John Marston: Antonio and Mellida

(941 words)
  • Rebecca Yearling (University of Keele)

The romantic comedy Antonio and Mellida was written in about 1599 for the boy actors of the St Paul’s theatre in London. It begins with a metatheatrical Induction, in which the boy players are seen studying their scripts and talking to each other about how to perform the parts they have been assigned. The actor playing the villain, Piero, will “be proud, stroke up the hair, and strut” (Induction 14), while the actor playing the hero, Antonio, complains that his part is so rich and varied in terms of the range of emotions that will be required that “T’ad been a right part for Proteus” (Induction 157-8). The Induction ends with a promise that the author will write a sequel to the play, “if this obtain gracious …

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Yearling, Rebecca. "Antonio and Mellida". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 June 2013
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]