'The prospect from the garden' : women in the plays of Thomas Middleton (1988)
AuthorsBeaven, Sarah J.show all
My principal concern in this thesis is the presentation of women in the plays of Thomas Middleton. As considerations of space necessitate a selective approach, I limit my examination to nine of his more important plays, representing his comic, tragicomic and tragic output. Reading Middleton as a strict moralist adhering to the tenets and techniques of the morality play tradition, I use the religious and social assumptions espoused by that tradition as reference points from 'Which to attempt a comparative gender evaluation of his work. An examination of the distribution of characteristics such as intelligence, awareness, insight and moral integrity reveals a marked androcentric bias. Reinforcing the religious and social institutions and assumptions 'Which function to ensure the submission of women, Middleton's treatJnent of women emerges as savagely Pauline.