Thomas Middleton's tragedy Women Beware Women (c.1613 –21) includes in its fifthact a masque during which the play's miscreants are severally killed and its corrupt society collapses. The masque's debt to Ben Jonson's Hymenaei is discussed, together with its possible recollection of Florentine entertainments, including those staged in 1586 for the wedding of Cesare d' Este with Virginia de' Medici. The play is based on fact, centring on the seduction of Bianca Cappello and her marriage with the Grand Duke Francesco de' Medici. Middleton makes considerable efforts to provide an 'authentic' Florentine setting for his play including, it is suggested, recalling the celebrated series of Medici wedding entertainments and touching on the fascination of an early seventeenth-century elite society with Florentine culture.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 134-143
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2009
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.