Abstract

While it is obvious now that Thomas Middleton's The Puritan Widow is not by Shakespeare, it was not obvious in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This essay considers the history of the canonical fortunes of Puritan Widow vis-à-vis another "puritan" play, Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. The stage-puritans in both plays can lead us toward an account of the social embeddedness of Shakespeare and Middleton's differing dramatic styles, especially their different approaches to characterization; and this, in turn, can suggest something about the two playwrights' greatly contrasting canonical fortunes over the long term.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6547
Print ISSN
0013-8304
Pages
pp. 757-786
Launched on MUSE
2003-10-22
Open Access
No
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