The Birth of Merlin, or, The Childe Hath Found His Father, has few equivalents in the catalog of Jacobean drama. Willliam Rowley and his mysterious collaborator(s) ambitiously pack multiple plots and even more generic peculiarities into the play. It is a journey into the absurd and anachronistic that can dizzy, if not divide, audiences. All five acts are “chaotic and surprising” (Kirwan). The play’s central theme — Things-Being-What-They-Are-Not — finds its most potent expression in the main characters Merlin and Joan, as well as the two sisters Constantia and Modestia.
Context & Reception
The Birth of Merlin was first performed in 1622. Scholars …
Citation: Dukes, Tyler Jean. "The Birth of Merlin". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 February 2022 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=11986, accessed 06 February 2023.]