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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A servant enters and says chrapside Touchwood Junior is dead, killed from the wounds given to him by Sir Walter. Interestingly, Yellowhammer, one of the characters sunk most deeply in both self-deception and machinations to deceive the rest of the world, reacts to the truth with more artifice by pretending to be enraged at the news but actually filing it away as a bargaining chip in his negotiations with Sir Walter for his daughter.

A Chaste Maid in Cheapside – Wikipedia

Chaset says in his entry on Middleton for British Writers, “The play’s gusto and seriousness, combined, make it one of theater’s richest statements on money, sex, and society. 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 to stop Moll and Touchwood Junior from marrying.

Besides these jokes, Middleton uses asides in the play to apprise the audience about the various deceptions that the characters are playing on each other. Within this twisted world, the young lovers behave with as much honor as may be realistic: 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.

Touchwood Junior buys Moll’s wedding ring from her unsuspecting father, even telling the old man that he plans to deceive the parents of his intended in order to marry her, but Yellowhammer, blinded by greed at the sale, sees nothing. However, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside was written and performed for a popular audience. However, Yellowhammer realizes that cjeapside could be worse, as he has just married his son to a prostitute and finds comfort in the fact that he only has to pay for iin dinner to serve both of his children’s weddings.


The production and performances lack the necessary butcher-like precision. The Maaid believe that this woman is Sir Walter’s landed niece, a Welsh gentlewoman, but she is in fact a prostitute.

He alludes to the fact that Sir Walter cbeapside had a long-standing affair with Mrs.

He says that they are the cause of his sin and that they have encouraged it. This page was last edited on 8 Mayat Finally, the two lovers fake their deaths. When Sir Walter seeks redemption at the end of the play, thinking he is mortally wounded, Allwit tries to comfort him by bringing in two of these bastard children—Wat and Nick.

Dunces spout Latin to prove their erudition. 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.

Yellowhammer further notes, “His creditors are so greedy. At the same time, the Yellowhammers receive a letter from their son Tim who is returning from mais. He also tells Yellowhammer that Sir Walter is a ladies man who has been sleeping with the wife of a man named Allwit for seven years. Sir Walter Whorehound wishes he possessed the wealth his title suggests he merits.

Kix blames her husband, saying that she never had fertility problems before. Allwit and that Sir Walter is the father of their children. With incidents such as these, Middleton’s moral intent with the play has been widely discussed and challenged. In A Chaste MaidMiddleton creates a similar comic action, maif he eliminates some of the complexities of the plot Macchiavelli uses, though he utilizes not one, cgaste two fertility potions.


A Chaste Maid in Cheapside

When Lady Kix asks him how she should take cheapsode medicine, this “doctor,” who has, incidentally, just finished a meal of aphrodisiac foods, tells her, “Yours must be taken lying,” and leads her off to have intercourse—in her coach, if necessary. Madi properly buys a ring for his beloved and brings in a priest to consecrate their union.

After they kick out Sir Walter, it is Mrs. A maid tells the Kixes that Touchwood makes a special fertility potion; Touchwood deceives his way into the bed of Lady Kix.

As he remarks to Moll, “Turn not chastd me till thou mayst lawfully,” meaning that they should wait until after they are married to have sex. For Allwit and for his wife, their marriage is more like a business arrangement than a traditional, romantic marriage.

shakespearefactory | A CHASTE MAID IN CHEAPSIDE

Sir Oliver suffers from impotence, cbeapside Lady Kix’s insult, “brevity,” implies, and, in spite of his railing against his wife for her supposed barrenness, it is clearly his fault that they are without children. This is one of the more tame passages in the play. By doing this, they believe that they will get the riches that Sir Walter promised while not having to marry their daughter to Sir Walter, since he is wanted by the law.

A Study of Some of the Representative Plays, Allwit and Yellowhammer have specific moral codes that allow them to commit certain acts.