A Chaste Maid in Cheapside Essay

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A Chaste Maid in Cheapside demonstrates that the theme of fertility can find its fullest expression in comedy, the one form of drama which best embodies the élan vital; for this particular play fuses this theme with its basic comic pattern. In its joyous celebration of man's procreative energies, A Chaste Maid is close in spirit to comedy's origin in phallic song—a virtually prototypical comic drama (in Susanne Langer's definition of the form), "erotic, risque, and sensuous if not sensual, impious, and even wicked." If Eros is the "presiding genius of comedy," he exists here in his properly comic avatar Priapus in the character of Touchwood Sr., who, in his enormous sexual potency, most vividly symbolizes the power of fertility present in Middleton's dramatic world.

Functioning effectively as a life-principle in a world threatened by moral and physical disease and death, he has the incredible...

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This section contains 2,428 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Chaste Maid in Cheapside Study Guide
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A Chaste Maid in Cheapside from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.