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The Changeling Paperback – September 10, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This edition of The Changeling presents a spaciously printed, modernized text of the play with a very brief introduction and a minimum of commentary and textual annotation."—Notes and Queries

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

A changeling is a fickle person, a waverer, a person posing as another person, or an idiot. The Changeling portrays them all. The play interchanges not only characters, but authors, too. Written in 1622 by William Rowley and Thomas Middleton, it is one of the most successful collaborations in the history of the theater. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 134 pages
  • Publisher: Kessinger Publishing, LLC (September 10, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1162690607
  • ISBN-13: 978-1162690605
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,018,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Anyone who thinks centuries-old tragedies aren't relevant to modern times should read "The Changeling." With a few very minor adjustments, the plot and characters in this play could come right out of a modern crime novel, or even a modern true-crime story.
This is one of those plays where you read because you're more interested about what happens to the bad guy (and the bad gal) than what happens to the good guys. (Alsemero who! ) I envy the performers who get to play DeFlores and Beatrice-Joanna.
A lot of scholarly treatises about the play criticized the humorous subplot, claiming that it had no relevance and no connection to the main plot. My response is, "Hell-o! Is anybody home?" OK, that wasn't a scholarly response, but any scholar who can't see the thematic connection (characters who mask their true natures versus characters in disguise) doesn't deserve a scholarly response.
Anne M. Marble All About Romance
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Format: Paperback
Firstly, thanks to Joost Daadler for his stunning introduction to the edition I read of 'The Changeling'. The in-depth analysis of the psychological disturbances and functions that exist within the play (such as the ID and the unconscious dropping of the glove, etc.), help expand 'The Changeling' into a lot more than just (though this would be no bad thing!) a morality play where an orthodox Christian message runs predominant. I have never read a play that reduces the human to the bestial in such an intense and forceful manner, not shying away from the painful and somewhat humiliating view that human kind are more or less governed by their instincts; sexual impulse being one such motivating factor that can rid a human of any intellect ot reason that is supposed to constitute 'humanity' in the first place. This ia must read and not just a moral, didactic play either. It is not condemning sexuality but pleading with us that it must be understood. Overall, it is a tragedy that really challenges its reader into thinking hard about whether certain characters (e.g. Beatrice) can be more sympathised with than maybe one thought upon first reading. Read it!
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Format: Paperback
Madness--how many kinds were there? How many people are changelings in their world? Beatrice, focusing only on what she wants--does she really know what she wants? De Flores, who like many just focuses on himself... As Euripides for the Greeks is close to the modern mind, so are Middleton and Rowley for the Renaissance. You will find that you connect to the pivotal characters like those you know, so well are they drawn. The play itself is striking, and keep an eye on the subplot; note how it underscores the madness with its contrast to the main plot.
The New Mermaids is the best edition I've found! I highly recommend this edition of the play, whether new to Renaissance drama or scholar. The footnotes are exceptional--even my professor was astonished and pleased. They make you understand quite clearly that "nunnery" wasn't the only sexual ambiguity of interest! (And why certain characters react to words we find innocuous.)
It is a tragedy of people oblivious to others... A very good example of Renaissance drama, and one that sticks in your mind.
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Format: Paperback
To the modern reader, accustomed to the post-romantic idea that every great work of art must be the product of the mind of a single creative genius, the idea of a work of literature produced by a partnership might seem like a contradiction in terms. Almost as much of a contradiction in terms as the idea of a work of literature produced by a committee. Yet during of the English Renaissance of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, collaboration between dramatists was a common phenomenon. Even Shakespeare collaborated at times with other writers, for example with John Fletcher on “Henry VIII”.

“The Changeling” is one of the best-known examples of a collaborative play, being written by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley. It is generally regarded as a tragedy, although it actually combines a tragic main plot with a comic sub-plot. The traditional view was that the tragic parts of the drama were written by Middleton and the comic by Rowley, but modern scholarship has modified this opinion and it is now recognised that Rowley also contributed to the main plot. In common with many other non-Shakespearean Jacobean dramas, “The Changeling” fell out of favour during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was rediscovered by scholars and critics in the nineteenth century, but was not revived in the theatre until the mid-twentieth.

The principal character in the main plot is Beatrice-Joanna, the beautiful daughter of Vermandero, the governor of the castle of Alicante. Her father insists that she should marry one Alonzo de Piracquo, but Beatrice is infatuated with a young gentleman named Alsemero, and will do anything, up to and including murder, in order to get her way.
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This is a great edition of a crazy play! I wouldn't say I like Middleton better than Shakespeare, or better than most of my favorite writers, but it's an interesting read. I'm mainly rating the issue, which is lovely and has a lot of helpful supplemental material. Unfortunately, I didn't find the footnotes as helpful as I have in Norton and other editions.
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