Monday, April 18, 2022

Apr. 18: Thomas Middleton, English playwright and poet


Thomas Middleton (1580-1627) was an English playwright and poet whose life overlapped that of Shakespeare. Some scholars believe that he collaborated with The Bard on All's Well That Ends Well and Timon of Athens; another play, A Yorkshire Tragedy, was long attributed to Shakespeare, but modern critics have examined the style and determined it to be Middleton's. With John Fletcher and Ben Jonson, Middleton was one of the most successful playwrights of the Jacobean period (the reign of King James, successor to Queen Elizabeth). Proficient at writing both comedy and tragedy, he also wrote a large number of masques and pageants (elaborate productions that included pantomime and dancing, and later dialogue and song, given by amateur and professional actors). His plays are still staged, and the number of productions is increasing. T. S. Eliot thought him second only to Shakespeare.


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