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Thomas Middleton

(1580—1627) playwright

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collaborated with J. Webster, Dekker, Rowley, Munday, and others, and wrote many successful comedies of city life, including The Roaring Girle (with Dekker, 1611), Michaelmas Terme (1607), A Mad World, My Masters (1608), A Chaste Mayd in Cheap‐side (1630), and A Fair Quarrel, a tragi‐comedy written with Rowley (1617). The Spanish Gipsy, also with Rowley (and possibly Ford, 1625) is a romantic comedy based on two plots from Cervantes. Other plays include The Witch (written 1609–16, published 1778); The Widow (with Jonson? and Fletcher?, written 1615–17, published 1652), and Anything for a Quiet Life (with Webster?, written c. 1620–62, published 1662).

A writer of great versatility, Middleton also wrote many pageants and masques for city occasions, and was appointed city chronologer in 1620. His political satire A Game at Chesse (1625) created a furore, and caused him and the actors to be summoned before the Privy Council. Middleton is now best known for his two great tragedies, The Changeling (with Rowley, written 1622, published 1653) and Women Beware Women (written 1620–27, published 1657), both of which were highly praised by T. S. Eliot in his influential essay on Middleton (1927). Many scholars now consider that The Revenger's Tragedy (1670) is by Middleton. He probably collaborated with Shakespeare in Macbeth and Timon of Athens.

Subjects: Literature

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