The Changeling

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  • Topic: Love, Thomas Middleton, William Rowley
  • Pages : 1 (380 words )
  • Download(s) : 98
  • Published : April 8, 2013
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How far and in what ways do you agree with the view that ‘the play is concerned with the destructive power of love and desire’? The Changeling is a perplexing mixture of styles and genres. Written by Thomas Middleton in collaboration with William Rowley in 1622, it is a Jacobean tragedy and a dark story of love, desire, adultery, murder; with an inherent and consistent underlying theme of madness. In a world filled with irrational passions and destructive love, the characters lose their sense of reason and judgement. Middleton and Rowley explore the realms of madness and sanity, feminine power and weakness. These combinations springing from the seed at the core of the play, which is passion, the destructive power of love that gives birth to madness, and a woman’s sexual desire being both her strength as well as weakness. COME BACK TO THIS Set in Alicante in Spain, The Changeling is a story about Beatrice-Joanna, the daughter of an aristrocatic nobleman, and her quest for a loving relationship. Betrothed to Alonzo De Piraquo, but in love with a handsome traveler Alsemero; she plots with her servent Deflores to murder Alonzo. Madly in love with her, Deflores wants her for himself and blackmails her into carnal relations with him. The working out of these conflicting passions is the motor of the tragic action. The subplot tells a parallel story .The asylum keeper Alibius is jealously possessive of his young wife, Isabella, but does little to show her any affection or love. Two young men, Franciscus and Antonio, are both obsessed with her but are reduced to pretending to be mad fools in order to see her. Meanwhile Alibius’ servant, Lollio, wants her too, but cannot get any further than sexual innuendo and bawdy jokes. They are all defeated by Isabella’s fidelity. The outcome of the subplot is comedic, the effect of which heightens the tragedic themes elsewhere in the play. There are many parallels and contrasts between the two plots and although seemingly unrelated...
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