Passionate Tunes For Amorous Poems: Middleton's Way With Music

Raphael Seligmann

in The Oxford Handbook of Thomas Middleton

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199559886
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Passionate Tunes For Amorous Poems: Middleton's Way With Music

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This article focuses on Middleton's way with music. Middleton treats music consistently as a ‘thing indifferent’ – good or bad depending on use. This moral agnosticism allows him to concentrate on music's practical value in building (and sometimes disrupting) communities. In Middleton's plays, song performances and comments about music expose complex relationships between characters without pretending to disclose eternal truths. Thus, a singing academy can serve as a front for a brothel in one play, while in another, a prostitute can sing a lute song to show sincere repentance. Music making in Middleton brings people together for business, fighting, love, or sex because it is something that people do and enjoy, and consider important.

Keywords: Thomas Middleton; music; plays

Article.  8387 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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