Thomas Middleton: A Chaste Maid in Cheapside

(1554 words)
  • Anja Mueller-Wood (Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz )

Set “in the heart of the city of London” – the commercial area of Cheapside that once had been the capital’s old market – amongst shrewd merchants and canny craftsmen, Thomas Middleton’s A Chaste Maid in Cheapside depicts an urban microcosm ruled by money. In this world, human relationships and social institutions have become commodified, and the traditional virtues associated with them have lost all value. The moral implications of this pervasive materialism are introduced immediately in the play’s sordid overture, in which the titular character Mary (Moll) Yellowhammer, the daughter of a wealthy goldsmith, is castigated by her mother Maudlin for being insufficiently outgoing. Boasting about her own premarital …

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Mueller-Wood, Anja. "A Chaste Maid in Cheapside". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 February 2011
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. English Renaissance Theatre - Jacobean