Beaumont and Fletcher: The Maid's Tragedy

(1153 words)
  • Sandra Clark (Birkbeck, University of London)

The Maid’s Tragedy was probably written around 1610-11, but not printed until 1619. Fuller in The Worthies of England records an anecdote about the playwrights meeting in a tavern to draft a tragedy in which Fletcher “undertook to kill the King therein”. The possibility that it was produced in the aftermath of the assassination of Henry IV of France in 1610, which increased the fears of James I for his own personal safety, is considerable, and adds to the play’s political implications. Recent critics are now willing to regard it as a politically serious play about absolutism and tyranny, possibly mildly censored in its first quarto, and Finkelpearl considers it “one of the greatest mysteries of Jacobean …

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Clark, Sandra. "The Maid's Tragedy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2003
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Revenge Tragedy
  2. English Renaissance Theatre - Jacobean