The Changeling Criticism

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Middleton was a popular playwright in his own day, but not long after his death, his works were neglected and were largely forgotten. In the nineteenth century, Middleton's work was revived, although his plays were often considered too coarse and vulgar by moralistic Victorian critics. Twentieth century scholars and critics put aside such scruples and established Middleton's best work as superior to any of his contemporaries, barring William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson.

The Changeling is usually considered Middleton's greatest tragedy. In the opinion of T. S. Eliot, in his essay on "Thomas Middleton" in Selected Essays, The Changeling stands out as the greatest tragedy of its time, with the exception of Shakespeare's tragedies. For Samuel Schoenbaum in Middleton's Tragedies, "Nowhere else in Middleton are action and dialogue, character and theme blended together into such powerful harmony." Critics have frequently praised the characterization of Beatrice and De Flores. The...

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The Changeling from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.