first time, Cheapdide Junior dupes Moll’s father, a goldsmith, by having him make the ring that he intends to place on Moll’s finger. Meanwhile, Touchwood Junior has picked up the ring that he had Yellowhammer make chewpside he and Moll make plans to steal away and be secretly married.


Allwit and Sir Kix, are cuckolded.

A Chaste Maid in Cheapside

Touchwood Junior is very bold in this ruse, telling Yellowhammer that he intends to use the ring to steal away a man’s daughter. Retrieved December 26, from Encyclopedia. Yellowhammer tells Sir Walter that they should be married first thing in the morning to prevent her from escaping again.

Middleton is also cheapskde to Touchwood Senior, who, aware of his legendary fertility, uses his double-edged gift to bless Sir Oliver and Lady Kix with a child. When Yellowhammer asks how big the intended bride’s finger is, Touchwood Junior says that it is the same size as Moll’s. Their son, Tim, wants to be considered a learned gentleman. Chasts in this plot, love triumphs over all odds; and the double wedding with which the play concludes—Touchwood Jr.

A Chaste Maid in Cheapside, by Thomas Middleton

Yellowhammer is a goldsmith who along with his wife, Maudlin, tries to force his daughter, Moll, to marry Sir Walter Whorehound. In the face of the worldly pressures which sympathetic characters like Sir Oliver, Lady Kix, Touchwood Senior, Touchwood Junior, and Moll face—poverty, society, biology—Middleton’s realistic about the fact that it’s almost impossible to live a life of absolutes and survive. 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 an old man and is more likely culpable for their sterile condition.

In this essay, Wallace considers Middleton’s deft investigation of truth and artifice. Allwit’s new baby girl. In the following essay, Mais discusses the ambiguous morality that Middleton demonstrates in A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. In the scene in which the Kixes spend their energies in mutual accusation, a maid tells them about a certain doctor’s miraculous remedy for sterility; and, since this is in the same scene in which Touchwood Sr. Sir Oliver wishes his wife happiness at any price, then descends into recriminations about her fertility within half a page of dialogue.

After mais abortive attempt to elope with Touchwood Junior, Moll is guarded at home. The Yellowhammers are determined to marry their fresh young daughter Moll to Sir Walter Whorehound, even though she is in love with young Touchwood Junior.