A Yorkshire Tragedy

Catherine Richardson

in Domestic Life and Domestic Tragedy in Early Modern England

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780719065446
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701164 | DOI:
A Yorkshire Tragedy

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  • Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)


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Perhaps the overriding meanings of ‘household’ in A Yorkshire Tragedy are family and lineage, and it offers a complex examination of the intergenerational pull of the ‘house’ as contained by the family seat. It is in the context not only of his role as head of his nuclear family but also as representative of his ancestral heritage that the husband's actions are judged, resulting in a play whose temporal perspective is as wide as that of A Woman Killed With Kindness. A Yorkshire Tragedy treats the familiar domestic themes of the pain of familial rupture and the relationship between household and community, but it does so in a very different theatrical form. The opening scene, in which the servants discuss their London wares, has a familiar social particularity to it, but the rest of the play is totally dissimilar in tone: the physical articulation of rooms and spaces and specifically localised areas of the house are pared down to one significant example. Images that connect earth to heaven, soiling money to ethereal purity, set the play firmly within the morality tradition.

Keywords: household; Yorkshire Tragedy; family; lineage; house; community; morality

Chapter.  8598 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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