Women Beware Women
by Thomas Middleton
Thomas Middleton (1580-1627), a bricklayer's son, rose to become one of the most eminent playwrights of the Jacobean period. Along with Ben Johnson he helped shape the dynamic course of drama in Renaissance England. His range is broad, as his work successfully covers comedy, tragedy, and history. Praised during his life as well as today, Middleton remains relevant and influential. Set in opulent 17th century Italy, "Women Beware Women" (1657) is a dark tragedy in line with the trends of Jacobean drama. It is a tale of violence, malice, and love. The drama that unfolds in this Italian court creates a whirlwind of jealousyleading to numerous plots of revenge and ultimate tragedy. Along with "The Changeling" (1653), "Women Beware Women" helps to form the apex of Middleton's later career.