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The Changeling (NHB Drama Classics) Paperback – 29 Sep 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Nick Hern Books; New edition edition (29 Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854591924
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854591920
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 1 x 16 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 271,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

A deliciously excessive gory glory. --The Sunday Telegraph on Declan Donnellan's 2006 production for Cheek by Jowl

Surely one of the greatest plays about ungovernable lust and human frailty ever written. --The Independent on Declan Donnellan's 2006 production for Cheek by Jowl

Surely one of the greatest plays about ungovernable lust and human frailty ever written. --The Independent on Declan Donnellan's 2006 production for Cheek by Jowl

From the Author

Contact with readers
This is a note from Joost Daalder, Professor of English at Flinders University (South Australia), and editor of the New Mermaids *The Changeling*. I wish to thank all readers who write to me about either the play or my edition; and I welcome the opportunity to respond to your comments to the best of my ability. My e-mail address is <Joost.Daalder@flinders.edu.au>. With all best wishes to readers of the play, - Joost Daalder --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D Burin on 10 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dark, powerful, and unsettling, Middleton and Rowley's 'The Changeling' is a tale of jealousy, unrequited affections and lust; and thus provides a deeply troubling, and fascinating portrayal of love. The play has two plots, largely separate from one another - the first chronicles the love of Beatrice for Alesmero, a feeling which clashes with her supposed duty to marry Alonzo de Piracquo; and she manipulates a servant, De Flores, who possess a great, unrequited love for Beatrice, to put Alsemero out of the picture. The other plot poses similarly worrying questions about the darker side of love, with the esteemed doctor, Alibius, locking up his young and beautiful wife Isabella, and trying to test her faithfulness by plying her with his contacts, who appear in disguise. Both of these plots have a good narrative thread, and are engaging. The tale of De Flores is one of the best evocations of obsessive love of Renaissance literature, and his asides to himself, provide perhaps his best and most revealing dialogue. Elsewhere, the tale of Alibius and Isabella is enjoyable and raises some interesting questions, but her meetings with Albius' friends disguised as a fool and a madman, respectively, do begin to drag after a while.

Despite the enjoyable and gripping nature of 'The Changeling', there are a few flaws in the play. The faked conversations between Lollio and Alibius contacts, to try and convince Isabella of their legitimacy, take up far too much of the play, and begin to distract from the action of that plot. Similarly, Beatrice and Diaphanta's own sub-plot takes away a bit too much focus from the main action. Still, these are relatively minor complaints of a play which is dramatic, darkly vibrant, and which brings forth some of the most powerful characters of the period's literature, in Beatrice and De Flores. For those who like their drama brooding, bloody and complex, 'The Changeling' will provide a very worthwhile read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
This play by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley - who collaborated on a lot of different plays it is believed with quite a lot of playwrights is one for those who are into Jacobean tragedies. The play itself has as well as the main plot which is the tragedy, a sub-plot that is comical.

The sub-plot is about a man not trusting his young wife and having her installed in the madhouse where he works. The main plot is about Beatrice who doesn't want to marry the man her father has chosen for her. Indeed Beatrice is herself a femme fatale. Beatrice lusts after another man and using a man who is obsessed with her she has the man her marriage is arranged with murdered - thus setting his brother on a course of revenge.

A story of madness, lust and sexual passion which comes across in the script there is also a psychological depth here that is unusual for the time. If you like something with murder, revenge, blackmail, suicide and passion you really should read this.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J A Sutherland on 31 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
Michael Neill's new edition of Middleton and Rowley's 'The Changeling' is a book that accompanies such a brilliant piece of Renaissance drama with the notes, criticism, introduction and analysis that it deserves. On every page of the play, footnotes provide glosses, explanations and references to Middleton and Rowley's writings. The story will still resonate with a modern audience, and, as a fellow reviewer has written, it is a shame that Shakespeare's work often overshadows this, when really it should be read it conjunction with it; the story echoes that of Macbeth, Othello and A Midsummer Night's Dream, as Neill reveals. If you are looking to read 'The Changeling', this is the edition to start with.
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By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 25 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback
This is one of my favourite Jacobean tragedies with a fascinating woman at its heart in Beatrice-Joanna. Full of lust, desire, murder and blackmail, it feels very modern with its themes of sexual coercion and guilty conscience.

Middleton, who has only recently emerged as one of the most interesting dramatists of the period (some of his works were wrongfully attributed away from him), uses the play to reflect back on the revenge genre and twists some of its tropes in a strikingly self-conscious way. All the same, this still makes much use of stage conventions such as the ghost of a murdered man, 'bed tricks', and gory props such as a severed finger.

So this is dark and sometimes almost perverse - but in a good way!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The introduction of this book was very helpful in aiding me gauge the context and time in which this play was written. The explanations provided by the editor were invaluable in helping me gain marks for the topic of my coursework. I recommend this edition of this play for students who need information regarding how to gain A01.A02.103 and A04 points when writing about this play. I also recommend this edition for any one interested in gaining a further insight into the play, that maybe wasn't gained when reading the play alone.
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