Thomas Middleton: A Game at Chess

(1860 words)
  • Tamsin Theresa Badcoe (University of Bristol)

Thomas Middleton’s A Game at Chess was performed at the Globe theatre by the King’s Men for nine consecutive days between the fifth and fourteenth of August 1624. Although it attracted large audiences, its short, but evidently highly popular run, was brought to an end by the closure of the theatre by the Privy Council acting on King James’s orders. Surprisingly for a play of his period, A Game at Chess relied on the audience’s ability to recognise, in spite of the distancing effects of Middleton’s allegory, an exceptionally overt representation of matters concerning contemporary governance and the State, which as a rule had no place on the early modern stage. In addition, the surviving copies o…

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Badcoe, Tamsin Theresa. "A Game at Chess". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 December 2012
[, accessed 01 July 2015.]