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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393900738, Paperback)New Mermaids are modernized and fully-annotated editions of classic English plays. Each volume includes:
• The playtext, in modern spelling, edited to the highest bibliographical and textual standards
• Textual notes recording significant changes to the copytext and variant readings
• Glossing notes explaining obscure words and word-play
• Critical, contextual and staging notes
• Photographs of productions where applicable
• A full introduction which provides a critical account of the play, the staging conventions of the time and recent stage history; discusses authorship, date, sources and the text; and gives guidance for further reading.
Edited and updated by leading scholars and printed in a clear, easy-to-use format, New Mermaids offer invaluable guidance for actor, student, and theatre-goer alike.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:50 -0400)
The Witch (1615/16?), categorised by its author as 'a tragi-comedy', pits the intrigues of a group of Italian aristocrats against the malevolent practices of Hecate and her witches' coven, leaving the audience with the impression that human malevolence is by far the fiercer and more effective. This edition sets the play into its dramatic and literary contexts, ranging from Shakespeare's Macbeth and Middleton's own later tragedies to Reginald Scot's sceptical Discovery of Witchcraft and King James's virulent Daemonologie. It also argues that Middleton wrote it as a topical satire to capitalise on the scandal involving Frances Howard, who obtained a divorce from the Earl of Essex on the grounds that he had been sexually incapacitated by witchcraft; she was also rumoured to have tried to poison him. Middleton exposes his noble characters precisely by letting them get away with murder.
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