Posts Tagged ‘William Rowley’

I have just finished re-reading “The Changeling” by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley. This a Jacobean play which i studied during my English A Level and quite enjoyed.

The Changeling - Thomas Middleton and William Rowley

The Changeling – Thomas Middleton and William Rowley (via Amazon)

The blurb on Amazon reads:

“Now regarded as one of the masterpieces of Jacobean drama Middleton and Rowley’s play tells the story of Beatrice Joanna. Betrothed to Alonzo but in love with Alsemero she persuades the disfigured servant De Flores, who is infatuated with her, to murder her prospective husband. Her actions embroil them all in a nightmare of violence and betrayal.”

This play gets a bit twisted, what with Beatrice bribing her father’s ugly servant De Flores to murder Alonzo, and then De Flores demanding that she give him her virginity as payment for the murder, which she does somewhat reluctantly! Then she has to prove to her new husband Alsemero that she is a virgin, panics, and then decides to sneak her own virginal servant into the bridal bed to deceive her new husband but to save her skin at the same time!

The subplot is less dramatic but just as crazy: Alibius, the owner of an asylum for the insane wants to protect his new bride from potential suitors who might steal her away so he locks her up inside the asylum and keeps out of the real world. However, little does he know that 2 suitors have been admitted under the pretense of being insane, and thus try to woo the beautiful bride under his very nose.

The play is actually quite funny in some respects, with the bed-hopping and disguises making the overall play more light-hearted. I studied “The Changeling” during I actually watched this play being performed at the Barbican in London back in 2006 and really enjoyed how it works on stage. I’ve also seen a film version which doesn’t work as well but the setting is a bit more visual and more real.

The characters are interesting, with De Flores being believable as the creepy servant and Beatrice as the beautiful yet scheming young woman. I still can’t believe that Alsemero was so stupid to not realise that he ended up in bed with his wife’s maid instead of his own wife – how blind can a man be!!??

I also can’t believe how well the two men managed to dupe Alibius into thinking they were insane and trying to steal his wife Isabella right where he least expected her to be in danger of being seduced. I love how the would-be seducers get their comeuppance when Isabella beats them at their own game!

This play is based mainly on sex, of course! The sexual innuendo is constant throughout the play! But then, what is the point of having a play with nothing that can be deemed as sexual!?

I give this play 9/10 because it is one of my favourites! Some plays get boring after a while but this one is quite good throughout, although i only gave it 9/10 because the subplot isn’t quite as good as the main plot! Worth a read if you haven’t tried it!

I have finally completed my June challenge, despite thinking i wouldn’t be able to finish in time!

My tasks for June were as follows:

  1. Read a brand new book. - Read “Peaches for Monsieur le Curé” by Joanne Harris.
  2. Read a classic you’ve never tried before. – Read “Tess of the D’Urberviles” by Thomas Hardy
  3. Re-read a book you studied at school/college/university. - Re-read “Z for Zachariah” by Robert C. O’Brien.
  4. Read a play. - Re-read “The Changeling” by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley
  5. Read a book that you have owned for a while but haven’t started yet. - Read “Delicacy” by David Foenkinos
  6. Re-read a favourite book from your younger years. – Re-read “Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Harvest” (A novelization from the hit TV series of the same title)
  7. Read a non-fiction title. - Reading “The Queen’s English” by Bernard C. Lamb
  8. Read a book that is totally different to the sort you usually read. - Read “New Finnish Grammar” by Diego Marani

I have finished all of the books, except for Task7, the non-fiction title “The Queen’s English” because it is fairly heavy going as a textbook (although the book says it is a “light” textbook, which it really isn’t!), but i will keep reading it inbits at a time because i won’t absorb it otherwise!

It has been an interesting challenge though, as you can’t deny that i’ve covered a wide range of books!

My favourite book was “Z for Zachariah” because it was easy to read, yet it was interesting to re-read it after so many years have passed since i studied it at school!

There isn’t a book i didn’t like, although i found myself getting a little irritated by “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” with Tess being a bit pathetic at times and the ending being a bit rubbish. I thought it was worth reading though, but i’m glad i didn’t have to study it at school/university!

That’s the end of my Mixing It Up Reading Challenge, and i will now have a little break from challenges because i want to just read without worrying about a deadline!