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The domestic drama of Thomas Dekker, 1599-1621 Comensoli, Viviana 1984

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CHALLENGING THE HOMILETIC TRADITION: THE DOMESTIC DRAMA OF THOMAS DEKKER, 1599-1621 By VIVIANA COMENSOLI B.A.(Hons.), Simon F r a s e r U n i v e r s i t y , 1975 M.A., Simon F r a s e r U n i v e r s i t y , 1979 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department o f E n g l i s h ) We accept, t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December 1984 (js) V i v i a n a Comensoli, 1984 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make i t freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 DE-6 (3/81) ABSTRACT The d i s s e r t a t i o n r e a p p r a i s e s Thomas Dekker's dramatic achievement through an examination of h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n to the development of Elizabethan-Jacobean domestic drama. Dekker's a l t e r a t i o n s and m o d i f i c a t i o n s of two e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e s o f e a r l y E n g l i s h domestic drama—the h o m i l e t i c p a t t e r n of s i n , punishment, and repentance, which the genre i n h e r i t e d from the m o r a l i t y t r a d i t i o n , and the g l o r i f i c a t i o n of the c u l t o f d o m e s t i c i t y — a t t e s t to a complex moral and dramatic v i s i o n which c r i t i c s have g e n e r a l l y ignored. In P a t i e n t G r i s s i l , h i s e a r l i e s t extant domestic p l a y , which p o r t r a y s a m b i v a l e n t l y the v i c i s s i t u d e s of m a r i t a l and f a m i l y l i f e , Dekker combines an a l l e g o r i c a l s u p e r s t r u c t u r e with a r e a l i s t i c s e t t i n g . The t e n s i o n between h o m i l e t i c and r e a l i s t i c impulses i s a l s o at the he a r t o f The Honest Whore. In Part I, although Dekker prov i d e s a trenchant p o r t r a i t of the a f f l i c t e d domus, the p l a y ' s s a t i r i c a l tone c l a s h e s oddly with the h o m i l e t i c schemes. In Part I I , however, the marriage code i s presented amid i n t r i c a t e p l o t t i n g and a complex e t h i c a l d esign i n which orthodox h o m i l e t i c paradigms such as the p a t i e n t wife, the t e s t i n g o f the wife ' s v i r t u e , and the p r o d i g a l husband's r e f o r m a t i o n are c o n s i s t e n t l y undermined through i r o n y and paradox. Taken as a whole, these three p l a y s r e v e a l Dekker's growing c y n i c i s m toward the t i d y moral and dramatic schemes of t h e i r analogues, and of the i i t r e a t i s e s and domestic-conduct books from which domestic dramas took t h e i r p l o t s . Dekker's s k i l l f u l e x p l o i t a t i o n of h o m i l e t i c m o t i f s extends to the comic v i s i o n o f The Roaring G i r l . The p l a y s u s t a i n s a c e n t r a l t e n s i o n between the domus and the c i t y , and o f f e r s a b o l d p o r t r a i t o f the h e r o i n e , M o l l Cutpurse, who scorns marriage, p r e f e r r i n g the openness of the c i t y t o the confinement of the household. In Dekker's domestic tragedy, The Witch of Edmonton, w r i t t e n s h o r t l y a f t e r h i s lengthy imprisonment f o r debt, the comic optimism t h a t informs The Roaring G i r l y i e l d s t o b i t t e r tones and to the de f e a t by a r e p r e s s i v e s o c i e t y of those p r o t a g o n i s t s who openly chal l e n g e the values imbedded i n the marriage code. The c o n c l u s i o n surveys the development of domestic drama s i n c e the Renaissance, and shows how Dekker a n t i c i p a t e s the domestic p l a y s of modern dramatists such as Ibsen, A r t h u r M i l l e r , and Eugene O ' N e i l l . i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT i i TABLE OF CONTENTS i v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v i INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER I. THE ELIZABETHAN-JACOBEAN DOMESTIC PLAY 12 I 12 II 40 NOTES TO CHAPTER I 45 CHAPTER I I . PATIENT GRISSIL 53 I 53 II 59 II I 73 IV 81 NOTES TO CHAPTER II 86 CHAPTER I I I . THE HONEST WHORE, I 90 NOTES TO CHAPTER I I I 131 CHAPTER IV. THE HONEST WHORE, I I 137 I 141 II 154 I I I 163 IV 174 V 182 NOTES TO CHAPTER IV 188 i v Page CHAPTER V. THE ROARING GIRL 193 I 193 II 201 I I I 217 IV 224 NOTES TO CHAPTER V 241 CHAPTER VI. THE WITCH OF EDMONTON 249 I 249 II 257 I I I 281 NOTES TO CHAPTER VI 295 CONCLUSION 299 NOTES TO CONCLUSION 315 A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 318 v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e t o extend my g r a t i t u d e to those who a s s i s t e d i n shaping t h i s work. P r o f e s s o r s E r r o l Durbach and J o e l H. Kaplan have, as members of my d i s s e r t a t i o n committee, been a t t e n t i v e , i n s p i r i n g , and s u p p o r t i v e . I am e s p e c i a l l y g r a t e f u l to P r o f e s s o r Katherine S. Stockholder whose c a r e f u l s u p e r v i s i o n and expert counsel have been le a v e n i n g and enduring i n f l u e n c e s . I would a l s o l i k e t o thank E l a i n e Auerbach who g r a c i o u s l y a s s i s t e d i n the p r o o f r e a d i n g , and Shannon Tenove who typed the manuscript. v i INTRODUCTION C r i t i c a l a p p r a i s a l o f Thomas Dekker's p l a y s has o f t e n been negative and f r e q u e n t l y a p o l o g e t i c ; even e n t h u s i a s t i c c r i t i c s u s u a l l y deem i t necessary t o q u a l i f y t h e i r p r a i s e . Harold T o l i v e r v o i c e s a common sentiment when he w r i t e s : "Dekker w i l l not l i k e l y share the l o t of r e d i s c o v e r e d minor f i g u r e s " as he "had the misfortune o f being overmatched by Jonson i n s a t i r e and overshadowed by Shakespeare i n romantic comedy."^" While Dekker's r e a l i s t i c sketches o f London l i f e and h i s sympathetic p o r t r a i t s o f s o c i a l l y unfortunate c h a r a c t e r s are o f t e n p r a i s e d , the p e r s i s t e n t charges l e v e l l e d a g a i n s t him are h i s p i e t y , h i s c o n g e n i a l humor, and h i s a l l e g e d l y simple moral v i s i o n . Conspicuously l a c k i n g i s a comprehensive assessment o f Dekker's u n c o n v e n t i o n a l , p a s s i o n a t e , and f r e q u e n t l y b i t t e r indictment of easy moral and dramatic s o l u t i o n s . One reason f o r the absence o f such a study of Dekker's p l a y s has been the o v e r r i d i n g c r i t i c a l concern with The Shoemaker's H o l i d a y , one of Dekker's e a r l i e s t unaided works and the one which most e a s i l y lends i t s e l f t o charges of l i g h t h e a r t e d treatment o f the events o f everyday l i f e . The p l a y i s the most a n t h o l o g i z e d o f Dekker's works, and c r i t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n s o f i t appear r e g u l a r l y amid sporadic remarks about the merits of other p l a y s , p a r t i c u l a r y The Honest Whore, II which Hazelton 1 Spencer i n 1933 claimed was "Dekker's masterpiece," and whose superb dramatic design i s equal to the best p l a y s o f Dekker's contemporaries. Recent B r i t i s h p r o d u c t i o n s of The  Witch of Edmonton and The Roaring G i r l w i l l perhaps spark new i n t e r e s t i n Dekker's complex dramaturgy, j u s t as r e c e n t l y there has a r i s e n c o n s i d e r a b l e i n t e r e s t i n Dekker's career as a pamphlet w r i t e r . In h i s re-assessment of Dekker's craftsmanship as a prose w r i t e r , E.D. Pendry has shown t h a t much of Dekker's work "has great s u r v i v a l - v a l u e " and deserves to be r e c o n s i d e r e d f o r our age: Dekker i s "a grown-up w r i t e r who f e e l s p a i n , and can t u r n upon i t with a • . . sneer; d e s p a i r , bravado and i n d i g n a t i o n give an edge to much of h i s w i t . There was f o r him no easy road to a f a i t h i n human g o o d n e s s . I b e l i e v e t h i s a l s o holds t r u e f o r Dekker the d r a m a t i s t . Dekker experimented w i t h a v a r i e t y o f dramatic genres, namely, c i t i z e n comedy, dramatic a l l e g o r y , the h i s t o r y p l a y , romantic comedy, and domestic drama. The l a r g e s t group of extant p l a y s , the domestic dramas, r e v e a l s a s t r i k i n g homogeneity of theme and purpose as w e l l as a s u s t a i n e d and p e r s i s t e n t c h a l l e n g e of s o c i a l and moral assumptions. These p l a y s a t t e s t t o Dekker's enormous c o n t r i b u t i o n to the formation of a s p e c i f i c a l l y E n g l i s h dramatic form which o r i g i n a t e d toward the end of the s i x t e e n t h c e n t u r y . Four major strands compose the genre: the "new" murder p l a y ; the h o m i l e t i c s t r u c t u r e which the p l a y s i n h e r i t e d from the m o r a l i t y t r a d i t i o n ; the concern with m i d d l e - c l a s s values 2 concomitant with the p r e s e n t a t i o n of the commoner as hero; and most i m p o r t a n t l y , the d r a m a t i z a t i o n of m a r i t a l or f a m i l y c o n f l i c t staged p r i m a r i l y w i t h i n the domus. Although Dekker, l i k e the best w r i t e r s of domestic p l a y s , o f t e n aimed at the e d i f i c a t i o n of the l a r g e c i t i z e n audiences of the p u b l i c t h e a t r e s , and w hile the t h r u s t of h i s domestic p l a y s i s the drama of everyday l i f e , the r e l a t i o n s h i p between audience e x p e c t a t i o n , s o c i a l - h i s t o r i c a l i n f l u e n c e s , and dramatic c o n f l i c t i n these works i s more s u b t l e and complex than has been suggested. While the c o n s i d e r a t i o n of any genre or model based on c e r t a i n p r i n c i p l e s of composition must i n c l u d e i t s relevance to the audiences and w r i t e r s of i t s time, a more u s e f u l way to begin approaching a genre as dynamic as e a r l y E n g l i s h domestic drama i s from the w r i t e r ' s p e r s p e c t i v e , t h a t i s , as a t r a d i t i o n a l p a t t e r n or model i n t e r a c t i n g with the work as i t e v o l v e s . The f i n i s h e d product w i l l r e s u l t from a combination of the d r a m a t i s t ' s p e r s o n a l experience and the models he i n h e r i t s . The i n t e r a c t i o n between an author's experience and p r e - e x i s t i n g s t r u c t u r e s suggests t h a t no one work w i l l embody completely a l l the f e a t u r e s of a given model. "A genre," w r i t e s C l a u d i o G u i l l e n , "has s t a b l e f e a t u r e s , but i t a l s o changes, as a p r e c i s e i n f l u e n c e on the work i n p r o g r e s s , w i t h the w r i t e r , the n a t i o n , and the p e r i o d . " At the same time, we w i l l d e t e c t i n the work an urge toward an e s t a b l i s h e d p a t t e r n . A genre, i n t h i s sense, •7 i s a "problem-solving model" tha t e s t a b l i s h e s a d i a l e c t i c 3 between t h e a r t i s t and t h e e v o l v i n g work. The t a s k o f t h e reader c o n s i s t s i n f o r m u l a t i n g an approximate p o s i t i o n of i n f l u e n c e w i t h i n the c o o r d i n a t e s of the genre. One way to e f f e c t t h i s f o r m u l a t i o n i s to examine the r e l a t i o n s h i p between s o c i a l and e t h i c a l i n f l u e n c e s and the g e n e r a l f i e l d of l i t e r a r y conventions from which the w r i t e r draws. The "new" work th u s becomes "both a d e v i a n t from t h e norm . . . Q and a process of communication r e f e r r i n g t o the norm." In t h i s c o n t e x t d o m e s t i c drama may be v i e w e d as a group o f r e l a t e d works t h a t f l u c t u a t e s around a norm with r e s p e c t t o c e r t a i n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Rather than view the genre i n terms of r u l i n g formulas, i t i s b e s t to see i t as a "system" or a body o f p l a y s t h a t must be u n d e r s t o o d i n r e l a t i o n t o one another. I w i l l t h e r e f o r e c o n s i d e r Dekker's domestic drama as a " f a m i l y " o f p l a y s which s h a r e s a number o f s i m i l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and impulses, the e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e s of which each p l a y e x p l o i t s i n a d i f f e r e n t manner and w i t h d i f f e r e n t i n t e n s i t y . A f t e r d e l i n e a t i n g i n Chapter One the d i s t i n g u i s h i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of E l i z a b e t h a n - J a c o b e a n domestic drama and drawing together a v a i l a b l e r e s e a r c h i n the genre, I w i l l d i s c u s s and i l l u s t r a t e Dekker's c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of i t . In subsequent chapters I w i l l a n a l y z e the p l a y s , P a t i e n t  G r i s s i l , the two p a r t s of The Honest Whore, The Roaring  G i r l , and The Witch of Edmonton, i n c h r o n o l o g i c a l order, xn terms of how each transforms c o n v e n t i o n a l themes and paradigms of the genre. P a t i e n t G r i s s i l r e v o l v e s around a 4 popular m o t i f : the v i r t u e s of a f a i t h f u l w i f e who performs her d u t i e s p a t i e n t l y and s u c c e s s f u l l y under great emotional s t r e s s . O s t e n s i b l y , the w i f e ' s unquestioning submission to her husband, the marquess, f u l f i l l s the d i d a c t i c purpose of E l i z a b e t h a n domestic drama, t h a t i s , to i n s t r u c t the middle c l a s s (which was r i s i n g economically and which was beginning to i n t e r m a r r y with the a r i s t o c r a c y ) i n domestic and s o c i a l v a l u e s . However, while the heroine of the main p l o t i s the paragon of the p a t i e n t and s u f f e r i n g w i f e , we must take i n t o account the c h a l l e n g e s to t h a t formula i n the subplot before d e c l a r i n g Dekker's treatment of marriage and the f a m i l y h o p e l e s s l y c o n v e n t i o n a l . The p l a y must be considered as a whole u n i t s i n c e the m u l t i - p l o t s t r u c t u r e r e v e a l s a c e n t r a l paradox. The s t r u c t u r e i s based on a set of c o n t r a s t s between kin d s of m a r i t a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s : while the main p l o t upholds the s a n c t i t y o f the f a m i l y u n i t as a component of the male-female/sovereign-subject h i e r a r c h y , the c h a o t i c marriage of Gwenthyan and S i r Owen c o n s i s t e n t l y opposes t h a t i d e a l . And at the same time t h a t the r e s o l u t i o n of the m a r q u e s s - G r i s s i l l , S i r Owen-Gwenthyan a c t i o n s i s based on the married c o u p l e s ' p r a i s e of marriage, we must examine why v a r i o u s minor c h a r a c t e r s ' unorthodox assumptions about married l i f e are allowed to remain undiminished a l t e r n a t i v e s to the happy denouement. I t becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y c l e a r t h a t Dekker d i d not produce p l a y s with the i n t e n t i o n of g i v i n g us n e a t l y ordered 5 plots and even tones. Instead, the plays are profoundly ambiguous. Dekker's struggle between upholding t r a d i t i o n a l values and exposing t h e i r limitations i s perhaps most crudely a r t i c u l a t e d i n The Honest Whore, I, a hybrid domestic comedy marked by an uneasy mixture of genres and a clash between s a t i r i c a l and homiletic overtones. Despite i t s i n f e r i o r i t y to the more dramatically coherent sequel, The Honest Whore, I reformulates a stock motif by replacing the patient wife with an absurdly patient husband, namely, Candido the linendraper, whose virtue i s at once venerated and r i d i c u l e d . In the Candido action, moreover, Dekker asserts a subtle metaphorical equation between marriage and commerce, and certain nuances i n the verse suggest his b i t t e r rebuke of the merchant's unquestioning embrace of a banal morality. Dekker's exploitation of t r a d i t i o n a l paradigms through paradox, irony, and contradiction i s a r t f u l l y i l l u s t r a t e d i n The Honest Whore, I I . Candido, the "patient" spouse of the subplot, has an equally unorthodox counterpart in the main plot where the stock figure i s transformed into a converted whore struggling to preserve her i n t e g r i t y i n a skeptical world. The homiletic superstructure i s marked by another fundamental irony: having abandoned the prostitute's trade, Bellafront, without a means of survival, almost f a i l s the test of forbearance. Bellafront, moreover, shares with Dekker's central female characters a strong sense of s e l f 6 t h a t i s o f t e n absent i n the h e r o i n e s of l e s s e r domestic p l a y s . L i k e the two p a r t s of The Honest Whore, The Roaring G i r l makes ex t e n s i v e use of interwoven images of commerce, marriage, and s e x u a l i t y , and p o r t r a y s the domus as the seat of c o r r u p t values and emotional d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n . The p l a y f o r c e f u l l y r e a r t i c u l a t e s the e s s e n t i a l ambiguity of the e a r l y p l a y s . The Sebastian-Mary a c t i o n addresses a theme f a m i l i a r t o m i d d l e - c l a s s audiences at the beginning of the seventeenth c e n t u r y , t h a t i s , the problems which a r i s e from fo r c e d marriage, a p r a c t i c e t h a t denies the i n d i v i d u a l ' s p e r s o n a l c l a i m s . But while the Sebastian-Mary p l o t ends i n marriage, Dekker undermines the c e l e b r a t i o n through the h e r o i n e M o l l Cutpurse's eloquent d e n u n c i a t i o n of marriage as a d e t e r r e n t to a woman's s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y . The t e n s i o n i s expressed s y m b o l i c a l l y by means of the o p p o s i t i o n between the c i t y (the seat of freedom and independence) and the domus (the centre of s p i r i t u a l m a l a i s e ) . Dekker's growing disenchantment with orthodox value systems i s evident i n the p r o g r e s s i o n i n h i s work from comedy to tragedy. The Witch of Edmonton, h i s o n l y extant domestic tragedy, p o w e r f u l l y dramatizes the i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f r e c o n c i l i n g p e r s o n a l and s o c i a l c l a i m s . Through the d e p i c t i o n of the s p i r i t u a l degeneracy of Frank Thorney, the e r r i n g husband of the marriage p l o t , and the thwarted d e s i r e of E l i z a b e t h Sawyer, the aged and abused s p i n s t e r of the s u p e r n a t u r a l p l o t , Dekker a r t i c u l a t e s the complex i n t e r -7 relationship between emotional imbalance and a repressive social system. Dekker's refinement of the marriage code, and his dramatization of conflict surrounding the family transform .conventional ethical models in domestic drama into dialectical ones that capture the inherent tensions in the individual's struggle for survival and fulfillment in an age of increasing social and psychological fragmentation. 8 Notes Harold T o l i v e r , "The Shoemaker's H o l i d a y ; Theme and Image," Boston U n i v e r s i t y S t u d i e s i n E n g l i s h , V (1961), 208. ^ Hazelton Spencer, ed., E l i z a b e t h a n P l a y s (Boston: L i t t l e , Brown, 1933), p. 668. Those s t u d i e s which deal w i t h p l a y s other than The Shoemaker's H o l i d a y are e i t h e r c h i e f l y b i o g r a p h i c a l or concerned p r i m a r i l y w i t h t h e i r orthodox moral and dramatic schemes. E a r l y c r i t i c i s m focused on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between Dekker's biography and the p l a y s ' s o c i a l background. Mary Leland Hunt's Thomas Dekker (New York: Columbia U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1911) attempted to give a sympathetic account of Dekker's " l i f e and p e r s o n a l i t y , " (p. ix ) b eginning with h i s e a r l y i n t e l l e c t u a l environment and h i s f i r s t attempts at w r i t i n g drama, and moving to the q u a r r e l with Jonson, h i s imprisonment, and h i s eventual r e t u r n t o p l a y - w r i t i n g . While Hunt admired Dekker's r e a l i s m and h i s a b i l i t y t o c o n s t r u c t complex c h a r a c t e r s , she was c r i t i c a l of h i s l a c k of s k i l l i n p l o t c o n s t r u c t i o n . A few years l a t e r L.C. Knights, i n Drama and S o c i e t y i n the Age of  Jonson (London: Chatto & Windus, 1937), c r i t i c i z e d Dekker f o r l a c k i n g "the a r t i s t i c c onscience" i n t h a t he " i s never sure of what he wants to do," at the same time t h a t he observed i n h i s p l a y s both a c o n s i s t e n t moral v i s i o n "that the average decent c i t i z e n would f i n d a c c e p t a b l e " , and a m o r a l i t y t h a t we "cannot c l a s s i f y . . . as e i t h e r 'medieval' or 'modern'" (pp. 231-32). The most exhaustive study of Dekker's r e a l i s m i s Marie-The're^se Jones-Davies' Un P e i n t r e  de l a V i e Londonienne: Thomas Dekker, 2 v o l s . ( P a r i s : D i d i e r , 1958), which d i s c u s s e s both the dramatic and non-dramatic works i n the context of E l i z a b e t h a n l i f e and c u l t u r e . The study i s e n c y c l o p e d i c and t o p i c a l , and the play s are t r e a t e d as s o c i a l documents r a t h e r than t h e a t r e p i e c e s . More r e c e n t l y , two major s t u d i e s of the p l a y s have appeared, both s t r e s s i n g t h e i r formal p r o p e r t i e s . George P r i c e ' s Thomas Dekker (New York: Twayne, 1969) p r o v i d e s a u s e f u l guide to r e s e a r c h o p p o r t u n i t i e s i n Dekker's dramatic and non-dramatic works, and catalogues Dekker's u t i l i z a t i o n of e a r l y E l i z a b e t h a n dramatic t r a d i t i o n s i n a d d i t i o n t o the i n f l u e n c e of contemporary dramatic forms upon him. James H. Conover's Thomas Dekker (The Hague: Mouton, 1969) dea l s w i t h the s t r u c t u r a l design of Dekker's independent p l a y s . 9 D i s t u r b e d by the t r e n d i n s c h o l a r s h i p to censure Dekker f o r h i s i n a b i l i t y to p r o v i d e adequate s t r u c t u r e s f o r h i s dramas, Conover examines and e v a l u a t e s each p l o t a c c o r d i n g to t r a d i t i o n a l c a t e g o r i e s : " e x p o s i t i o n , a r t i c u l a t i o n , the p l a y w r i g h t ' s use of a v a i l a b l e m a t e r i a l s , c r i s i s , climax" (p. 17). Because Conover i s o l a t e s the p l a y s from one another, and because he excludes f o r the most p a r t t h e i r p s y c h o l o g i c a l and s o c i a l dynamics, h i s c o n c l u s i o n s are q u e s t i o n a b l e : while p r a i s i n g Dekker f o r h i s a f f i n i t i e s w i t h "playwrights and modes e a r l y i n the p e r i o d , with men l i k e Kyd, Greene, Heywood, Marlowe, and Shakespeare," and f o r having " l i v e d and w r [ i t t e n ] beyond h i s time," (p. 313) Conover r e g r e t s "the p e c u l i a r l a c k of development" and growth i n Dekker's drama (p. 312). In h i s ardent p r a i s e of Dekker's e a r l y but " c l e a r l y s u p e r i o r " work, The Shoemaker's  Hol i d a y (p. 212), Conover f o l l o w s a long t r a d i t i o n i n Dekker s c h o l a r s h i p . A few t h o u g h t f u l essays have r e c e n t l y d e a l t with Dekker's complex dramaturgy and these w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n subsequent chapters. The Witch of Edmonton was produced i n 1981 by The Royal Shakespeare Company who a l s o produced The Roaring G i r l i n 1983. The d i r e c t o r i n both cases was Barry K y l e . (See above, Chapters V and VI.) ^ E.D. Pendry, ed., Thomas Dekker (London: Edward Arnold, 1967), p. 1. c The theory of a strong c o r r e l a t i o n between audience e x p e c t a t i o n and the d i d a c t i c s p i r i t o f e a r l y E n g l i s h domestic drama has been based on s o c i o l o g i c a l s t u d i e s of the p u b l i c playhouses where the p l a y s were performed. Indeed, much of the non-generic c r i t i c i s m of the p l a y s r e l i e s h e a v i l y on s o c i o l o g i c a l r a t h e r than dramatic c r i t e r i a . L o u i s B. Wright, f o r one, views the p l a y s of Dekker and Heywood i n p a r t i c u l a r as mouthpieces f o r t h e i r l a r g e m i d d l e - c l a s s audiences, whose "growing c l a s s consciousness" i s viewed as the mainspring of the new drama [ M i d d l e - C l a s s C u l t u r e i n  E l i z a b e t h a n England (1935; r p t . Ithaca, N.Y.: C o r n e l l U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1958) p. 638]. The most re c e n t study, Susan P. Cerasano's " A l l e y n ' s Fortune: The Biography of a Playhouse," D i s s . Michigan 1981, d e a l s with the w r i t e r s , p l a y e r s , and audience of the F i r s t Fortune Playhouse (1600-1621), the most i n f l u e n t i a l p u b l i c t h e a t r e of i t s day. Heywood, Dekker, and Middleton, the c h i e f Fortune p l a y w r i g h t s , are p o r t r a y e d as shrewd d r a m a t i s t s , p e r c e p t i v e of t h e i r audience's t a s t e and of i t s " c u l t u r a l s o p h i s t i c a t i o n : naive, c o n s e r v a t i v e , o f t e n complacent i n i t s own ignorance" (p. 144). In order to p l e a s e t h i s audience, argues Cerasano, the p l a y s were more l i k e l y "to c r e a t e a secure p o s i t i o n from which the m i d d l e - c l a s s viewer c o u l d be coaxed to c o n s i d e r a l t e r n a t i v e s to h i s own conduct and m o r a l i t y than to openly c h a l l e n g e bourgeois v a l u e s " (p. 145). 10 Dekker's plays e s p e c i a l l y are judged as second-rate because his intent was to teach "the s e l f - s a t i s f i e d tradesmen" in his audience, a purpose which explains his "obvious, uncomplicated aesthetic" and his avoidance of "parody and s o c i a l s a t i r e " (pp. 144-45). The plays are therefore considered dramatically uninteresting because a mass audience allegedly "dictated to i t s dramatists what the f i n a l scene of a play would hold before the f i r s t l i n e had been written" (p. 145). ^ Claudio Guillen, Literature as System (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971), p. 73. Guillen, p. 61. Guillen, p. 61. ^ In those cases where the plays are collaborations I have selected only those for which there i s convincing evidence that Dekker's share was the greatest, or that his was the organizing hand. 11 CHAPTER I THE ELIZABETHAN-JACOBEAN DOMESTIC PLAY I Domestic drama o r i g i n a t e s on the E n g l i s h popular stage i n the l a s t decade of the s i x t e e n t h century. I t s l i t e r a r y r o o t s are n a t i v e , r a t h e r than c l a s s i c a l , and i t s mainspring i s the p r e s e n t a t i o n o f predominantly E n g l i s h c h a r a c t e r s , c h i e f l y from the n o n a r i s t o c r a t i c ranks, engaged i n m a r i t a l or f a m i l y c o n f l i c t . Thomas Heywood was the f i r s t t o con s i d e r the genre's conceptual framework. Heywood combined both senses o f the term "domestic," t h a t i s , p e r t a i n i n g t o n a t i o n a l as w e l l as to household matters. In An Apology f o r  Ac t o r s (1612) Heywood r e f e r r e d to "our domesticke h y s t o r i e s " as p l a y s b o l d l y concerned w i t h contemporary E n g l i s h c h a r a c t e r s and situations,"' - a d e f i n i t i o n i m p l i e d i n the Prologue of the anonymous Warning f o r F a i r Women (ca. 1593-1599) where Tragedy d e s c r i b e s i t s e l f as "home-borne." Heywood f u r t h e r d e f i n e d domestic comedy as "a d i s c o u r s e c o n s i s t i n g o f d i v e r s e i n s t i t u t i o n s , comprehending c i v i l and domestic t h i n g s , i n which i s taught, what i n our l i v e s and manners i s to be followed, what to be a v o i d e d . i n h i s defense of the new drama, Heywood thus p o i n t e d to i t s d i s t i n g u i s h i n g f e a t u r e s , t h a t i s , i t s focus on n a t i o n a l and household matters and i t s d i d a c t i c purpose. L a t e r c r i t i c s , 12 b u i l d i n g on Heywood's o b s e r v a t i o n s , have proposed more exact d e f i n i t i o n s of the genre. While r e t a i n i n g Heywood's d e s c r i p t i o n of home-bred drama as p r i m a r i l y concerned w i t h domestic i s s u e s and d i d a c t i c i n i n t e n t , an e a r l y g e n e r a t i o n of s c h o l a r s i n t e r e s t e d i n the e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of e a r l y domestic drama narrowed Heywood's term "domestic" to i t s a p p l i c a t i o n to household or f a m i l y l i f e , and i n c l u d e d as an e s s e n t i a l component the p r e s e n t a t i o n of the "common" hero. The focus on f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s h e l p e d to d i s t i n g u i s h between p l a y s d e p i c t i n g p r e -dominantly domestic "matter" and c i t i z e n drama, which, as we w i l l l a t e r see, i s more concerned w i t h the p r e s e n t a t i o n of c i t y l i f e r a t h e r than the l i f e of the household. A.W. Ward, i n h i s e d i t i o n of A Woman K i l l e d w i t h Kindness, d e f i n e d domestic drama as fundamentally concerned with i n c i d e n t s which g a i n r a t h e r than l o s e f o r c e from the frequence of t h e i r occurrence i n the f a m i l i a r s p h e r e o f d a i l y l i f e . . . [and] t h e t r e a t m e n t o f s u b j e c t s at once i n t e r e s t i n g and homely, chosen from the sphere of p r i v a t e or f a m i l y l i f e , and s u g g e s t i v e of the sympathy which attaches i t s e l f to any t a l e of e v e n t f u l experiences i n accustomed surroundings. T h i s view was adopted by C L . P o w e l l , who considered the genre as "that d e a l i n g w i t h f a m i l y l i f e , " ^ and by a group o f Heywood s c h o l a r s who drew a t t e n t i o n t o the importance of s u b j e c t and s e t t i n g i n Heywood's p l a y s d e a l i n g w i t h f a m i l y c o n f l i c t . Mowbray V e l t e , f o r one, noted t h a t Heywood's and h i s forerunners' domestic t r a g e d i e s c o n t a i n "simple d i r e c t accounts of t r a g i c occurrences i n the homes of o r d i n a r y 13 c i t i z e n s , " a view r e i t e r a t e d by O t e l i a Cromwell when she observed t h a t domestic p l a y s concern "the common r e l a t i o n s of f a m i l y l i f e , " ^ and by A.M. C l a r k , who a r t i c u l a t e d the genre's e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c when he d e s c r i b e d domestic drama as "that body of p l a y s which ce n t r e s i n the home and the i n s t i t u t i o n o f the f a m i l y . " However, with the p u b l i c a t i o n o f Henry Adams' compre-h e n s i v e study o f E n g l i s h domestic tragedy the emphasis s h i f t e d t o the genre's d i d a c t i c i s m , a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t h a t continues t o overshadow the importance of s e t t i n g and the c u l t of d o m e s t i c i t y t h a t informs the p l a y s . Domestic tragedy, a c c o r d i n g to Adams, i s e s s e n t i a l l y h o m i l e t i c i n th a t i t s c h i e f concern i s to teach v i r t u e and denounce s i n . Seeking t o i n t e r p r e t these t r a g e d i e s as they might have been understood by the s p e c t a t o r s who saw them performed i n the p u b l i c t h e a t r e s , Adams emphasized the r e l i g i o u s and moral assumptions which he assumed were h e l d by the average theatre-goer, and based h i s a e s t h e t i c e v a l u a t i o n o f the p l a y s on t h e i r h o m i l e t i c impulses: E l i z a b e t h a n domestic t r a g e d i e s i n c u l c a t e d l e s s o n s of m o r a l i t y and r e l i g i o u s f a i t h i n the c i t i z e n s who came to the t h r e a t r e s by o f f e r i n g them examples drawn from the l i v e s and customs of t h e i r own k i n d o f people. The ch o i c e o f the hero, the m o r a l i z i n g , and the r e l i g i o u s technique are the only c o n s i s t e n t a t t r i b u t e s o f a l l these p l a y s . Adams con s i d e r e d domestic tragedy "the dramatic e q u i v a l e n t of the h o m i l e t i c t r a c t and the broadside b a l l a d , " the dramatist's c h i e f purpose being t o impart " p r i n c i p l e s 14 d e r i v e d from the r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s o f the man i n the st r e e t . " Because the humble s t a t i o n o f the hero i s the o n l y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c "not o c c a s i o n a l l y v i o l a t e d , " Adams found i t i n e v i t a b l e t h a t these p l a y s should be s e t i n the domestic sphere, " d e a l i n g with p e r s o n a l and f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s h i p s r a t h e r t h a n w i t h t h e l a r g e a f f a i r s o f s t a t e . . . ."10 The domestic component was t h e r e f o r e considered subordinate t o the p l a y s ' d i d a c t i c nature. Adams' emphasis on the h o m i l e t i c framework of domestic tragedy l e d him to p e r c e i v e the important connection between these p l a y s and the m o r a l i t y t r a d i t i o n . In i t s p o r t r a y a l of c h a r a c t e r s from the common ranks, domestic tragedy d e v e l o p s from M e d i e v a l a l l e g o r i c a l drama, which c o n c e i v e s o f Everyman as a f i t s u b j e c t f o r tragedy. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , domestic tragedy i s d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e as d i d a c t i c drama through the p a t t e r n o f a c t i o n which the genre i n h e r i t e d from the m o r a l i t y p l a y , t h a t i s , the p a t t e r n o f " s i n , the i n t e r -v e n t i o n o f Providence, and d i v i n e mercy."H The e a r l i e s t extant m o r a l i t y , The C a s t l e o f Perseverance (ca. 1400-1425), e s t a b l i s h e d the framework adopted by other m o r a l i t i e s and by the w r i t e r s of domestic tragedy. The p r i n c i p a l c h a r a c t e r , Mankind, y i e l d s to temptation by h i s Bad Angel and f a l l s i n t o s i n . Death i n e v i t a b l y takes him, but o n l y a f t e r he has repented. In the end, Mercy i n t e r c e d e s on Mankind's b e h a l f , and he i s saved from damnation by the Father's f o r g i v e n e s s . A s i m i l a r p a t t e r n occurs i n Everyman, where, a f t e r the p r o t a g o n i s t repents h i s l i f e o f s i n , d i v i n e mercy triumphs 15 and Good Deeds l i v e s a f t e r him. The m o r a l i t y p l a y s a n t i c i p a t e d domestic drama by d e v e l o p i n g a body of s e r i o u s entertainment f o r a g e n e r a l audience. By the time the f i r s t domestic p l a y s came to be w r i t t e n the a l l e g o r i c a l f i g u r e s had by and l a r g e g i v e n way to r e a l i s t i c c h a r a c t e r s , although i t i s not uncommon to f i n d a l l e g o r i c a l f i g u r e s a l s o i n c l u d e d i n the dramatis personae: A Warning f o r F a i r Women, f o r example, employs the f i g u r e s of C h a s t i t y and Lust, and Two Lamentable Tragedies (ca. 1594-1601) i n c l u d e s Homicide, 1 o A v a r i c e , and Truth. ^ In a d d i t i o n t o r e a l i s t i c c h a r a c t e r s , the new drama or the domestic murder p l a y , as i t i s sometimes c a l l e d , was based on the reportage of a contemporary event, u s u a l l y a murder. A Warning f o r F a i r  Women i s concerned wi t h the events surrounding the murder i n 1573 of George Sanders, a model f a t h e r and c i t i z e n , by h i s w i f e and her l o v e r . S i m i l a r l y , The Tragedy o f Mr. Arden o f  Feversham (ca. 1591-1592) i s based on a murder committed around 1550 which continued t o a t t r a c t p o p u l a r a t t e n t i o n f o r t y years l a t e r . The event was d e s c r i b e d w i t h c o l o r f u l embellishment both i n Holinshed's and i n Stowe's C h r o n i c l e s , w h i l e the more f a c t u a l account was recorded i n the Wardmote Book of Faversham. Despite the r e a l i s t i c q u a l i t y o f these p l a y s , the e s s e n t i a l h o m i l e t i c s u p e r s t r u c t u r e o f the m o r a l i t i e s remained u n a l t e r e d . Arden o f Feversham, the prototype o f the murder p l a y , f o l l o w s the c o n v e n t i o n a l p a t t e r n i n the p r e s e n t a t i o n o f i n f i d e l i t y and murder. Arden, a husband and gentleman, i s married t o A l e s , an 16 u n f a i t h f u l w i f e who employs v a r i o u s men, i n c l u d i n g her l o v e r , t o s l a y her husband. A f t e r a number of attempts are made on Arden's l i f e , he i s b r u t a l l y s t a b b e d by A l e s and h e r band of thugs. His corpse i s dragged to the f i e l d s , but the i n t e r v e n t i o n of Providence i s i m p l i e d when the murderers l e a v e t h e i r f o o t p r i n t s i n the snow. Conforming to the " e t h i c a l p a t t e r n of temptation, s i n , repentance, and punishment t h a t domestic tragedy i n h e r i t e d from the m o r a l i t y 13 p l a y , " A l e s Arden repents before dying at the stake w h i l e her accomplices meet v i o l e n t deaths. The domestic murder p l a y s were i n vogue c h i e f l y between 1590 and 1603, a f t e r which they gave way to domestic t r a g e d i e s which d e p i c t e d imaginary s i t u a t i o n s but which r e t a i n e d the h o m i l e t i c p a t t e r n of a c t i o n . Among these Heywood's A Woman K i l l e d w i t h Kindness (ca. 1603), f r e q u e n t l y c o nsidered the most eminent example, has been acclaimed f o r i t s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the revenge e t h i c i n i t s sympathetic p o r t r a y a l of the hero who f o r g i v e s r a t h e r than condemns h i s w i f e ' s a d u l t e r y . ^ Adams' d i s c o v e r y of the h o m i l e t i c b a s i s of domestic tragedy l o g i c a l l y l e d to h i s d i s c o v e r y of the genre's development from the m o r a l i t y p l a y s . However, Adams d i d not i n c l u d e the genre's indebtedness to another n a t i v e dramatic t r a d i t i o n , namely, the M e d i e v a l mystery c y c l e s . These c o n t a i n a c o n s i d e r a b l e amount of domestic matter, and combine symbolic, r e a l i s t i c , and h o m i l e t i c s t r u c t u r e s t o convey d o c t r i n a l t r u t h . With the exception of the 17 c o n v e n t i o n a l lament a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the Passion, those mysteries which p o r t r a y s u f f e r i n g or d e s p a i r i n innocent 15 c h a r a c t e r s u s u a l l y i n v o l v e a domestic r e l a t i o n s h i p . The most n o t a b l e examples are the C a i n p l a y s t h a t d e p i c t Adam and Eve's sorrow o v e r t h e d e a t h o f A b e l , the p l a y s o f Abraham and Isaac, and of the S l a u g h t e r of the Innocents. In the Chester Abraham and Isaac the emotional i n t e r a c t i o n between f a t h e r and c h i l d i s p o i g n a n t l y dramatized, and the p l a y c a r e f u l l y b a l a n c e s symbolism w i t h r e a l i s m . Emphasis i s as much on the c h a r a c t e r s ' r o l e s of f a t h e r and c h i l d as i t i s on t h e i r symbolic f u n c t i o n s as God the Father and C h r i s t . And t h r o u g h o u t t h e p l a y t h e d r a m a t i c f o c u s i s b o t h on Abraham's d i v i d e d l o y a l t y t o God and to h i s son, and on Isaac's p a t h e t i c obedience and deference to h i s parents. (The York c y c l e , on the other hand, p o r t r a y s Isaac as a grown man i n order to r e i n f o r c e the symbolic connection w i t h C h r i s t ' s c r u c i f i x i o n . ) The e f f e c t of the Chester p l a y i s a combination of c o n t r o l l e d l y r i c i s m and pathos, as e v i d e n t , f o r example, i n the exchange between f a t h e r and son l e a d i n g up to Abraham's s a c r i f i c e : ABRAHAM: My b l e s s i n g , deere sonne, give I the And thy mothers with h a r t so f r e e ; ISAAC: Father, I pray you, hyde myne eyne, That I se not your sword so kene; ABRAHAM: My deere sonne Isaac, speak no more, Thy wordes make my h a r t f u l l sore. Thy mekenes, c h i l d e , makes me a f r a y ; My song may be 'well awayel' 18 ISAAC: O deare f a t h e r , doe away, do awaye, Your making so mickle mone1 Now t r u l y , f a t h e r , t h i s t a l k i n g Doth but make long t a r y i n g . I praye you, come and make ending, And l e t me hence gonel ABRAHAM: Com h i t h e r , my c h i l d , t h a t a r t so sweete: Thou must be bounden, hand and f e e t e . ISAAC: Father, greete w e l l my b r e t h r e n younge, And praye my mother of her b l e s s i n g e , I come no more under her winge. ABRAHAM: My deare sonne, l e t be thy mones; My c h i l d , thou greaved me but ones. Blessed by thou, bodye and bones, . . . . (Play IV, 11. 333-379) 1 6 Pathos i s e s p e c i a l l y pronounced i n the Brome Abraham and  Isaac where p e r s o n a l i n t e r a c t i o n between f a t h e r and son tends to minimize the f o r c e of the symbolic content. Abraham's lengthy speech d e s c r i b i n g h i s l o v e f o r Isaac, f o r example, precedes God's command, and a l e r t s us to the enormous p e r s o n a l l o s s the s a c r i f i c e e n t a i l s , a theme su s t a i n e d throughout the p l a y : I love no thyng so myche, iwysse, Excepe t h i n own s e l f f e , der Fader of b l y s s e , As Ysaac her, my owyn swete son. I have dyverse c h y l d r y n moo, The wych I love not h a l f f e so w y l l ; Thys f a y e r swet chy l d , he schereys me soo, In every p l a c e wer t h a t I goo, That noo dessece her may I f e l l . (11. 1 3 - 2 0 ) 1 7 A s t r o n g c u r r e n t of pathos i s a l s o d i s c e r n i b l e i n the Towneley p l a y of the S l a u g h t e r of Innocents. Compare, f o r example, Abraham's d e c l a r a t i o n of h i s l o v e f o r Isaac i n the 19 C h e s t e r and Brome p l a y s w i t h a speech by a mother who has l o s t a c h i l d i n the Towneley Herod the Great; A l a s f o r shame and syn / a l a s t h a t I was borne 1 Of wepyng who may b l y n / t o se h i r c h y l d e f o r l o r n e ? My comforth and my kyn / my son thus a l t o torne1 Veniance f o r t h i s syn / I cry, both euyn and morne. (11. 343-346)11 Despite the c l e a r h o m i l e t i c framework of these p l a y s , we d e t e c t t r a g i c overtones i n the d e p i c t i o n o f human s u f f e r i n g . "The parent's lament over a l o s t c h i l d , " w r i t e s Douglas C o l e of the Towneley Herod, "stands as one of the more important k i n d s of s u f f e r i n g d i s p l a y e d i n the m y s t e r y - c y c l e s , a k i n d o f s u f f e r i n g which, because of i t s independence from the Passion s t o r y , c o u l d e a s i l y be adapted t o the d e v e l o p i n g 19 needs of s e c u l a r drama i n a l a t e r age." The domestic context of v a r i o u s mystery p l a y s i s not r e s t r i c t e d to those s p e c i f i c a l l y concerned w i t h human s u f f e r i n g . Domestic sentiment i s a l s o present i n p l a y s t h a t can be l o o s e l y d e s c r i b e d as comic, n o t a b l y c e r t a i n E n g l i s h v e r s i o n s o f the Noah p l a y . While the Chester p l a y i n t e r -m i t t e n t l y d e s c r i b e s the c o n f l i c t between Noah and h i s wif e w i t h comic overtones, the dramatist's c h i e f concern i s the symbolic meaning of Noah's r e l a t i o n s h i p to God. In the W a k e f i e l d v e r s i o n , on the other hand, broad comedy b a l a n c e s the symbolic s t r u c t u r e s . The p l a y p l a c e s as much i f not g r e a t e r emphasis on the wife's disobedience of Noah's w i l l as i t does on Noah's obedience of the w i l l o f God. And 20 w h i l e the wife's r e b e l l i o u s n e s s conforms to the t h e o l o g i c a l premise of the i n f e r i o r i t y and p e r f i d y of woman the comic energy of the d i a l o g u e between husband and w i f e 2 0 marks the p l a y ' s dramatic achievement. The b e s t w r i t e r s of domestic drama are perhaps c h i e f l y indebted to the W a k e f i e l d Master f o r h i s development o f c h a r a c t e r and h i s use of r e a l i s m , which " i s a q u e s t i o n of dramatic t e x t u r e r a t h e r than s u b j e c t m a t t e r . T h e Master's a b i l i t y t o p o r t r a y a dramatic process r a t h e r than s t a t i c formula, a process c r u d e l y i n i t i a t e d by the w r i t e r s of the Chester, Brome, and Towneley c y c l e s , l e d to the e x p l o i t a t i o n of standard paradigms through i r o n y and parado i n E l izabethan-Jacobean domestic drama. For although a c l o correspondence does e x i s t between the genre's moral and s t r u c t u r a l schemes and M e d i e v a l and Tudor h o m i l i e s and t r e a t i s e s , and between the p l a y s ' e t h i c a l p a t t e r n of a c t i o n and t h a t o f t h e m o r a l i t y p l a y , we s h a l l see t h a t t h e t h e o l o g i c a l component i n the b e s t of these p l a y s i s o f t e n a v a r i a n c e with the dramatic s o l u t i o n . In our e v a l u a t i o n of the domestic pl a y , as i n our e v a l u a t i o n of E l i z a b e t h a n -Jacobean drama i n g e n e r a l , we must t h e r e f o r e be c a r e f u l not to s u b s t i t u t e a moral system f o r a dramatic one. "While i t may be true," argues H a r r i e t Hawkins, "that most seventeenth-century E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e does support c o n v e n t i o n a l ideas," i t i s e q u a l l y t r u e t h a t "some of the g r e a t e s t c h a r a c t e r s i n some of the g r e a t e s t p l a y s are very 2 2 f r e q u e n t l y the ones t h a t c h a l l e n g e orthodoxy." Hawkins' argument tha t t h e a t r e i s s u s t a i n e d by t e n s i o n a p p l i e s t o the best p l a y s o f both the c o t e r i e and po p u l a r playhouses. Although w r i t e r s o f domestic p l a y s o f t e n aimed at the e d i f i c a t i o n o f t h e i r l a r g e c i t i z e n audiences, the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the new drama and c o n v e n t i o n a l m o r a l i t y i s more complex than Adams and others have suggested.^3 Because Arden o f Feversham has the d i s t i n c t i o n o f being the e a r l i e s t extant and p r o b a b l y one of the f i n e s t domestic p l a y s , i t i s a s u i t a b l e one a g a i n s t which t o t e s t t h e l i m i t a t i o n s o f the r i g i d equation between drama and homily. Adams viewed Arden of Feversham as an i l l u s t r a t i o n o f "the p r o v i d e n t i a l o p e r a t i o n o f d i v i n e j u s t i c e , " a moral purpose which i s d i s c e r n i b l e i n Arden's c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . Throughout the p l a y Arden remains e s s e n t i a l l y a s i n f u l c h a r a c t e r . He demonstrates a l a c k o f c a r i t a s through h i s convetousness o f h i s neighbor's l a n d , which he gains through unscrupulous means, and, when g i v e n the o p p o r t u n i t y to r e t u r n the l a n d , he r e f u s e s . Arden's death at the hands o f h i s w i f e and " f r i e n d s " may be viewed as Providence's way of making a l l the s i n f u l c h a r a c t e r s pay f o r t h e i r t r a n s -g r e s s i o n s : the murderers "appear i n the r o l e of the 'scourge o f God,' but i n accordance with the accepted t r a d i t i o n s of the time, t h i s does not pr e v e n t them from paying the extreme p e n a l t y f o r murder." The h o m i l e t i c r e a d i n g , however, f a i l s to account f o r the p l a y ' s moral and dramatic a m b i g u i t i e s . The t r a g i c outcome of the p l a y flows from A l e s ' s f a i t h l e s s n e s s w i t h i n the marriage and from Arden's u n e t h i c a l l a n d d e a l s . Both c h a r a c t e r s d e l i g h t i n openly d i s r e g a r d i n g and d e f y i n g C h r i s t i a n v a l u e s i n an attempt to b u i l d a s a t i s f y i n g • p e r s o n a l l i f e . A l e s d e s i r e s emotional f u l f i l l m e n t , w h i l e Arden pursues wealth and r e p u t a t i o n . I f we are to view Arden's c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n as m o r a l l y i n s t r u c t i v e t o a l a r g e l y m i d d l e - c l a s s audience, i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o account f o r the character's unquestioned s t a t u s as an upstanding c i t i z e n , h i g h l y respected by the mayor and Arden's s e r v a n t s a l i k e . The t r a g i c s t a t u r e o f both husband and wife i s r e a l i z e d through t h e i r w i l l f u l , unbending, and conscious attainment of t h e i r d e s i r e s . Furthermore, o n l y i n Al e s ' s case does d e s i r e l e a d to d e s p a i r and f i n a l l y to redemption. Arden, on the other hand, never r e p e n t s — h e goes t o h i s grave o b l i v i o u s of the j u s t i c e Providence has dispensed. Adams h i m s e l f was f o r c e d t o admit t h a t t h e m o r a l r e s o l u t i o n i n t h e p l a y " i s f a r from p e r f e c t l y executed." The ambiguity i s c r y s t a l l i z e d i n the f i n a l scene where Bradshaw, an innocent man, i s put to death a l o n g w i t h Arden's murderers. "There i s no e x p l a n a t i o n , " laments Adams, "of t h i s m i s c a r r i a g e o f j u s t i c e . " In the denouement human j u s t i c e and t h e o l o g i c a l judgment are i n o p p o s i t i o n , suggesting the dramatist's uneasiness w i t h t i d y moral c o n c l u s i o n s . A number of c r i t i c s have proposed a renewed approach t o e a r l y E n g l i s h domestic drama. Madeleine Doran, w h i l e acknowledging the h o m i l e t i c p a t t e r n o f domestic tragedy, d i f f e r e n t i a t e s between the dramatist's moral and dramatic 23 purpose. Since many domestic t r a g e d i e s took as t h e i r s u b j e c t matter contemporary crimes, they "would have a s p e c i a l appeal as t h r i l l e r s , " and would t h e r e f o r e be r e a d i l y e x p l o i t e d on the popular stage: On t h i s view, the t r a c e i n many of these t r a g e d i e s o f a moral p l a y or h o m i l e t i c scheme o f temptation, s i n , repentance, and punishment looks l e s s l i k e the o r i g i n a l impulse to the p l a y s than l i k e a c o n v e n t i o n a l moral p a t t e r n such s u b j e c t s would a t t r a c t . T h i s i s not to say t h a t domestic t r a g e d y d i d not owe a good d e a l t o t h e m o r a l i t y , b u t o n l y t o s h i f t t h e emphasis i n v i e w i n g t h e However, Doran's emphasis on the audience to whom these p l a y s l a r g e l y a p p e a l e d — " a s m a l l and f a i r l y w e l l - d e f i n e d 28 c l a s s " of "gentlemen, farmers, merchants" — d o e s l i t t l e to i l l u m i n a t e the genre's system of o r g a n i z a t i o n r e l a t i n g to s u b j e c t , s e t t i n g , a t t i t u d e and theme. A more systematic approach has been suggested by Peter Ure, who a l s o i n s i s t s t h a t the dramatist's i n t e n t i o n was not n e c e s s a r i l y the same as the h o m i l i s t ' s : the " p l a y w r i g h t , although he accepts the m o r a l i t y from which the t r e a t i s e s proceed, i s concerned w i t h more complex problems." Ure a l s o d e a l s e x c l u s i v e l y w i t h domestic tragedy, and to the three e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e s of the genre noted by Adams, t h a t i s , the murder, the c i t i z e n or common s t a t u s of the p r o t a g o n i s t s , and the predominantly n o n a r i s t o c r a t i c s t a t u s of the other c h a r a c t e r s , Ure adds the r e l a t i o n s h i p between husband and w i f e , more s p e c i f i c a l l y , how t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p c l a r i f i e s the e t h i c a l p a t t e r n of the a c t i o n . "While i t i s a r e l a t i o n s h i p . 24 code o f marriage t h a t l i e s at t h e i r b a s i s , the t r a g e d i e s . . c o u l d not have occurred without . . . [the h o m i l e t i c ] order being d i s t u r b e d by the a b e r r a t i o n o f one or other p a r t n e r . B u t at the same time t h a t Ure caut i o n s us not to impose upon t h e s e p l a y s a r i g i d m o r a l system, he i n s i s t s upon t h e i r schematic nature: the marriage theme, f o r example, i s deemed c r u c i a l to the play's dramatic power, "yet without any departure from an accepted code."3 1 F o l l o w i n g Ure, M i c h e l G r i v e l e t , i n h i s a n a l y s i s o f Heywood's domestic drama, notes t h a t these p l a y s d e a l i n a fundamental way with f a m i l y l i f e , and are d i s t i n g u i s h e d by t h e i r orthodox m o r a l i t y and the e x a l t a t i o n o f married l o v e . ^ While the theme of c o n j u g a l r e l a t i o n s i s prominent i n most domestic p l a y s , i t i s u s u a l l y i n e x t r i c a b l e from the l a r g e r concerns o f f a m i l y l i f e . Andrew C l a r k , i n h i s recent study o f e a r l y domestic drama, expands upon the work of the e a r l i e r g e n e r a t i o n o f s c h o l a r s who c l a s s i f i e d the genre a c c o r d i n g to the s e t t i n g w i t h i n the home and i t s focus on the m i d d l e - c l a s s f a m i l y . In a d d i t i o n t o the " h o m i l e t i c " c r i t e r i o n , C l a r k c o n s i d e r s the o v e r r i d i n g f e a t u r e to be "the r e l a t i o n s p e r t a i n i n g to the home and f a m i l y , and the i n s t i t u t i o n o f marriage," a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c not e x c l u s i v e t o the t r a g e d i e s : to l i m i t the domestic genre s o l e l y to tragedy i s to exclude a number of other p l a y s which have many of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the genre and are s e r i o u s l y concerned w i t h domestic themes and r e l a t i o n s . These p l a y s , tragi-comedies and comedies, r e t a i n a good d e a l o f the d i d a c t i c tone 25 and h o m i l e t i c scheme f a m i l i a r t o t h e i r p u r e l y ' t r a g i c ' c o u n t e r p a r t . . . . t h e i r 'happy e n d i n g s ' p r o v i d e . . . an a p p r o p r i a t e l y e d i f y i n g c o n c l u s i o n . What the si n n e r a c h i e v e s i n h i s eleventh-hour r e h a b i l i t a t i o n i s . . . repentance and the sober r e f o r m a t i o n o f l i f e p r e s c r i b e d by a l l d i d a c t i c l i t e r a t u r e . P l a y s such as Heywood's comedy How a Man May Choose a Good  Wife from a Bad (1601-1602) and W i l k i n s ' tragicomedy The  M i s e r i e s , o f Enforced Marriage (ca. 1606) e x p l o i t the " f r u i t f u l f i e l d o f domestic d o c t r i n e and conduct which they . . . e v i n c e " and are p r i m a r i l y concerned with m a r i t a l c o n f l i c t and i t s e f f e c t s on "the home, or f a m i l y . "3^ In h i s study o f s p e c i f i c p l a y s , however, C l a r k minimizes the important f u n c t i o n o f c o n f l i c t , p a r t i c u l a r l y as i t manifests i t s e l f i n the dramatist's a t t i t u d e toward r e c e i v e d m o r a l i t y , and, l i k e Adams befo r e him, r e l i e s h e a v i l y on the p l a y s ' indebtedness t o the h o m i l i e s and domestic-conduct books. While some disagreement remains over the o v e r r i d i n g f e a t u r e o f the e a r l y E n g l i s h domestic p l a y , i t i s g e n e r a l l y agreed t h a t the h o m i l e t i c s u p e r s t r u c t u r e and the s e t t i n g o f the a c t i o n w i t h i n the sphere o f the household d i s t i n g u i s h the genre from c i t i z e n drama, a broader group of p l a y s which 35 developed s y n c r e t i c a l l y a l o n g s i d e of i t . Both domestic and c i t i z e n drama p o r t r a y c h a r a c t e r s , themes, and s i t u a t i o n s r e l a t i n g t o the l i f e o f o r d i n a r y c i t i z e n s ; however, c i t i z e n drama, i n t a k i n g the c i t y r a t h e r than the domus as i t s fu l c r u m , i n c l u d e s wider concerns, p a r t i c u l a r l y the w o r l d o f 26 trade and commerce and i t s attendant problems of debt, usury, and c o r r u p t i o n . T o p i c a l s u b j e c t s are a l s o common, as i s the war between France and England which forms a haunting background i n Dekker's The Shoemaker's H o l i d a y . L o y a l t y and p a t r i o t i s m are commonly e x p l o r e d s u b j e c t s (these themes dominate Heywood's Edward IV) as are adventure and p o l i t i c a l i n t r i g u e . Each p l a y n o r m a l l y i n c l u d e s a v a r i e t y of s e t t i n g s ranging from t a v e r n s to London houses, s t r e e t s , docks, and b r o t h e l s so t h a t the c i t y i t s e l f i s c o n t i n u a l l y f e l t as a c o m p e l l i n g f o r c e . There are, moreover, two d i s t i n c t types of c i t i e s and c i t i z e n s represented i n c i t i z e n drama. One i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the s c h o o l of Jonson and Middleton, the t h r u s t of which i s s a t i r e and c a r i c a t u r e ; the other i s represented by Dekker and Heywood whose p o r t r a i t s of London l i f e are g e n e r a l l y more sympathetic. Despite these d i f f e r e n c e s , the major concern of both s c h o o l s i s w i t h the q u a l i t y of l i f e i n the c i t y . Each p l a y i s n o r m a l l y peopled with a v a r i e t y o f c h a r a c t e r s r e p r e s e n t i n g a broad s o c i a l spectrum, and no s i n g l e a c t i v i t y can absorb the action's f u l l a t t e n t i o n . The c i t y i t s e l f embodies the o n l y t r u e whole. In c i t i z e n drama the domestic theme i s always sub-o r d i n a t e to the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of c i t y - l i f e and i t s attendant s o c i a l c o n f l i c t s . However, the emergence of the new genres cannot be f u l l y e x p l a i n e d by the l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n s t o which they are r e l a t e d . They a l s o developed out of fundamental changes i n the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . "The refinement of a l i t e r a r y form," w r i t e s Paul Ruggiers, "seems, somehow, to be concomitant wit h caste systems, perhaps, or with s o p h i s t i c a t e d economic p r a c t i c e s of an age e x p r e s s i n g i t s e l f i n the m a t e r i a l p l e a s u r e s of the merchant c l a s s e s . " In an age when merchants and tradesmen were r a p i d l y c o n s o l i d a t i n g t h e i r s t a t u s i t was almost i n e v i t a b l e t h a t a new k i n d of drama should emerge to r e f l e c t the concerns of the f l e d g l i n g c l a s s . With the weakening of the i n t r i c a t e f e u d a l system of h i e r a r c h y and mutual o b l i g a t i o n s and r i g h t s , the m i d d l e - c l a s s f a m i l y assumed an important f u n c t i o n i n the promotion of s o c i a l s t a b i l i t y and governance. The f e u d a l k i n d r e d f a m i l y and i t s attendant "communal households," which c o n s i s t e d of s e v e r a l r e l a t e d households "sharing the same he a r t h and the same board" and which c u l t i v a t e d common l a n d , g r a d u a l l y gave way between 1500 and 1800 to s m a l l e r and s e l f - c o n t a i n e d households managed by members of a n u c l e a r f a m i l y and t h e i r s e r v a n t s . Between 1530 and 1640 there occurred an a c c e l e r a t e d d e c l i n e of the f e u d a l system o f l o y a l t y to l i n e a g e and k i n as i t was r e p l a c e d by l o y a l t y t o t h e head o f s t a t e and to a r e l i g i o u s s e c t or church, and subsequently to the head o f t h e f a m i l y who was i n s t r u c t e d t o a c t b o t h as "king and p r i e s t " w i t h i n h i s household. An e f f e c t of the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n from a k i n - o r i e n t e d to a n u c l e a r f a m i l y was the narrowing o f the p h y s i c a l environment, p e r m i t t i n g c l o s e r contact between members of the household. A number of s o c i a l h i s t o r i a n s have suggested t h a t s t r o n g a f f e c t i v e t i e s were s t i l l i m p o s s i b l e i n f a m i l i e s formed bef o r e 1640, when 28 the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the f a m i l y u n i t was i n i t s embryonic stage: f a m i l i e s o f t e n l a c k e d p r i v a c y due to frequent i n t e r f e r e n c e from neighbors and k i n , and they were o f t e n q u i c k l y d i s s o l v e d by t h e d e a t h o f one o f t h e s p o u s e s , o r o f a c h i l d . However, recent evidence i n d i c a t e s t h a t d e s p i t e the r i s k s a t t e n d i n g the family's f r a g i l i t y many couples formed i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p s and openly mourned when they 38 l o s t l o v e d ones. By the seventeenth century the f a m i l y i n England formed "an i n t i m a t e framework" of s o c i a l a c t i v i t y : " g r e a t e f f o r t s were made by t h e S t a t e and by l o c a l a u t h o r i t i e s t o see t h a t everybody was attached to a house-h o l d , and the government d i s p l a y e d a strong p r e j u d i c e 3 9 a g a i n s t b a c h e l o r s and masterless men." A phenomenon corresponding to the growth o f the n u c l e a r f a m i l y was the p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f domestic-conduct books and pamphlet l i t e r a t u r e p r o c l a i m i n g the s a n c t i t y o f the f a m i l y u n i t and denouncing those who would b r i n g dishonor t o t h e i r f a m i l i e s . Thomas Becon, i n h i s Catechism, recommended tha t each mother n u r s e h e r own baby f o r " i n so d o i n g she s h a l l g r e a t l y p l e a s e God and s a t i s f y t h e o f f i c e o f a t r u e and n a t u r a l mother"; moreover, w h i l e the c h i l d r e n are very young, parents "must p r o v i d e , t h a t no b o d i l y harm chance t o t h e c h i l d r e n , . . . b u t t h a t t h e y be k e p t w a r e l y and d i l i g e n t l y both by ni g h t and day. S i m i l a r suggestions were o f f e r e d t o abusive husbands. Jeremy T a y l o r c o n s i d e r e d p a t e r n a l a u t h o r i t y as "not a power of c o e r c i o n but a power o f a d v i c e " ; and l i k e many o f h i s countrymen he b e l i e v e d a wife's duty was to bend to the g e n t l e w i l l o f her husband.^ Much domestic a d v i c e addressed more mundane matters: f a m i l y members were a d v i s e d to a v o i d quarrelsomeness; j e a l o u s y was scorned; and one P u r i t a n t r e a t i s e w r i t e r deemed i t necessary to encourage h i s readers "to a v o i d u s i n g nicknames and terms AO o f endearment, which i m p l i e d u n d i g n i f i e d f a m i l i a r i t y . " "Whether i n A n g l i c a n or P u r i t a n households," w r i t e s Lawrence Stone, "there was, i n v a r y i n g degrees, a new emphasis on the home and on domestic v i r t u e s , and t h i s was perhaps the most f a r - r e a c h i n g consequence of the Reformation i n England. The f a m i l y i n c r e a s i n g l y became seen as the seat of order and u n i t y , v a l u e s symbolized by a w e l l - o r d e r e d house-h o l d . In domestic drama the house i t s e l f o f t e n assumes v a r i o u s dimensions, a t times f u n c t i o n i n g s t r i c t l y as l o c u s , a t o t h e r t i m e s as t h e s y m b o l i c e x t e n s i o n o f t h e h e r o o r heroine's a s p i r a t i o n s . In A Warning f o r F a i r Women, which, as Leanore L i e b l e i n observes, d e p i c t s "a f a m i l i a r domestic s i t u a t i o n which people can recognize," the "household and d a i l y l i f e o f George and Anne Sanders are r i c h l y e l a b o r a t e d a t t h e b e g i n n i n g o f the p l a y t o c l a r i f y t h e sense o f what i s d i s r u p t e d and what i s l o s t . " ^ In many domestic p l a y s the domus i s c a r e f u l l y d e l i n e a t e d , and the e f f e c t i s a d e t a i l e d e v o c a t i o n of the m a t e r i a l t h i n g s of everyday l i f e . We enter a w o r l d of f a m i l i a r o b j e c t s — o f a v a r i e t y of household items, i n c l u d i n g t a b l e s and c h a i r s , cupboards, boxes with compartments, desks, beds, and marriage c o f f e r s — a group o f items c o r r o b o r a t e d by recent s t u d i e s of scenery and 30 p r o p e r t i e s i n p l a y s staged between 1599 and 1642. In Arden o f Feversham Arden's a s s a s s i n s u n s u c c e s s f u l l y pursue him w i t h i n the community at l a r g e , but the murder takes p l a c e w h i l e A r d e n i s s e a t e d a t a c a r d t a b l e w i t h i n h i s own home. The s i t u a t i o n i s p r o f o u n d l y i r o n i c because Arden has t r i e d d e s p e r a t e l y t o make h i s house t h e s e a t o f honor and domestic contentment. As we enter the d o m i c i l e i n the opening scene the emphasis i s on the home and domestic comfort. We overhear a c o n v e r s a t i o n between Arden and h i s t r u s t y s e r v a n t amid o r d i n a r y and f a m i l i a r surroundings. Throughout the p l a y we enter the household i n t e r m i t t e n t l y t o view Arden's indulgence i n c r e a t u r e comforts. O s t e n s i b l y t r i v i a l domestic d e t a i l s c i r c u m s c r i b e the a c t i o n , enhancing the i r o n y of Arden's forthcoming t r a g i c demise. A r e c u r r i n g m o t i f i s the concern with d a i l y meals. Arden d i s c u s s e s time a c c o r d i n g t o i t s p r o x i m i t y t o dinner ( I I I . v . 156) h i s kindness toward h i s s e r v a n t i s expressed through an i n v i t a t i o n t o supper ( I I I . i i i . 4 1 - 4 5 ) ; and he proves h i s l o y a l t y t o h i s w i f e by p r o m i s i n g t o be home i n time t o d i n e w i t h her (lV. i . 3 4 ) . Arden's r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h A l e s i s based c h i e f l y on h i s r o l e as master o f the house and on h e r domestic r o l e o f cook and h o s t e s s . To h i s servant's f e a r o f Ales's resentment over not being i n c l u d e d i n Arden's s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s , Arden r e p l i e s , " l e t vs s t r a i n to mend our pace, / And take her vnwares p l a y i n g the cooke" (IV.iv.72-73). His t a c i t u r n i t y toward A l e s i n other matters i s an e f f e c t o f h i s c o u r t i n g convention and s o c i a l p r e s t i g e . The d i a l o g u e between husband and wife i s as l a c k l u s t r e as t h e i r r e l a t i o n -ship. Rather than f a c i l i t a t e communication and understanding, t h e i r language i s th o r o u g h l y c o n v e n t i o n a l and pre v e n t s communication. A l e s , however, shows open d e f i a n c e of c onvention i n her attempt to c r e a t e a more d e s i r a b l e p e r s o n a l l i f e . Her attempt to murder Arden by p o i s o n i n g h i s br o t h i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the emphasis on s p a t i a l concreteness t h a t informs domestic drama; but here an everyday domestic item becomes the instrument o f the heroine's rage a g a i n s t a s u f f o c a t i n g d o m e s t i c i t y . The t r a g i c confinement o f l i f e w i t h i n the domus i s captured i n the i r o n y o f t h e i r f i n a l c o n v e r s a t i o n immediately preceding Arden's death: Ard. Come, A l e s , i s our supper ready y e t ? A l e s . I t w i i 1 by t h e n you h a v e p l a i d a game a t t a b l e s . (V.i.233-234) We may c o n t r a s t the complex treatment o f domestic space i n Arden with Heywood's s e n t i m e n t a l d e s c r i p t i o n s of the homes t h a t are the s e t t i n g s o f h i s domestic p l a y s . George Rao, f o r one, has observed t h a t i n A Woman K i l l e d w i t h  Kindness Heywood c r e a t e s an e l e g a n t and a c t i v e domestic atmosphere i n the Y o r k s h i r e country house wi t h i t s l o y a l s e r v a n t s , country dances and s p o r t i n g games of hawking and hunting, and the e v e r - p o p u l a r a f t e r - d i n n e r game of c a r d s . ^ The d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n s o f household items enhance the p o r t r a i t o f the Frankfords' comfortable d o m e s t i c i t y and, 32 more s i g n i f i c a n t l y , Frankford's r e c t i t u d e , which c o n t r a s t s s h a r p l y w i t h h i s wife's moral f a i l u r e . The pathos of Anne's moral weakness i s thus a p p r o p r i a t e l y a r t i c u l a t e d i n her apostrophe to the l u t e , which symbolizes her former domestic happiness: "I know the l u t e . O f t have I sung to thee: / We both are out of tune, both out of time" (Scene x v i , 11. 1 8 - 1 9 ) . 4 8 The t e n s i o n between th e domus as t h e s e a t o f p l e a s u r e and v i r t u e on the one hand, and as the source of d i s s a t i s -f a c t i o n on the other, i s p o w e r f u l l y dramatized i n the anonymous Y o r k s h i r e Tragedy (ca. 1605), one of the l a s t domestic murder p l a y s . Again, the domus o s t e n s i b l y f u n c t i o n s as the seat o f honor and r e p u t a t i o n , v a l u e s desecrated by the Husband's madness. Most of the a c t i o n t r a n s p i r e s w i t h i n the v a r i o u s rooms o f C a l v e r l y H a l l , and the c h a r a c t e r s are named ac c o r d i n g to t h e i r r o l e w i t h i n the household: they i n c l u d e a Husband, a Wife, two young Boys, a maid-servant, and other household members. Of the three scenes s e t o u t s i d e the house one i s set i n the c o u r t y a r d "before the house," and one takes p l a c e " r i g h t a g a i n s t " the house (s.d., Scene X) where the husband i s a r r a i g n e d f o r k i l l i n g h i s c h i l d r e n and wounding h i s w i f e and her servant. Blaming the Husband's crimes on madness and d e s p e r a t i o n , other c h a r a c t e r s are d e e p l y d i s t u r b e d by the consequent l o s s of r e p u t a t i o n and property. The theme of madness i s i n t r o d u c e d e a r l y i n the p l a y when the Wife recounts the "voluptuous" and " I l l - b e s e e m i n g " h a b i t s (Scene II.7-8) t h a t have caused her Husband to become " h a l f e mad" (Scene 11.13), a theme r e i t e r a t e d i n the F i r s t Gentleman's warning: Those whom men c a l l mad Endanger others; but hee's more then mad That wounds h i m s e l f , whose owne wordes do proclaym, S c a n d a l l s v n i u s t , t o s o i l e h i s b e t t e r name: I t i s not f i t . . . . (Scene 11.113-117) The Husband h i m s e l f d u r i n g one of h i s r a v i n g speeches i s a b l e t o r e a l i z e t h e e f f e c t s o f h i s madness and l o s s o f honor: downe goes the howse of vs, down, downe i t s i n c k s . Now i s the name a beggar, begs i n mel That name, which hundreds of yeeres has made t h i s s h i e r e famous, i n me, and my p o s t e r i t y , runs out. . . . (Scene V.90-94) F o l l o w i n g the h o m i l e t i c sequence of s i n , repentance, and punishment, the repentant Husband blames h i s crimes on madness and d e s p e r a t i o n (Scene X.15-28) and i s f o r g i v e n by h i s p a t i e n t w i f e before being taken to p r i s o n . Thus b e f o r e the denouement the Husband's malaise, l i k e A l e s Arden's, i s d i r e c t l y l i n k e d t o the d o m i c i l e which f u n c t i o n s as the a n t a g o n i s t a g a i n s t which these p r o t a g o n i s t s h u r l themselves, denouncing the confinement i t represents. The hero's b e h a v i o r appears to others as the e f f e c t of s e l f - d e s t r u c t i v e madness and v i o l e n c e , a form of s o c i a l s u i c i d e . At the same time, repentance i s deemed e s s e n t i a l , f o r the thread l i n k i n g h o s t i l i t y and madness i n p l a y s l i k e Arden of Feversham and 34 A Y o r k s h i r e Tragedy i s the p r e v a l e n t b e l i e f shared by seventeenth-century w r i t e r s of s c i e n t i f i c t r e a t i s e s and clergymen t h a t a person a l i e n a t e d from h i s or her "household and . . . p l a c e i n the s t a t u s h i e r a r c h y was s o c i a l l y e x t i n c t . " 5 0 The domestic drama of the p e r i o d a r t i c u l a t e s the paradox i n h e r e n t i n seventeenth-century England's awareness both of the dangers brought about by the i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n o f the n u c l e a r f a m i l y , and o f the p l e a s u r e and f u l f i l l m e n t t h a t might r e s u l t from married l o v e . Indeed, a c e n t r a l t e n s i o n thrown i n t o r e l i e f i n t h e b e s t o f t h e s e p l a y s i s between t h e g l o r i f i c a t i o n of marriage and the d e p i c t i o n of the t r a g i c confinement concomitant with the c u l t o f d o m e s t i c i t y . The i d e a l i z a t i o n of marriage forms p a r t o f a broader l i t e r a r y continuum. M a r r i e d l o v e f i r s t appears as a l i t e r a r y concern toward the end of the s i x t e e n t h century, and i s l i n k e d to the t r a n s i t i o n from M e d i e v a l a s c e t i s m and the c u l t o f c o u r t l y l o v e t o the humanist s p i r i t o f the e a r l y Renaissance. A t t h i s time the c l a s s i c a l Epithalamium r e -emerges as a form of d e v o t i o n a l p o e t r y g l o r i f y i n g the marriage ceremony. The genre, moreover, has undergone a fundamental a l t e r a t i o n i n t h a t the a r i s t o c r a t i c p r i n c i p a l s have by and l a r g e been r e p l a c e d by t h e i r m i d d l e - c l a s s counterparts. George Puttenham, i n h i s remarks on e p i t h a l a m i c verse, emphasizes not o n l y the formal c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the renewed p o e t i c form, but a l s o the poet's duty to teach the s a n c t i t y of marriage: 35 the C i u i l l Poet c o u l d do no l e s s e i n conscience and c r e d i t , then as he had before done t o the b a l l a d e o f b i r t h , now with much b e t t e r deuotion t o c e l e b r a t e by h i s poeme the c h e a r e f u l l day of mariages a s w e l l P r i n c e l y as others, f o r t h a t hath alwayes bene accompted with euery countrey and n a t i o n of neuer so barbarous people the h i g h e s t & h o l i e s t o f any ceremonie a p p e r t e i n i n g to man; a match f o r s o o t h made f o r euer and not f o r a day, a s o l a c e prouided f o r youth, a comfort f o r age, a knot o f a l l i a n c e & a m i t i e i n d i s s o l u b l e : great r e i o y s i n g was t h e r e f o r e due to such a matter and to so gladsome a time. The poet's m i s s i o n i s to e x t o l the v i r t u e s of marriage, which, through p r o c r e a t i o n secures one's i m m o r t a l i t y . T h i s i s h i g h p r a i s e i n an age obsessed with m u t a b i l i t y . At the same time t h a t the Epithalamium was r e g a i n i n g prominence, the sonnet sequence was undergoing s u b s t a n t i a l m o d i f i c a t i o n s i n England. Spenser's Amoretti, f o r in s t a n c e , absorbs Sidney's t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the t r a d i t i o n a l l y unreachable Lady i n t o a f l e s h - a n d - b l o o d woman, and r e d e f i n e s the l o v e r / m i s t r e s s r e l a t i o n s h i p so t h a t i t culminates i n marriage, a h o l y union between consenting i n d i v i d u a l s : "Sweet be the bands, the which t r u e loue doth tye, / without c o n s t r a y n t or dread o f any i l l . " Q J The theme i s echoed i n Book I I I o f The F a e r i e Queene which, i n the words of C.S. Lewis, r e p r e s e n t s the triumphant union o f romantic l o v e with 54 C h r i s t i a n monogamy. A s u b j e c t common to many p l a y s and t r e a t i s e s w r i t t e n between 1600 and 1650 i s the c o n t r a s t between the d e s i r a b i l i t y o f marriage based on l o v e and the m i s e r i e s o f f o r c e d marriage. Of foremost concern i s the abuse of p a r e n t a l a u t h o r i t y and the s u f f e r i n g o f young 36 people. The prototype of these p l a y s i s George W i l k i n s ' domestic drama The M i s e r i e s o f Enforced Marriage (ca. 1606), which a n t i c i p a t e s Heywood's e x t e n s i v e a n a l y s i s of the problem i n A C u r t a i n L e c t u r e (1637) where he p a s s i o n a t e l y denounces marriages of convenience: How o f t e n haue f o r c e d c o n t r a c t s been made to add l a n d t o l a n d , not l o u e t o l o u e ? and t o u n i t e houses to houses, not h e a r t s to h e a r t s ? which hath beene the o c c a s i o n t h a t men haue turned monsters, and women d e v i l I s ? The w r i t e r o f domestic drama t y p i c a l l y s t r i v e s f o r the appearance of an ordered w o r l d governed by married l o v e . O v e r t l y , the c o n j u g a l bond i s seen as the e a r l y humanists and t r e a t i s e w r i t e r s saw i t , t h a t i s , as the i d e a l f i e l d o f a c t i o n where one p r a c t i s e s human v i r t u e . The idea i s expressed i n a range of schemes which the genre adopted as p a r t of i t s dramatic conventions: the p a t i e n t - w i f e paradigm; the m o t i f of choosing a "good" wife; the punishment and repentance o f p r o d i g a l or v i o l e n t husbands; the triumph of constancy. However, as we saw i n those p l a y s based on a c t u a l domestic crimes, the genre a l s o r e v e a l s a widespread disenchantment w i t h t h e i d e a l o f m a r r i e d l o v e . The paradox was r o o t e d i n the s o c i a l f a b r i c of E l i z a b e t h a n and S t u a r t England, where the view o f m a r r i a g e as a h o l y bond, w i t h b i n d i n g m u t u a l o b l i g a t i o n s t h a t i n c l u d e d f r i e n d s h i p and companionship, was undermined by numerous case h i s t o r i e s of a d u l t e r y , bigamy, and d e s e r t i o n of spouses as w e l l as more s e r i o u s domestic crimes such as murder. D Although the i d e a l i z a t i o n of marriage and f a m i l y l i f e remains a constant i n the genre, the obeisance to c o n v e n t i o n a l m o r a l i t y v a r i e s a c c o r d i n g to the extent of the dramatists' awareness of and i n t e r e s t i n paradox and ambiguity. In Heywood 1s domestic p l a y s , f o r example, p s y c h o l o g i c a l and s o c i a l c o n f l i c t remains u n a l l o y e d . In these p l a y s the c o n j u g a l i d e a l determines a- p r i o r i the r e s o l u t i o n of the a c t i o n , and the p r o t a g o n i s t s are f r e q u e n t l y m o r a l i t y f i g u r e s s e r v i n g as examples o f the e v i l s of a d u l t e r y or o f the v i r t u e s of constancy. In How a  Man May Choose a Good Wife from a Bad the i l l - t r e a t e d M i s t r e s s A r t h u r i s l o y a l t o her husband even though he p r e f e r s a whore to h i s p a t i e n t wife; i n the r e s o l u t i o n the wife's v i r t u e i s rewarded, and the p l a y ends with a c o n v e n t i o n a l d e s c r i p t i o n of the d i f f e r e n c e s between good and bad wives. A s i m i l a r m o t i f occurs i n the anonymous London  P r o d i g a l (ca. 1603-1605) where Luce, r e c a l l i n g her marriage vow of constancy and obedience, p r e f e r s to work toward c o n v e r t i n g her l i b e r t i n e husband r a t h e r than l e a v e him. Complexity and ambiguity are a l s o u l t i m a t e l y b u r i e d i n Heywood's A Woman K i l l e d . Completely d i s r e g a r d i n g the revenge t r a d i t i o n , the hero F r a n k f o r d r e f u s e s to s l a y h i s a d u l t e r o u s wife, and i s g r a t e f u l when r e s t r a i n e d from k i l l i n g an enemy. F r a n k f o r d f u r t h e r d e f i e s a common p r a c t i c e of the p e r i o d whereby husbands p u b l i c l y exposed u n f a i t h f u l wives and denied them f u r t h e r f i n a n c i a l support: Frankford's "kindness" spares h i s wife's shame, continues 38 her economic support, and o f f e r s her C h r i s t i a n f o r g i v e n e s s as she i s about to d i e . I r o n i c a l l y , through the working of Anne's own g u i l t , Frankford's pious a c t i o n s cause her more s u f f e r i n g than o u t r i g h t r e j e c t i o n would have done. The p l a y , we have seen, has brought Heywood p r a i s e f o r the s e n s i t i v i t y and v i r t u e o f h i s m i d d l e - c l a s s hero. Yet the i n e x p l i c a b l e f a c i l i t y w i t h which the i n i t i a l l y " p e r f e c t " w i f e succumbs t o seduction, and the distended kindness o f her husband remain p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y unaccountable, and have been excused as p a r t o f a l a r g e r i d e o l o g i c a l framework: "Heywood's contemporaries," w r i t e s M a r t i n Day, "deemed women f r a i l c r e a t u r e s , quick to f a l l i f not c a r e f u l l y s u p e r v i s e d . . . [and] d w e l l i n g on the f a l l o f Frankford's w i f e would 5 7 l e a d the p l a y too f a r from Heywood's purpose." But the p l a y f a i l s t o draw on the f u l l t r a g i c p o t e n t i a l o f the heroine, not o n l y because i t m i r r o r s the misogyny of the age, but because Anne's d o w n f a l l i s m e c h a n i c a l l y p r e c i p i t a t e d by her a c t i o n ; i t does not r e s u l t from a conscious a c t of w i l l . The e r r i n g wife's d e f i a n c e o f moral law i s i n c i d e n t a l t o her c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n because Heywood's i n t e r e s t i s i n her s a l v a t i o n r a t h e r than i n her t r a g i c i n a b i l i t y t o l i v e up to s o c i e t y ' s model o f v i r t u o u s behavior. At best, our emotional response to her s u f f e r i n g i s one o f p i t y ; we do not " f e e l " f o r h e r as we do f o r Shakespeare's t r a g i c heroes, or f o r the heroes of the domestic t r a g e d i e s o f some of Heywood's contemporaries, n o t a b l y the he r o i n e o f Arden of Feversham and Frank Thorney i n Dekker and Ford's The Witch of Edmonton. A l e s Arden and Frank Thorney are c h a r a c t e r s who, by v i r t u e of t h e i r emotional strength, are capable of opposing r i g i d moral and s o c i a l e x p e c t a t i o n s , thus d i s t u r b i n g the order i n h e r e n t i n the c u l t of d o m e s t i c i t y . In The Witch of Edmonton, moreover, we s h a l l see t h a t the t r a g i c consequences of a f o r c e d marriage, the instrument of a b u s i v e p a r e n t a l power, are a r t f u l l y p o r t r a y e d as p a r t of a l a r g e r framework of s o c i a l i n j u s t i c e . C r i t i c a l a n a l y s e s of Dekker's domestic drama, however, have been overshadowed by d i s c u s s i o n s of Heywood's domestic -p l a y s . Having o u t l i n e d the e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and the dynamics o f t h e genre, we a r e now a b l e t o e v a l u a t e Dekker's s u b s t a n t i a l dramatic achievement i n the area of the domestic p l a y . II Dekker's dramatic c a r e e r may have begun as e a r l y as 1594 when he was about twenty-two years of age. Between that time and 1598 he e i t h e r wrote or c o l l a b o r a t e d on approximately seventeen p l a y s t h a t spanned a v a r i e t y of genres. Of these, o n l y a few s u r v i v e , the most n o t a b l e being The P l a y o f S i r Thomas More (1595-1596?), a p r o b a b l e c o l l a b o r a t i o n with Munday, C h e t t l e , Heywood, and Shakespeare. The four or f i v e p r o b a b l e domestic dramas i n which Dekker was i n v o l v e d a t t h i s time have a l l been l o s t . 40 The group o f p l a y s w r i t t e n between 1599 and 1600 cont a i n s fewer l o s t w o r k s ; 5 9 more i m p o r t a n t l y , these p l a y s c l e a r l y a n t i c i p a t e those themes drawn from everyday l i f e on which many of Dekker's l a t e r p l a y s would b u i l d . The group i n c l u d e s p a r t s o f O l d Fortunatus, The Shoemaker's H o l i d a y , and at l e a s t three domestic dramas: The Stepmother's Tragedy (with C h e t t l e ) , The Lamentable Tragedy o f Page of Plymouth (with Jonson), both of which have been l o s t , and P a t i e n t  G r i s s i l (with C h e t t l e and Haughton). The s u r v i v i n g p l a y s p o r t r a y i n v a r y i n g degrees the l i v e s o f o r d i n a r y men and women caught up i n the v i c i s s i t u d e s o f contemporary s o c i e t y , and i n each we may l o c a t e a domestic theme. O l d Fortunatus combines scenes o f o r d i n a r y domestic l i f e and m o r a l i t y - l i k e s o b r i e t y with scenes o f comic s p e c t a c l e and magic. The aged beggar Fortunatus, upon the urgin g o f the goddess Fortune who o f f e r s him"one of s i x g i f t s (strength, h e a l t h , beauty, long l i f e , r i c h e s , or wisdom), f o o l i s h l y chooses wealth. In r e t u r n Fortune bestows on him a magic purse c o n t a i n i n g ten pi e c e s o f g o l d , which e n r i c h e s Fortunatus and h i s two sons. F o l l o w i n g a journey f i l l e d w i t h danger and i l l u s i o n , Fortunatus r e t u r n s home to d i e , r e p e n t i n g h i s c u p i d i t y and p l e a d i n g with Fortune t o exchange the magic purse f o r wisdom. The goddess denies h i s request (a form of p r o v i d e n t i a l punishment) and the o l d man w i l l s the purse and a magic h a t t o h i s sons whose l i v e s a r e made m i s e r a b l e by them. One son d i e s as a r e s u l t o f h i s p r o d i g a l l i f e , w h i l e the other repents and i s f o r g i v e n f o r h i s d i s s o l u t e past. Although the p l a y f a l l s w i t h i n the genre o f romantic comedy, 41 Dekker's i n c i p i e n t i n t e r e s t i n domestic l i f e i s c l e a r . Fortunatus' r e l a t i o n s h i p with h i s sons i s i n t e n s e l y p e r s o n a l and r e a l i s t i c , as i s the d e p i c t i o n of the f a m i l y ' s p o v e r t y which lead s them to c o v e t wealth. Moreover, the f a m i l y theme and Dekker's sympathetic p o r t r a i t of the f a l l o f the common man are sketched w i t h i n an h o m i l e t i c p a t t e r n of s i n , punishment, repentance, and f o r g i v e n e s s , the p a t t e r n developed by the m o r a l i t y p l a y and subsumed by domestic drama. Domestic themes a l s o inform The Shoemaker's H o l i d a y , Dekker's f i r s t and most s u c c e s s f u l c i t i z e n comedy. Although the p o r t r a y a l of f a m i l y c o n f l i c t i n the p l a y i s subordinate to the p r e s e n t a t i o n of c i t y - l i f e i n g e n e r a l , the a c t i o n contains two marriage p l o t s which, al t h o u g h l i g h t l y sketched, i n c l u d e domestic m o t i f s t r e a t e d more e x t e n s i v e l y i n Dekker's domestic drama.^® While we see very l i t t l e o f Rose and Lacy dur i n g the p l a y ( t h e i r marriage p l a n s are announced, but we do not view the wedding nor do we see them married) the p l a y adapts two conventions which Dekker w i l l l a t e r d e v e l o p more f u l l y : the p r o d i g a l - s o n paradigm (Lacy i s t h e p r o d i g a l nephew and h e i r o f the E a r l o f L i n c o l n ) and the theme of f o r c e d marriage (Lacy's f a t h e r and u n c l e oppose the marriage to Rose, a commoner). The Ralph-Jane p l o t i s a l s o a minor one (since the wars between France and England f o r c e the c o u p l e to separate i n the opening scene, they r e u n i t e o n l y d u r i n g the f i n a l scene); however, the p l o t a n t i c i p a t e s the theme o f l o y a l t y i n marriage which Dekker w i l l e x p l o r e 42 i n depth i n P a t i e n t G r i s s i l , The Honest Whore, I I , and The Witch o f Edmonton. Upon h i s r e t u r n from the wars, Ralph, who has been maimed, d i s c o v e r s Jane i s about to be married to Master Hammon. Accompanied by a no i s y band o f f e l l o w -shoemakers, Ralph i n t r u d e s upon the ceremony demanding the hand o f h i s betrothed. Jane h a p p i l y r e a l i z e s her would-be-husband i s not dead, and r e a f f i r m s her l o v e and l o y a l t y to him: Whom sho u l d I choose? whom sho u l d my thoughts a f f e c t , But him whom heauen hath made to be my loue? Thou a r t my husband and these humble weedes, Makes thee more b e a u t i f u l then a l l h i s [Hammon1 s] wealth, Therefore I w i i but put o f f h i s a t t i r e , Returning i t i n t o the owners hand, And a f t e r euer be thy [Ralph's] cnstant w i f e . ( V . i i . 5 3 - 5 9 ) 6 1 Each o f t h e m a r r i a g e p l o t s ends w i t h a p a i r o f l o v e r s h a p p i l y u n i t e d , and, al t h o u g h marriage i s not the c e n t r a l concern o f the p l a y , c o n j u g a l happiness i s l i n k e d with p e r s o n a l success and s a t i s f a c t i o n . The p o r t r a y a l o f f a m i l y l i f e , however, i s secondary t o the l a r g e r concern o f the main p l o t which dramatizes Simon Eyre's p r o g r e s s i o n from shoemaker to Lord Mayor of London. At the same time, the p l a y r e v e a l s Dekker's s u b t l e e q u i v o c a t i o n with regard t o p r e v a l e n t assumptions about s o c i a l s t a t u s and success, and a f l e d g l i n g c y n i c i s m toward c o n v e n t i o n a l m o r a l i t y , a t t i t u d e s which w i l l become i n c r e a s i n g l y b o l d e r i n h i s domestic p l a y s . A few c r i t i c s 43 have noted e q u i v o c a l p a t t e r n s of a c t i o n surrounding the j u b i l a n t tone of The Shoemaker's H o l i d a y . J o e l Kaplan has observed i n the play's main episodes "moral am b i g u i t i e s t h a t a r e c o n c e a l e d by the v i t a l i t y o f i t s s u r f a c e , " and t h a t a r e p a r t i c u l a r l y s t r i k i n g i n the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of Simon Eyre, who " c l e a r l y wins our a p p r o v a l " even though he "makes h i s fortune through a r a t h e r dubious business venture." Peter Mortenson has a l s o argued i n f a v o r of a s u b t l e dramatic t e x t u r e , n o t i n g a t e n s i o n between Dekker's c h e e r f u l c e l e -b r a t i o n o f c o n v e n t i o n a l v a l u e s and the c a u s t i c overtones o f h i s c r i t i q u e of s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s , a t e n s i o n which i s never r e s o l v e d : the w o r l d o f t h e p l a y i s r e p e a t e d l y a t odds w i t h the bounteous o l d world of f e s t i v e comedy which Dekker has chosen to u t i l i z e , and i t s commercial ethos c o n t r a d i c t s i t s e x p l o i t a t i o n of o l d p a s t o r a l romance m o t i f s . . . . w h i l e Dekker's . . . c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n and dramatic p a t t e r n i n g . . . un-q u e s t i o n a b l y demonstrate h i s craftsmanship, the p l a y i s n e i t h e r the d e l i g h t f u l i d y l i t pretends to be, nor a coherent c r i t i q u e or i n t e l l e c t u a l l y i n t e g r a t e d p o r t r a y a l of the i s s u e s i t r a i s e s . " 3 Dekker's ambivalence toward orthodox views governing human beh a v i o r , which begins t o r e v e a l i t s e l f i n The Shoemaker's  Holi d a y , c o n t r i b u t e s to the dramatic energy and c o m p l e x i t y of h i s mature domestic p l a y s . I t i s a l s o p e r c e p t i b l e i n the thematic and s t r u c t u r a l design of P a t i e n t G r i s s i l , h i s f i r s t domestic comedy to which we w i l l now t u r n . 44 Notes 1 Thomas Heywood, An Apology f o r A c t o r s (London: J.P. C o l l i e r , 1841), PI. 2 Heywood, F l . 3 A.W. Ward, ed., A Woman K i l l e d w i t h Kindness (London: Temple, 1807), p. x i i i . 4 C.L. P o w e l l , E n g l i s h Domestic R e l a t i o n s , 1487-1653 (New York: Columbia U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1917), p^ 192, rn 1. 5 M. V e l t e , The Bourgeois Elements i n the Dramas of Thomas Heywood (1924; r p t . New York: H a s k e l l House, 1966), p. 101. ^ O t e l i a Cromwell, Thomas Heywood (New Haven: Y a l e U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1928), p. 73. 7 A.M. C l a r k , Thomas Heywood: P l a y w r i g h t and  M i s c e l l a n i s t (Oxford: B a s i l B l a c k w e l l , 1931), p. 228. fl • . . . ° Henry H. Adams, E n g l i s h Domestic or, H o m i l e t i c Tragedy, 1575 to 1642 (New York: Columbia U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1943), p. v i i i . Adams, p. 185. ^® Adams, p. v i i i and pp. 1-2. ^ Adams, p. 55. The f a c t u a l b a s i s o f t h e p l a y , as w e l l as i t s domestic nature, are borne out by the t i t l e page o f the 1601 quarto: Two Lamentable _/ Tragedies. // The one, of the murther o f Mai- / s t e r Beech a Chaundler i n / Thames-s t r e e t e , and h i s boye, / done by Thomas Merry. // The other of a young c h i l d e mur- / thered i n a Wood by two R u f f i n s , / with the consent of h i s Unkle. In a d d i t i o n t o Arden of  Feversham, A Warning f o r F a i r Women, and Two Lamentable Tragedies the other extant domestic murder p l a y s are Heywood's A Woman K i l l e d w i t h Kindness (1603), the anonymous Y o r k s h i r e Tragedy (ca. 1605), George W i l k i n s ' The M i s e r i e s o f Enforced Marriage (ca. 1606), and Dekker and 45 Ford's The Witch of Edmonton (1621). Andrew C l a r k , i n "An Annotated L i s t o f L o s t Domestic P l a y s , 1578-1624," Research  O p p o r t u n i t i e s i n Renaissance Drama, 18 (1975), 29-44, i n c l u d e s twenty-six p r o b a b l e domestic p l a y s which have been l o s t , the g r e a t e r p a r t of them d a t i n g from 1598-1610. 13 Madeleine Doran, Endeavors o f A r t (Madison: U n i v e r s i t y o f Wisconsin, 1954), p^ 145. 14 On the o r i g i n a l i t y o f the p l a y , see Adams, p. 157; A.M. C l a r k , Thomas Heywood, p. 236; M. V e l t e , The Bourgeois  Elements i n the Dramas o f Thomas Heywood, pp. 107 and 139-40; and R.W. Van Fossen, ed., A Woman K i l l e d w i t h Kindness, The Revels Plays (London: Methuen, 1961), p. x x v i i i . 15 . . . Douglas Cole, S u f f e r i n g and E v i l i n the P l a y s of Ch r i s t o p h e r Marlowe (New York: Gordian Press, 1972), p. 22. E n g l i s h Mystery P l a y s , ed. Peter Happe (Middlesex: Penguin, 1975), pp. 146-47. 1 7 E n g l i s h Mystery P l a y s , ed. P. Happe', p. 153. 18 The Towneley P l a y s , ed. George England and A l f r e d W. P o l l a r d , E a r l y E n g l i s h Text S o c i e t y , E x t r a S e r i e s LXXI (London: Kegan Paul & Co., 1897), p. 176. 1 9 Douglas Cole, S u f f e r i n g and E v i l i n the P l a y s o f  Ch r i s t o p h e r Marlowe, pp. 22-23. O A In the exchange between Noah and h i s w i f e f o l l o w i n g God's warning o f the impending f l o o d , f o r example, broad comedy overshadows Noah's touching devotion to God: NOE: Wife, we ar hard sted w i t h t y t h y n g i s new. UXOR: Bot thou were worthi be c l e d i n S t a f f o r d blew; For thou a r t alway adred, be i t f a l s or trew; Bot God knowes I am l e d , and th a t may I rew, F u l l i l l ; . . . We women may wary a l l i l l husbandis; I h a v e oone, b i Mary t h a t l o w s y d me o f my bandis; I f he teyn, I must t a r y , how so ever i t s t a n d i s , With seymland f u l l sory, wryngand both my handis For drede. NOE: Wei Ho l d t h i tong, ramskyt, or I s h a l l the s t i l l . 46 UXOR: By my t h r y f t , i f thou smyte I s h a l turne the u n t i l l . NOE: We s h a l l assay as t y t e . Have at the, G i l l I Apon the bone s h a l l i t byte. [ S t r i k e s her.] UXOR: A, sol Mary, thou smytis i l l ! Bot I suppose I s h a l not i n t h i det, F l y t of t h i s f l e t t l Take the th e r a l a n g e t t To tye up t h i hose I [ S t r i k e s him.] (Play IV, 11. 199-225, i n E n g l i s h Mystery P l a y s , ed. P. Happe, pp. 104-05). 2 1 H.-J. D i l l e r , "The Craftsmanship o f the 'Wakefield Master,'" A n g l i a , 83 (1965), 271-88; 272. * H a r r i e t t Hawkins, L i k e n e s s of T r u t h i n E l i z a b e t h a n  and R e s t o r a t i o n Drama (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), p. 18. 9 3 R e c e n t l y George Rao, i n The Domestic Drama ( T i r u p a t i : S r i Venkateswara U n i v e r s i t y Press, [1978?]), p. 50), has argued t h a t the u n d e r l y i n g purpose of the genre i s to present, "against the background o f o r d i n a r y f a m i l y l i f e , o . • an a c t i o n of deep and commanding moral i n t e r e s t " ; domestic tragedy i n p a r t i c u l a r i s con s i d e r e d a development of the h o m i l e t i c t r a d i t i o n i n t h a t i t i s " e s s e n t i a l l y d i d a c t i c and the e t h i c a l code i t i n c u l c a t e s i s C h r i s t i a n i n s p i r i t . " 105, 94. ^ Adams, E n g l i s h Domestic or, H o m i l e t i c Tragedy, p. 2 5 Adams, p. 107, n. 14. 2 6 Adams, p. 107, n. 14. 9 7 Doran, Endeavors o f A r t , p. 143. 2 8 Doran, p. 143. on Peter Ure, "Marriage and the Domestic Drama i n A Woman K i l l e d With Kindness," i n Shakespeare's  Contemporaries, ed. Marc Bluestone and Normal Rabkin, 2nd edL (Englewood C l i f f s , N.J.: P r e n t i c e H a l l , 1970), p. 197. 30 Peter Ure, "Marriage and the Domestic Drama i n Heywood and Ford," E n g l i s h S t u d i e s , 32 (1951), 201. 31 Peter Ure, "Marriage and the Domestic Drama i n Heywood and Ford," 203. 47 J ^ M i c h e l G r i v e l e t , Thomas Heywood e t l e Drame Domestique  E l i z a b e t h a i n ( P a r i s : D i d i e r , 1957), p. 353. More r e c e n t l y , two p r o v o c a t i v e s t u d i e s of a t t i t u d e s toward marriage i n e a r l y domestic p l a y s have s t r e s s e d the complexity of the dramatists' a t t i t u d e s toward i n h e r i t e d m o r a l i t y . C a t h e r i n e B e l s e y , i n " A l i c e Arden's Crime," Renaissance Drama, NS X I I I (1982) , 92, sees i n Arden of Feversham "the c o n t e s t f o r the c o n t r o l o f s e x u a l i t y i n the p e r i o d , " a c o n t e s t "which throws marriage i n t o c r i s i s and p r e c i p i t a t e s the i n s t a b i l i t y o f the i n s t i t u t i o n which i s e v i d e n t i n crimes l i k e A l i c e Arden's"; and Leanore L i e b l e i n , i n "The Context of Murder i n E n g l i s h Domestic P l a y s , 1590-1610," S t u d i e s i n E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , 23 (1983) , 181-82, argues t h a t i n c o n t r a s t to the "unequivocal moral judgments" of the " h i s t o r i c a l c h r o n i c l e s , j o u r n a l i s t i c pamphlets, c o u r t testimony, underworld n a r r a t i v e s , and b a l l a d s " which served as sources f o r the e a r l y domestic t r a g e d i e s , "the p l a y s , w h i l e they n e i t h e r a l t e r nor s h i r k the m o r a l i t y of t h e i r sources, e l a b o r a t e the s o c i a l context, examine motives, and suggest the c o m p l i c i t y of the v i c t i m i n a way which changes t h e a u d i e n c e ' s p e r c e p t i o n o f e v e n t s . . . . The domestic drama of the p e r i o d accepts . . . [ t r a d i t i o n a l m o r a l i t y ] , but by f o c u s i n g on marriages i n d i s i n t e g r a t i o n , i t examines the reasons f o r m a r i t a l breakdown." Cf. Leonora Leet Brodwin's d i s c u s s i o n of Arden o f Feversham, i n E l i z a b e t h a n Love Tragedy 1587~^1625 (New York and London: New York and London U n i v e r s i t y Presses, 1971), pp. 191-95, which suggests t h a t w h i l e the d r a m a t i s t " s t i c k s c l o s e l y to Holinshed's account, he d e v e l o p s h i s own p o r t r a i t of A l i c e i n such a way t h a t i t b e s t e x p l a i n s t h e d e s p e r a t e q u a l i t y o f her l o v e f o r Mosbie which d r i v e s her to murder f o r i t s p r e s e r v a t i o n " (p. 191). Andrew C l a r k , Domestic Drama: A Survey of the  O r i g i n s , Antecedents and Nature o f the Domestic P l a y i n  England, 1500-1640 (Sa l z b u r g : U n i v e r s i t a t S a l z b u r g , 1975), I, 20-21. 3 4 Andrew C l a r k , I, 21. 3 5 A r t h u r Brown's essay " C i t i z e n Comedy and Domestic Drama," i n The Jacobean Theatre, ed. J.R. Brown and Bernard H a r r i s (New York: C a p r i c o r n , 1967), takes the unique view t h a t there i s v i r t u a l l y no d i s t i n c t i o n between c i t i z e n comedy and domestic drama. Brown d e a l s almost e n t i r e l y with comedies by Dekker, Heywood, and Jonson, "the most c o n s i s t e n t workers i n the f i e l d , " and suggests t h a t although Dekker and Heywood "represent the p o p u l a r romantic stream of comedy w h i l e Jonson r e p r e s e n t s the s a t i r i c stream," these d i f f e r e n c e s " i n method . . . should not be confused w i t h d i f f e r e n c e s of purpose, which, i n these three men, o f t e n seem t o be o f degree r a t h e r t h a n k i n d " (p. 63). Among some of the common dramatic concerns and methods, observes Brown, are the London s e t t i n g s , d i d a c t i c p a t t e r n s , n a t i o n a l l o y a l t y 48 and p a t r i o t i s m , m o r a l i t y - p l a y elements, and the psychology o f Humours. N e v e r t h e l e s s , Brown i s f o r c e d to admit t h a t d i f f e r e n c e s i n p l o t s t r u c t u r e , c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , and theme u l t i m a t e l y d i s t i n g u i s h the two dramatic forms (see pp. 66-69 where Brown d i f f e r e n t i a t e s between those p l a y s which i n c l u d e but do not s t r e s s domestic or f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s , and those which d e a l e x t e n s i v e l y with domestic problems). Cf. Alexander Leggatt, i n C i t i z e n Comedy i n the Age of  Shakespeare (Toronto: U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto Press, 1973), who i n c l u d e s domestic comedies and tragicomedies i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n , but i s c a r e f u l to p o i n t out t h e i r d e r i v a t i o n from a more s p e c i f i c dramatic t r a d i t i o n : "the category ' c i t i z e n comedy' c u t s a c r o s s a v a r i e t y o f comic modes . . . [such as] the s a t i r i c , the d i d a c t i c , and the simply amusing, with e v e r y t h i n g from l i g h t w e i g h t f a r c e to p i e c e s t h a t verge on domestic drama," a genre d i s t i n g u i s h e d by "moral earnestness" and "a s e r i o u s n e s s of tone" (pp. 4 and 11). Paul G. Ruggiers, ed., "Some T h e o r e t i c a l Con-s i d e r a t i o n s of Comedy i n the M i d d l e Ages," i n V e r s i o n s of  M e d i e v a l Comedy (Norman: U n i v e r s i t y of Oklahoma Press, 1977), p. 8. 3 7 ° Marc Bloch, F e u d a l S o c i e t y , trans. L.A. Manyon (Chicago: U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1961), I, 130. op M i c h a e l MacDonald, M y s t i c a l Bedlam (Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1981), p. 77. 3 9 K e i t h Thomas, "Women and the C i v i l War Sects," i n C r i s i s i n Europe 1560-1660, ed. T r e v o r Aston (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1965), pp. 317-40; p. 317. 40 41 42 43 Quoted i n MacDonald, M y s t i c a l Bedlam, p. 81. Quoted i n MacDonald, p. 102. Quoted i n MacDonald, p. 103. Lawrence Stone, The Family, Sex and Marriage i n  England 1500-1800 (London: Weidenfeld and N i c o l s o n , 1977), p. 141. 44 Leanore L i e b l e i n , "The Context of Murder i n E n g l i s h Domestic Plays, 1590-1610," 188. 4 5 T.J. King, i n Shakespearean Staging, 1599-1642 (Cambridge: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1971), o f f e r s "a systematic survey of t h e a t r i c a l requirements f o r 276 p l a y s , " by seeking " p o s i t i v e c o r r e l a t i o n s between the e x t e r n a l evidence, as p r o v i d e d by contemporary a r c h i t e c t u r e and p i c t u r e s of e a r l y E n g l i s h stages, and the i n t e r n a l evidence, as p r o v i d e d by the t e x t s o f p l a y s f i r s t p e r f o r m e d i n t h e 49 years 1599-1642" (p. 1). The f o l l o w i n g domestic items were o f t e n used on stage: t a b l e s [sometimes "set with meat," as i n Dekker's P a t i e n t G r i s s i l (King, p. 19)]; c h a i r s and s t o o l s ; beds [as i n Dekker and Ford's The Witch of Edmonton, I V . i i , where Frank Thorney i s seen l y i n g i n a stupor (King, p. 19)]; canopies; carpets; chests; c u r t a i n s ; hangings; cushions; trunks and hampers; and t i r i n g rooms. For a condensed l i s t o f s i m i l a r items i n c l u d e d i n a 1598 i n v e n t o r y p r e s e r v e d i n Henslowe's papers, see Oscar G. Brockett, H i s t o r y o f the Theatre, 3rd ed. (Boston and London: A l l y n and Bacon, 1977), p. 181. 4 ^ The Tragedy of M. Arden of Feve(r)shame, i n The  Shakespeare Apocrypha, ed. C F . Tucker Brooke (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1908). A l l c i t a t i o n s from the p l a y are from t h i s e d i t i o n . ^ George Rao, The Domestic Drama, p. 75. 48 Thomas Heywood, A Woman K i l l e d w i t h Kindness, ed. R.W. Van Fossen. The emphasis on s p a t i a l concreteness i n domestic drama corresponded to new developments i n a r c h i t e c t u r e and i n t e r i o r design. During the r e i g n of E l i z a b e t h I there o c c u r r e d a widespread i n c r e a s e i n domestic comfort, as evidenced by improved methods of c o n s t r u c t i o n , and the beginnings of u p h o l s t e r e d f u r n i t u r e . R e p l a c i n g the dark G o t h i c s t r u c t u r e s , Tudor a r c h i t e c t u r e f a v o r e d w e l l - l i t open spaces and numerous windows and t e r r a c e s (see M i c h e l G r i v e l e t , Thomas Heywood e t l e Drame Domestique  E l i z a b e t h a i n , pp. 19-20). New developments i n the c r e a t i o n and design of d i f f e r e n t k i n d s of f u r n i t u r e brought about a v a r i e t y of household e f f e c t s , among them c h a i r s , cupboards, boxes w i t h compartments, and d i f f e r e n t types of desks. Draw t a b l e s were f i r s t used at t h i s time, and i n the f i r s t decade of the s i x t e e n t h century a new type of bed appeared, making the decorated frame an i n t e g r a l p a r t of the design. By the seventeenth century daybeds and armchairs were po p u l a r , as were accessory items such as t a b l e s and long cases, m i r r o r s , c l o c k s , and f i r e p l a c e s . S h e i l a Rowbotham, i n Hidden from  H i s t o r y , 2nd ed. (London: P l u t o P r e s s , 1974), p. 3, w r i t e s : "In the s i x t e e n t h and seventeenth c e n t u r i e s the homes of people who were n e i t h e r v e r y r i c h nor very poor grew bigger, became more important, and began to be s u b d i v i d e d . The houses s t a r t e d to have two f l o o r s , t here was some d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of f u n c t i o n , new amongst the peasantry. I t became common f o r yeoman farmers . . . to have bedrooms, an important move towards the n o t i o n o f i n d i v i d u a l i t y and sexual p r i v a c y . " 4 9 A Y o r k s h i r e Tragedy, i n The Shakespeare Apocrypha, ed. C F . T u c k e r Brooke (s.d., Scene V I ) . A l l subsequent c i t a t i o n s are from t h i s e d i t i o n . 50 MacDonald, M y s t i c a l Bedlam, p. 131. 51 . See above, Chapter V, where the p o e t i c conventions of the E n g l i s h Epithalamium are d i s c u s s e d . George Puttenham, "The Maner of Reioysings a t Mariages and Weddings," i n Edmund Spenser: E p i t h a l a m i o n , ed. R. Beum (Columbus, Ohio: C h a r l e s E. M e r r i l l , 1968), p~. 53. 5 3 Edmund Spenser, Amoretti, i n Spenser: P o e t i c a l  Works, ed. J.C. Smith and E. De S e l i n c o u r t (London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1970), Sonnet LXV, 5-6. C.S. Lewis, The A l l e g o r y o f Love (Oxford: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1936), p. 342; Cf. M i c h e l G r i v e l e t , Thomas Heywood e t l e Drame Domestique E l i z a b e t h a i n , pp. 22-28. 5 5 Quoted i n Glenn H. Blayney, "Enforcement of Marriage i n E n g l i s h Drama (1600-1650)," P h i l o l o g i c a l Q u a r t e r l y , XXXVIII (1959), 470. 5 ^ See M i c h a e l MacDonald, M y s t i c a l Bedlam, pp. l O l f f . ; and C a t h e r i n e B e l s e y , " A l i c e Arden's Crime," pp. 89ff. "The e x i s t i n g h i s t o r i c a l evidence," notes Belsey, "gives no reason t o b e l i e v e there was a major outbreak of women murdering t h e i r husbands i n the s i x t e e n t h century. What i t does suggest, however, i s a widespread b e l i e f t h a t they were l i k e l y to do so" (89). ^ M a r t i n S. Day, H i s t o r y of E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e t o 1660 (New York: Doubleday, 1963), p. 345. CO • J O For t h i s o b s e r v a t i o n I am indebted to George C. Herndl, The High Design (Lexington: U n i v e r s i t y Press of Kentucky, 1970), pp. 169-70. 5 9 I have taken the dates and t e x t u a l i n f o r m a t i o n about Dekker's e a r l y p l a y s from George P r i c e , Thomas Dekker, pp. 17-33 and 171-76. ^® Arthur Brown, i n " C i t i z e n Comedy and Domestic Drama," 65-69, suggests The Shoemaker's H o l i d a y i s concerned with v i r t u e i n the c i v i l , domestic, and n a t i o n a l spheres; and Andrew C l a r k , i n Domestic Drama, I I , notes t h a t i n "the t h o u g h t f u l p r e s e n t a t i o n " of the s e p a r a t i o n of Ralph and Jane, "and t h e i r continued f a i t h f u l n e s s , The Shoemaker's  H o l i d a y c o n t a i n s s e r i o u s drama of domestic i n c i d e n t , " (311) but w h i l e "sound sentiments are i n keeping with the m o r a l i t y of the p l a y as a whole," they "are not developed" (311, n. 22) . 51 Thomas Dekker, The Shoemaker's H o l i d a y , i n Dramatic Works, ed. Fredson Bowers, I (Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1962). 6 2 J o e l H. Kaplan, " V i r t u e ' s H o l i d a y : Thomas Dekker and Simon Eyre," Renaissance Drama, NS 2 (1969), 103-04. 6 3 Peter Mortenson, "The Economics of Joy i n The  Shoemaker's Holiday," S t u d i e s i n E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , 16 (1976), 252. 52 CHAPTER II PATIENT GRISSIL I Among Dekker's domestic dramas P a t i e n t G r i s s i l i s the e a r l i e s t s u r v i v i n g p l a y ; i t i s , moreover, a work t h a t deserves more f a v o r a b l e a t t e n t i o n than i t has r e c e i v e d . At f i r s t g l a n c e the p l a y s t r i k e s many as another tiresome m o r a l i t y t h a t e x a l t s the v i r t u e s of the p a t i e n t and unassuming wi f e who f a i t h f u l l y and o b e d i e n t l y performs her d u t i e s under tremendous emotional s t r a i n . Harry K e y i s h i a n , who has w r i t t e n the o n l y f u l l - l e n g t h a r t i c l e on the p l a y , condemns the G r i s e l d a s t o r y as "a p i e c e of s e n t i m e n t a l ism a t best, an a f f r o n t to human d i g n i t y with p a t h o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s at worst"; and i n accounting f o r the story's enormous i n f l u e n c e and p o p u l a r i t y on the E l i z a b e t h a n stage he concludes: "Audiences of Shakespeare's day c o u l d d e a l w i t h mighty t r u t h s , but they e v i d e n t l y a l s o needed the s i c k l y reassurance of the G r i s e l d a s t o r y as w e l l . " 1 T h i s type of response does l i t t l e t o i l l u m i n a t e the reasons f o r the legend's p o p u l a r i t y , nor does i t account f o r the v a r i e t y of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s the s t o r y r e c e i v e d d u r i n g the s i x t e e n t h and seventeenth c e n t u r i e s . The G r i s e l d a s t o r y o r i g i n a t e s i n f o l k l o r e and i s f i r s t a r t i c u l a t e d i n European l i t e r a t u r e i n 1353 i n Boccaccio's 53 Decameron; P e t r a r c h was so impressed with the moral import o f the t a l e t h a t he expanded i t i n L a t i n (1373-74), w h i l e G i o v a n n i Sercambi r e t o l d Boccaccio's n o v e l l a i n I t a l i a n i n condensed form (ca. 1374). A number of M e d i e v a l French v e r s i o n s are based on Petrarch's r e n d i t i o n , i n c l u d i n g the f i r s t d r a m a t i z a t i o n of the G r i s e l d a s t o r y i n the anonymous p l a y L ' E s t o i r e de l a Marquise de S a l u c e miz par personnages et rigme (1395). The f i r s t E n g l i s h v e r s i o n , Chaucer's "Clerk's T a l e , " which i s based on Petrarch's and a French 3 r e d a c t i o n , e s t a b l i s h e d a vogue i n England. The d i r e c t sources of Dekker, C h e t t l e , and Haughton's p l a y are John P h i l l i p ' s l a t e m o r a l i t y , The P l a y of P a t i e n t G r i s s e l l (ca. 1558-1566) and Thomas Deloney's b a l l a d "Of P a t i e n t G r i s s e l and a Noble Marquess" i n The G a r l a n d o f Good-Will (ca. 1593). V e r s i o n s of the s t o r y continued to appear throughout the f i r s t h a l f o f t h e s e v e n t e e n t h c e n t u r y : i n 1619 a chapbook i n c l u d i n g a prose n a r r a t i v e of the G r i s e l d a s t o r y was p u b l i s h e d , and i n 1630 an anonymous t a l e appeared e n t i t l e d "The P l e a s a n t / and Sweet H i s t o r y / o f p a t i e n t G r i s s e l l . " 4 For o v e r three hundred years the legend r e t a i n e d i t s strong p o p u l a r i t y among a v a r i e t y of audiences. The story's appeal to both M e d i e v a l and Renaissance minds i s to a c e r t a i n extent i n d i c a t i v e of the s u s t a i n e d orthodoxy t h a t b r i d g e d the two c u l t u r e s , and of the shared moral assumptions of d i f f e r e n t audiences, both c o u r t l y and otherwise. The e x e g e t i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the G r i s e l d a s t o r y was f i r s t a r t i c u l a t e d by P e t r a r c h . In a l e t t e r to 54 Boccaccio, i n which he e v a l u a t e s the St o r y o f G r i s e l d a as the f i n e s t i n The Decameron, P e t r a r c h r e v e a l s t h a t h i s own o b j e c t i v e i n r e w r i t i n g the t a l e "was not to induce the women of our time t o i m i t a t e the p a t i e n c e o f h i s wife," which he b e l i e v e s i s "beyond i m i t a t i o n " ; r a t h e r , h i s aim was to " l e a d my readers t o emulate the example of feminine constancy, and to submit t h e m s e l v e s t o God w i t h the same courage as d i d t h i s woman to her husband." G r i s e l d a ' s t r i a l e x e m p l i f i e s the way i n which God t e s t s H is s u b j e c t s i n order t h a t they may know t h e i r weaknesses. Boccaccio's s t o r y has taught P e t r a r c h t h a t "Anyone . . . amply deserves to be reckoned among the heroes of mankind who s u f f e r s without a murmur f o r God, what t h i s poor peasant woman bore f o r her mortal husband." 5 A l l the d i f f e r e n t v e r s i o n s o f the f o l k t a l e share an e x p l i c i t moral purpose, and they a l l come under the ge n e r a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f "sa i n t ' s legend and . . . a l l e g o r y . " A s i m i l a r e v a l u a t i o n of Dekker, C h e t t l e , and Haughton's P a t i e n t G r i s s i l i s p o s s i b l e i f we concentrate e n t i r e l y on the main p l o t , which i s framed by an e x p l i c i t h o m i l e t i c design. The s u p e r s t r u c t u r e conforms t o the moral purpose o f the play's M e d i e v a l sources, t h a t i s , t o present the G r i s e l d a s t o r y as an a l l e g o r y o f the C h r i s t i a n s o u l which endures h a r d s h i p and s u f f e r i n g , and e v e n t u a l l y u n i t e s with i t s d i v i n e l o r d i n heaven. In t h i s context the emotional and p h y s i c a l h ardships endured by G r i s s i l 1 at the hands of her husband are p r o v i d e n t i a l t e s t s whose purpose i s to strengthen v i r t u e . I f we view Dekker's use of the f o l k -m o t i f s t r i c t l y as exemplum, we are amiss i n q u e s t i o n i n g Gwalter's m o t i v a t i o n , a dramatic component which the M e d i e v a l sources c o n s p i c u o u s l y deny. Rather than search f o r p s y c h o l o g i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n s we must look, as P e t r a r c h d i d i n h i s v e r s i o n , to the moral r e s o l u t i o n t h a t teaches forbearance and the triumph of v i r t u e over c r u e l t y . But t h i s r e a d i n g i s not e n t i r e l y c o n f i r m e d by the 1599 p l a y as a whole because the exegesis does not account f o r the s t r o n g c u r r e n t of c o n f l i c t p r e c i p i t a t e d by the r e a l i s t i c c h a r a c t e r s i n the main p l o t and i n the two minor p l o t s . P a t i e n t  G r i s s i l i s n e i t h e r an homily nor a pure a l l e g o r y ; f o r w h i l e the main p l o t resembles the a l l e g o r i c a l s u p e r s t r u c t u r e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the M e d i e v a l v e r s i o n s o f the G r i s e l d a story, the p l a y r e g i s t e r s a h i g h degree of c y n i c i s m e v i d e n t i n none o f i t s analogues. The t e n s i o n c e n t e r s on c o n v e n t i o n a l a t t i t u d e s toward the i n s t i t u t i o n s of marriage and the f a m i l y . Dekker's and h i s contemporaries' a l t e r a t i o n s of the G r i s e l d a . s t o r y r e f l e c t the s h i f t , i n both the l i t e r a t u r e and s o c i a l customs of the p e r i o d , away from the monastic i d e a l o f c h a s t i t y t o the d e s i r a b i l i t y of married l o v e . The s h i f t was p r e c i p i t a t e d by the t h e o l o g i c a l ideas and p r a c t i c e s o f the P r o t e s t a n t Reformation which r e p l a c e d the i d e a l o f c h a s t i t y with t h a t of c o n j u g a l happiness. During the Reformation marriage was considered the C h r i s t i a n e x p r e s s i o n o f a v i r t u o u s l i f e . I t was no l o n g e r m e r e l y a means t o 56 assuage the passions, as i t was i n the P a u l i n e view: marriage, a c c o r d i n g to the t h e o l o g i a n W i l l i a m Perkins, was "a s t a t e i n i t s e l f f a r more e x c e l l e n t than the c o n d i t i o n of 7 a s i n g l e l i f e . " But w h i l e t h e o l o g i a n s and educators emphasized the s p i r i t u a l i n t i m a c y a f f o r d e d by marriage, and w h i l e the s u b o r d i n a t i o n o f the w i f e was deemed e s s e n t i a l f o r m a i n t a i n i n g f a m i l y s t a b i l i t y , we have seen t h a t t h e r e was widespread disenchantment with the i d e a l . I t i s t h e r e f o r e not i n c i d e n t a l t h a t the G r i s e l d a legend should be r e f o r m u l a t e d i n the s i x t e e n t h and seventeenth c e n t u r i e s when the i n s t i t u t i o n s of marriage and the f a m i l y were at once i d e a l i z e d and opposed. The t i t l e pages of two r e n d i t i o n s of the s t o r y a t t e s t t o i t s a p p e a l as an i n s t r u c t i o n p i e c e f o r safeguarding the s t a b i l i t y o f the f a m i l y . P h i l l i p ' s p l a y i s d e s c r i b e d as The Commodye of p a c i e n t and meeke G r i s s i l l ,  Whearin i s d e c l a r e d , the good example, o f her pacience  towardes her husband: and lykewise, the due obedience of  C h i l d r e n , toward t h e i r Parentes, and the 1619 chapbook e v a l u a t e s t h e s t o r y as a l e s s o n i n e x p e d i e n c y : "The / A n c i e n t T r u e and A d m i r a b l e / H i s t o r y o f / P a t i e n t G r i s e l , / a Poore Mans Daughter i n France: / Shewing / How Maides, By Her Example, In T h e i r Good Be h a v i o r / May M a r r i e R i c h Husbands; / And Likewise Wives By T h e i r Patience and / 9 Obedience / May Gaine Much G l o r i e . " The P a t i e n t G r i s s i l o f Dekker and h i s c o l l a b o r a t o r s c o n t a i n s no statement of d i d a c t i c i n t e n t , and w h i l e the p l a y employs v a r i o u s conventions of h o m i l e t i c drama ( p a r t i c u l a r l y the p a t i e n t -57 w i f e f i g u r e and her f o i l , the shrew, and the theme of marriage based on l o v e r a t h e r than convenience), there i s no attempt to d i s g u i s e the problems occasioned by marriage and f a m i l y l i f e . While the p l a y condones the marriage of Gwalter and G r i s s i l l , i t d e a l s u n e a s i l y w i t h two fundamental s t r u c t u r e s of domestic drama, namely, the p a t i e n t - w i f e paradigm and the t e s t i n g of the wife's constancy. The play's m u l t i p l e - p l o t s t r u c t u r e i s based on a s e t of c o n t r a s t s between k i n d s of m a r i t a l and f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s h i p s , each k i n d of r e l a t i o n s h i p forming a separate p l o t . While the main p l o t dramatizes the v i r t u e s of marriage and the f a m i l y u n i t based on the male-female h i e r a r c h y , the Welsh p l o t c h a l l e n g e s t h a t paradigm i n i t s p o r t r a y a l of the e x p l o s i v e marriage of Gwenthyan and S i r Owen. And a l t h o u g h both p l o t s are r e s o l v e d when the couples accept the d e f i n i t i o n of marriage as e g a l i t a r i a n , the other minor p l o t s u s t a i n s the misogamist p o s i t i o n of Gwalter's s i s t e r J u l i a which opposes the c e n t r a l r e s o l u t i o n . The e l e m e n t s o f p r o t e s t i n t h e 1599 p l a y s u g g e s t i t has more i n common with E l i z a b e t h a n m o r a l i t i e s such as The T i d e  T a r r i e t h no Man and A l l f o r Money, p l a y s t h a t attempted to d e a l w i t h contemporary economic and s o c i a l problems, than i t does w i t h a l l e g o r i c a l d r a m a . L i k e these l a t e m o r a l i t i e s , the p l a y harbors a moral code t h a t the average theatregoer would f i n d a c c e p t a b l e a t the same time t h a t i t exposes the problems and c o n f l i c t s w i t h i n a h i e r a r c h i c a l s o c i e t y that, p a r a d o x i c a l l y , was t o r n between the deep r e s p e c t f o r i n s t i -58 t u t i o n a l i z e d r e l a t i o n s h i p s and f o r p e r s o n a l independence. The moral code i s expressed a m b i v a l e n t l y i n the p l a y , and the ambivalence c o u n t e r p o i n t s the h o m i l e t i c purpose o f the f o l k t a l e . Indeed, P a t i e n t G r i s s i l stands out as the most i n n o v a t i v e o f the l a t e r v e r s i o n s o f the G r i s e l d a s t o r y i n i t s attempt t o g r a p p l e w i t h the t e n s i o n s surrounding domestic l i f e i n an age of i n c r e a s i n g s o c i a l and psycho-l o g i c a l alienation.''""'" II The s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the main p l o t o f P a t i e n t G r i s s i l can best be a p p r e c i a t e d by examining the a c t i o n i n the context o f i t s analogues. In most of the e a r l i e r v e r s i o n s of the G r i s e l d a legend, the s t o r y opens wi t h the y o u t h f u l marquess ex p r e s s i n g h i s r e l u c t a n c e to marry. In the I t a l i a n analogues the marquess* v a s s a l s , and i n Chaucer the townspeople, a d v i s e t h e i r l o r d t o marry so t h a t he may p r o v i d e an h e i r to h i s j u s t r u l e r s h i p . The marquess agrees on the c o n d i t i o n t h a t he be per m i t t e d to choose h i s b r i d e . In B o c c a c c i o , G u a l t i e r i makes i t c l e a r he i s t a k i n g a w i f e i n order to p l e a s e h i s f o l l o w e r s r a t h e r than to s a t i s f y any d e s i r e to marry, and h i s s e l e c t i o n of the poor maiden G r i s e l d a i s made with p r o s a i c d i s p a t c h : For some time G u a l t i e r i had been p l e a s e d by the manners of a poor young g i r l who l i v e d i n a v i l l a g e near h i s home, and s i n c e she seemed very b e a u t i f u l t o him, he thought t h a t l i f e w i t h her coul d be q u i t e p l e a s a n t ; so, without l o o k i n g any 59 f u r t h e r , he decided to marry her, and he sent f o r her f a t h e r , who was extremely poor, and made arrangements w i t h him to take her as h i s w i f e . In Chaucer, Walter decides to marry G r i s i l d i s , a poor but v i r t u o u s maiden, to ensure t h a t h i s h e i r s w i l l i n h e r i t God's g i f t of wisdom and v i r t u e . He a l s o marries with the hope t h a t G r i s i l d i s ' sense o f d u t y as w e l l as h e r f o r t i t u d e and forbearance w i l l be passed on through the generations, thereby guaranteeing the c o n t i n u a t i o n of the community's w e l l - b e i n g . None of the M e d i e v a l sources suggests t h a t the marquess' choice of b r i d e s p r i n g s from a romantic i n t e r e s t i n G r i s e l d a . When the s t o r y reaches the E l i z a b e t h a n p e r i o d , the s o u r c e o f i n t e r e s t s h i f t s from t h e exemplum o f t h e good r u l e r and the i d e a l C h r i s t i a n s u b j e c t to the p r e s e n t a t i o n of the i d e a l C h r i s t i a n marriage. The marriage theme i s f i r s t expressed i n P h i l l i p ' s P a t i e n t G r i s s e l l , a l a t e m o r a l i t y of the type which combines a l l e g o r i c a l f i g u r e s w i t h c h a r a c t e r s b o r d e r i n g on the human. The p l a y opens with Gautier's p r o t e s t s a g a i n s t Fidence's and Reason's urg i n g him to marry. The marquess bases h i s o b j e c t i o n s on St. Paul's p r e f e r e n c e f o r t h e s i n g l e l i f e , and t h e scene b u i l d s on t h e debate between the monastic i d e a l of v i r g i n i t y and the humanist view of marriage u n t i l the l a t t e r , which combines the p r a c t i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n of l e g i t i m a t e o f f s p r i n g w i t h the joy that i s i n marriage, wins the debate. L i k e h i s M e d i e v a l c o u n t e r p a r t s , G a u t i e r chooses to marry G r i s s e l l f o r her v i r t u e s , but a l t h o u g h he c l a i m s not to be "Venus d a r l i n g e " 60 (1. 664) he admits to l o v i n g G r i s s e l deeply: "from •I o profounded h a r t , doth p e r f i t l o v e procead" (1. 664). Once Fidence and Reason win over P o l i t i c Perswasion, the marquess i s eager to marry and s a n c t i f y t h a t l o v e . Deloney's b a l l a d , w r i t t e n approximately t h i r t y years l a t e r , moves r a p i d l y t o the meeting between G r i s s e l and the marquess, d e s c r i b i n g how they f e l l i n l o v e a t f i r s t s i g h t and d i s p e n s i n g e n t i r e l y w i t h the p o l i t i c a l reasons f o r the marriage. The romantic i n t r i g u e i s the mainspring of the s t o r y . The marquess i s a t t r a c t e d t o both G r i s s e l ' s p h y s i c a l beauty and her v i r t u e which are d e s c r i b e d as a d e s i r a b l e combination: She sang most sweetly, with p l e a s a n t v o i c e melodiously, Which set the L o r d 1 s h e a r t on f i r e . The more he l o o k t , the more he might, Beauty bred, h i s h e a r t ' s d e l i g h t ; And to t h i s damsel he went. God speed, quoth he, thou famous flower, F a i r m i s t r e s s o f t h i s homely bower, Where love and vertue l i v e with sweet content. The c o u r t s h i p i s p o r t r a y e d as an i n t i m a t e romantic encounter, and the purpose of G r i s s e l ' s t r i a l s i s t o prove her w i f e l y p a t i e n c e and constancy to the s k e p t i c s at court. Deloney's r e n d i t i o n proceeds, i n p a r a b l e f a s h i o n , t o c e l e b r a t e t h e j o y t h a t can be found i n a t r u l y C h r i s t i a n marriage. Dekker's v e r s i o n , on the other hand, throws i n t o r e l i e f the t e n s i o n s surrounding the marriage. The f i r s t scene opens on the day which the marquess has designated as h i s wedding day. His brother, the marquess of P a v i a , and h i s c o u r t i e r s are anxious t h a t he marry i n order to secure p o l i t i c a l t i e s : Lepido. T h i s day your s e l f appointed to giue answer To a l l those neighbour-Princes, who i n loue O f f e r t h e i r Daughters, S i s t e r s and A l l i e s , In marriage to your hand . . . . ( l . i . 2 2 - 2 5 ) 1 5 P a v i a and the c o u r t i e r s are angry because Gwalter has been spending h i s time hunting r a t h e r than seeking a b r i d e . Gwalter defends h i m s e l f by a p p e a l i n g to h i s y o u t h f u l temperament and h i s d i s t r u s t of women. He c l a i m s to enjoy h i s youth and " f r e e thoughts," and d e s c r i b e s l o v e as a "yoake" (I.i.61) and m a r r i a g e as a " l o a d e " and a " b u r t h e n " under which he r e l u c t a n t l y agrees to "grone" (I.i.62-63) f o r the sake of p o l i t i c a l expediency. O s t e n s i b l y , he agrees to a marriage of convenience. In subsequent scenes we l e a r n t h at Gwalter was o n l y p r e t e n d i n g to scorn l o v e and marriage, t h a t he has s e c r e t l y f a l l e n i n l o v e w i t h the g r a c i o u s and v i r t u o u s G r i s s i l l . U n l i k e h i s M e d i e v a l counterparts, Gwalter, l i k e the marquess i n P h i l l i p ' s p l a y and i n Deloney's b a l l a d , i s s t r u c k by the maiden's beauty which evokes poetr y i n him. E n t e r i n g upon G r i s s i l l ' s a b j e c t household, where he has brought P a v i a and the c o u r t t o r e v e a l t o them h i s c h o i c e of b r i d e , Gwalter b e t r a y s h i s amorous f e e l i n g s f o r the maiden: See where my G r i s s i l l , and her f a t h e r i s , Me t h i n k e s her b e a u t i e s h i n i n g through those weedes, 62 Seems l i k e a b r i g h t s t a r r e i n the s u l l e n n i g h t . How l o v e l y poverty dwels on her backe, Did but the proud world note her as I doe, She would c a s t o f f r i c h robes, forsweare r i c h s t a t e , To c l o t h them i n such poore a b i l i m e n t s . . . . (I.ii.173-179) But the c o u r t i e r s are shocked at G r i s s i l l ' s l o w l y s t a t u s , and the a n t i - G r i s s i l 1 f a c t i o n becomes the marriage's c h i e f antagonist. Therewith the a c t i o n i n the main p l o t r e v o l v e s around the s o c i a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l c o n f l i c t s generated by Gwalter's d e s i r e to marry the woman of h i s choice. In the development o f the theme of p o l i t i c a l o p p o s i t i o n to a marriage o f choice, the main p l o t e n l a r g e s a c o n f l i c t t h a t was o n l y i n t i m a t e d i n P h i l l i p ' s p l a y and i n the b a l l a d . In the M e d i e v a l sources there i s no p u b l i c o p p o s i t i o n to the marriage; the o p p o s i t i o n i s an excuse i n v e n t e d by the marquess i n o r d e r t o j u s t i f y t o G r i s e l d a h i s t e s t i n g o f h e r v i r t u e . In P h i l l i p ' s p l a y , where the p r o v i d e n t i a l nature of the t e s t i n g i s understated, the V i c e P o l i t i c k e Perswasion's o b j e c t i o n s to the marriage r e p r e s e n t p u b l i c d i s c o n t e n t over G r i s s i l l ' s new s t a t u s , a d i s s e n t i n g f o r c e t h a t i n the M e d i e v a l v e r s i o n s i s o n l y a pretext."*"^ In r a t i o n a l i z i n g Gautier's c r u e l t y as an e f f e c t of h i s acquiescence t o e x t e r n a l pressures, P h i l l i p humanizes the c o n f l i c t a t t h i s p o i n t and minimizes i t s a l l e g o r i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . A s i m i l a r process occurs i n the b a l l a d where the marquess t e s t s h i s w i f e i n order to prove her p a t i e n c e , hoping t h a t h i s b e h a v i o r w i l l make others p i t y her and "her foes . . . d i s -63 grace" (1. 62). In n e i t h e r of the r e n d i t i o n s , however, i s the human u n d e r s t r u c t u r e of the c o n f l i c t f u l l y developed. The opposing f a c t i o n s i n both the e a r l y p l a y and the b a l l a d are e a s i l y persuaded of G r i s e l d a ' s merits, and the marquess i s never suspected of w i l l f u l wrongdoing or m a l i c e a g a i n s t h i s w i f e . P h i l l i p ' s marquess i s o n l y r e l u c t a n t l y convinced by P o l i t i c k e Perswasion to t e s t G r i s s e l l ' s p a t i e n c e , and i n b e n d i n g t o p u b l i c p r e s s u r e he s u f f e r s t o t h i n k o f t h e c o n s t e r n a t i o n the t e s t i n g w i l l cause: Oh c r u e l l w i t h t e s , t h a t cause my care, oh s t o n i e h a r t s of f l i n t , Can neuer t e a r e s nor d o l f u l l p a i n t s , cause r i g o r f o r to s t y n t , But t h a t ye w i l l procead to worke your curssed w i l l , A loue a l l g r e f e s t h i s g r e f e surmounts, an I n f a n t s bloode to s p y l l . (11. 1081-1084) A d a u g h t e r has a l r e a d y been b o r n t o t h e marquess and G r i s s e l l , and t h e f i r s t t e s t i s t o b e a r p r i m a r i l y on t h e c h i l d . The c r u c i a l dramatic p o i n t , however, i s Gautier's u n e q u i v o c a l e x p l a n a t i o n to h i s w i f e of h i s i n t e n t i o n s concerning the t e s t i n g . P u b l i c pressure, he acknowledges, makes the t e s t s necessary; but h i s remorse i s s u s t a i n e d throughout the o r d e a l , and h i s c l o s e r a p p o r t w i t h G r i s s e l l i s never shaken: G r i s s e l l . Shoe to me thy mated w i f e , the thinge t h a t causeth care, And I to swage thy pensyue mind w i l l remedye prepare. 64 Gauter. Thou canst not ad r e l e s e my deare, i f I the thinge repeate I t r a t h e r w i l l torment thy minde wit h p a i n f u l l passions great The cause i s t h i s : my nobles my weeded s t a t e d i s d a i n e , And ether w i l l t h a t I poore wretch, an e r i l l s h a l l remaine, And l o s e my r u l l i n g e s t a t e , my t r e a s u r e and my s t o r e , Which l u c k l e s s hap i n gushing k i n d , with t e a r e s mine eyes deplore, Or e l s t h a t our sweete c h i l d e , which from these loynes ishude, w i t h d i r f u l sword, sho l d murthed be, which t h i n g my h a r t hath rued Now to auoid t h e i r w r a t h f u l 1 yre, and fauor wynne againe, I graunt and y e l d t h a t t h i s our Chid with sword s h a l l s t r a i g h t be s l a i n . . . . (11. 1085-1096) The p s y c h o l o g i c a l ambiguity i n the p l a y c e n t r e s on the r o l e of P o l i t i c k e Perswasion. Cyrus Hoy has noted the u n c e r t a i n ground occupied by the V i c e i n P h i l l i p ' s p l a y : i n a sense, P o l i t i c k e Perswasion " i s the e x t e r n a l v o i c e of an i n n e r e v i l , the o v e r t m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f a l l the Marquess' e f f o r t s to d e c e i v e h i m s e l f with specious arguments f o r G r i s e l d a ' s disgrace." However, the marquess' goodness i s never r e a l l y questioned i n the p l a y . As an e f f e c t of i n t e r n a l " e v i l , " h i s c r u e l t y remains obscure. A t the same time, P o l i t i c k e Perswasion "moves independently i n the w o r l d of P h i l l i p ' s p l a y . . . and does not e x i s t s i m p l y as a dimension of the Marquess' imagination," but as the v o i c e o f s o c i a l o p p o s i t i o n . In the p r e s e n t a t i o n of the Vice's p u b l i c r o l e and Gautier's response to i t , P h i l l i p thus 65 a n t i c i p a t e s Deloney's r e n d i t i o n o f the marquess' m a l i c e as a conscious p l o y t o win p u b l i c support f o r h i s marriage. The c o u r t l y f a c t i o n , on the other hand, appears r e g u l a r l y t o denounce G r i s s i l 1 i n the 1599 p l a y , and the c o u r t i e r s ' i m p o r t u n i t i e s have a profound p s y c h o l o g i c a l e f f e c t on Gwalter. Indeed, f o r the f i r s t time i n the l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y o f the G r i s e l d a s t o r y the marquess' c r u e l t y toward h i s w i f e suggests p s y c h o l o g i c a l depth. The p l a y does not share the e q u i v o c a t i o n e v i d e n t i n P h i l l i p ' s p o r t r a y a l o f s o c i a l antagonism a g a i n s t Gautier's marriage. The o p p o s i t i o n i s e x p l i c i t l y r e l e g a t e d to the c o u r t l y f a c t i o n , and a l t h o u g h the a n t a g o n i s t s have been reduced i n number ( t h e r e i s n e v e r any h i n t t h a t G w a l t e r needs t o win p u b l i c assent) t h e i r d i s a p p r o b a t i o n i s more dangerous and a l i e n a t i n g than the p u b l i c o u t c r y i n the e a r l i e r p l a y . Lepido and Mario, and P a v i a e s p e c i a l l y , r e p r e s e n t the h i g h e s t a u t h o r i t y f i g u r e s i n the w o r l d o f the p l a y , and Gwalter's marriage t o a subordinate r e p r e s e n t s a c h a l l e n g e to t h a t a u t h o r i a l chorus. Gwalter, i n choosing t o marry G r i s s i l l , denies t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n a common ide o l o g y , and h i s d e n i a l i s i n t e r p r e t e d as a s e r i o u s c h a l l e n g e t o the h i e r a r c h i c a l system which i t i s h i s duty to pres e r v e : Pauia. What w i i 1 t h e w o r l d say when t h e trump o f fame S h a l l sound your h i g h b i r t h with a beggers name? (I.ii.279-280) 66 The c o n t r o v e r s y surrounding the marquess' choice of b r i d e i s the source of h i s f r u s t r a t i o n . Unable to withstand being h u m i l i a t e d by P a v i a , Gwalter r e a c t s by d i s p l a c i n g h i s c r i t i c s ' h o s t i l i t y onto G r i s s i l l . T h i s i s e v i d e n t i n the encounter between husband and w i f e f o l l o w i n g Gwalter's c l a s h w i t h the c o u r t i e r s . The attempt to r e v e a l the marquess' inner t u r m o i l i s r e s t r i c t e d t o o n l y one scene; however, the episode i s s t a r t l i n g i n i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s . Act I I , scene i i opens on a c o n v e r s a t i o n between Gwalter and F u r i o , h i s o n l y l o y a l f o l l o w e r . To F u r i o , the marquess acknowledges h i s s u s t a i n e d l o v e f o r G r i s s i l l whose womb i s now b e a r i n g "The i o y o f marriage" ( I I . i i . 1 3 ) . The marquess' p r a i s e of G r i s s i l l continues i n the amorous v e i n t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e d h i s c o u r t s h i p of her, c o n f i r m i n g that romance and p a s s i o n have been preserved i n marriage: My loue to her i s as the heate to f i r e , Her loue to mee as b e a u t i e to the Sunne, (Inseperable adiunts) i n one word, So d e a r e l y loue I G r i s s i l l , t h a t my l i f e S h a l l end, when she doth ende to be my w i f e . ( I I . i i . 1 4 - 1 8 ) Yet Gwalter confesses to a h e a r t "burnt up with d e s i r e s / To t r i e my G r i s s i l s p a t i e n c e " (11. 20-21), suggesting the purpose o f the forthcoming t e s t s i s not n e c e s s a r i l y a moral one. Gwalter's announcement of the t e s t i n g ends i n a rhyming c o u p l e t , presumably d i r e c t e d at the audience, e s t a b l i s h i n g the d i d a c t i c nature of h i s scheme: 67 . . . men men t r i e your wiues, loue t h a t abides sharpe tempests, sweetly t h r i u e s . ( I I . i i . 3 2 - 3 3 ) However, s i n c e we have been a l e r t e d to the marquess' pas s i o n a t e and i n e x p l i c a b l e urge to m o r t i f y h i s wife, h i s appeal to f o l k wisdom does not s i g n a l the play's c a p i t u l a t i o n to p l a t i t u d e as j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r human behavior. Rather, the i n t r u s i o n of the t r i t e , mechanical c o u p l e t as a r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n f o r c r u e l t y r e i n f o r c e s the e q u i v o c a t i o n concerning Gwalter's m o t i v a t i o n . The ambiguity i s s u s t a i n e d c h i e f l y through Gwalter's v e r b a l i d i o -s y n c r a c i e s . The f i r s t p a r t of the scene c o n t a i n s l i t t l e a c t i o n ; we p e r c e i v e the c h a r a c t e r s p r i m a r i l y through d i a l o g u e . G r i s s i l l ' s speeches r e v e a l l i t t l e more than the responses of the c o n v e n t i o n a l p a t i e n t wife. Gwalter's language, on the other hand, i s h i g h l y i n d i v i d u a l i z e d . Once the t e s t i n g has begun, Gwalter responds to G r i s s i l l ' s d e p r e c a t i o n w i t h s p e c t a c u l a r i n s u l t s : G r i s . Oh chide me not away, Your handmaid G r i s s i l l with vnuexed thoughts, And w i t h an v n r e p i n i n g soule, w i l l beare The burden of a l l sorrowes, of a l l woe. Before the s m a l l e s t g r i e f e s hould wound you so. Marq. I am not beholding to your loue f o r t h i s , Woman I loue thee not, t h i n e eyes to mine Are eyes of B a s i l i s k e s , they murder me. ( I I . i i . 4 0 - 4 7 ) G i v e n t h e absence o f P a v i a and h i s f a c t i o n a t t h i s moment, we may w e l l wonder why Gwalter r e s o r t s t o such e p i t h e t s , 68 comparing h i s wif e w i t h a m y t h o l o g i c a l r e p t i l e t h a t destroys w i t h i t s gaze. As the d i a l o g u e b u i l d s with i n c r e a s i n g t e n s i o n , the unconscious source of Gwalter's c r u e l t y i s i m p l i e d through the r h e t o r i c a l underpinning of h i s o u t b u r s t s . G r i s s i l l . S u f f e r me t o p a r t hence, l i e t e a r e them [her eyes] out. Because they worke such treason to my loue. Marq. T a l k e not of loue. I hate thee more than poyson t h a t s t i c k e s vpon the a i r e s i n f e c t e d winges, Exhald vp by the hot b r e a t h of the Sunne, T i s f o r thy sake t h a t speckled infamie, S i t s l i k e a screech-owle on my honoured b r e s t , To make my s u b i e c t s s t a r e and mocke at mee, They sweare t h e y l e neuer bend t h e i r awful 1 knees, * To the base i s s u e of thy beggers wombe, T i s f o r thy sake they curse me, r a i l e at me, Th i n k s t thou then I can loue thee (oh my soule) Why d i d s t thou b u i l d e t h i s mountaine of my shame, Why l y e my ioyes b u r i e d i n G r i s s i l l s name? ( I I . i i . 5 0 - 6 1 ) Gwalter i s f a s c i n a t i n g and e x a s p e r a t i n g i n h i s c r u e l t y , and i n the dramatic crescendo of f e e l i n g we p e r c e i v e a genuine emotional s t r u g g l e . The v e r b a l syndrome i s ac h i e v e d through the predominance of e r u p t i o , "a sudden and v i o l e n t d i s c h a r g e • "• « of f e e l i n g , " and e x c e s s u s — a "departure from a standard 19 i n conduct" marked by "protuberance" of speech or a c t i o n . The tone of Gwalter's language i s urgent and i m p u l s i v e ; and the a r d o r o f t h e o u t b u r s t , which has no e q u i v a l e n t i n t h e play's analogues, h i g h l i g h t s the inner dimension of h i s c r u e l t y : "(oh my soule) / Why d i d s t thou b u i l d e t h i s 69 mountaine of my shame, / why l y e my i o y e s b u r i e d i n G r i s s i l l s name? (11. 59-61). The o p e r a t i v e phrase, "mountaine of my shame," a s s e r t s the connection between Gwalter's d e s i r e t o h u m i l i a t e h i s w i f e and s o c i a l p r e s s u r e . The i r r a t i o n a l perseverance with which Gwalter s u s t a i n s h i s c r u e l t y moves the a c t i o n forward. As G r i s s i l l q u i e t l y acquiesces to h i s anger, Gwalter becomes more desperate u n t i l v i o l e n t language g i v e s way to s a d i s t i c behavior: F u r i o . Your gloue my Lord. Marq. Cast downe my gloue againe, Stoope you f o r i t , f o r I w i l l haue you stoope, And kneele euen to the meanest groome I keepe. G r i s . T i s but my d u e t i e : i f youle haue me stoope, Euen to your meanest groome my Lord i l e stoope. ( I I . i i . 7 7 - 8 2 ) T h i s d i s p l a y o f c r u e l t y i s f o l l o w e d by the order to t i e Furio's shoes, which G r i s s i l l h a s t i l y obeys. The degradation to which G r i s s i l l submits when she i s reduced to f e t c h i n g h a n d k e r c h i e f s and t y i n g shoes i s underscored by i t s uniqueness i n domestic drama. The c o n v e n t i o n of the p a t i e n t wife r e q u i r e s o n l y the wife's quiescence and not her g r o v e l l i n g performance o f b i z a r r e tasks. Even i n A Y o r k s h i r e Tragedy, where the Husband's madness reaches d i a b o l i c a l p r o p o r t i o n s and h i s treatment of h i s w i f e and c h i l d r e n i s w i l d and incomprehensible, the Wife's p a t i e n c e i s n e v e r t r i e d i n t h e same g r o t e s q u e f a s h i o n as i s G r i s s i l l ' s . As the t e s t i n g progresses, however, Gwalter's f e e l i n g s v a c i l l a t e from extreme c r u e l t y t o compassion, h i s 70 o u t b u r s t s r e i t e r a t i n g t h a t h i s v i o l e n t b e h a v i o r i s a defense a g a i n s t the d i s s e n t and resentment of the c o u r t i e r s : Marq. I have not t r u e power, To wound thee with d e n i a l l , oh my G r i s s i l l , How d e a r e l y should I loue thee, Yea d i e to doe thee good, but t h a t my s u b i e c t s Vpbraid me w i t h thy b i r t h , and c a l l i t base, And g r i e u e to see thy Father and thy Brother Heau'de vp to d i g n i t i e s . ( I I . i i . 1 1 5 - 1 2 0 ) The t e n s i o n between Gwalter's d e s i r e t o uphold h i s p e r s o n a l c l a i m s and h i s d u t y t o t h e c o u r t i s b r o u g h t i n t o r e l i e f i n the l a t t e r p a r t of the scene, f o l l o w i n g G r i s s i l l ' s e x i t and the entrance of Mario and Lepido: Marq. . . . what was she t h a t passed by you? Both. Your vertuous w i f e . Marq. C a l l her not vertuous, For I abhorre her, d i d not her swolne eyes Looke red with hate or scorne? d i d not she curse My name or F u r i o e s name? Mario. No my deare Lord. Marq. For he and I r a i l d a t her, s p i t at her, She b u r s t her h e a r t with sorrow, f o r I grieue To see you g r i e u e t h a t I have wrong'd my s t a t e , By l o u i n g one whose basenes now I hate Enter G r i s s i l l w i t h wine. Come f a s t e r i f you can, forbeare Mario, T i s but her o f f i c e : what shee does to mee, She s h a l l performe to any of you t h r e e . (I I . i i . 1 2 7 - 1 3 8 ) Gwalter hopes t h a t by t u r n i n g G r i s s i l l i n t o a s e r v i l e o b j e c t f o r the court's p l e a s u r e she w i l l f i n a l l y be accepted by her d e t r a c t o r s . That h i s c r u e l t y goes beyond the o s t e n s i b l e m o r a l p u r p o s e o f the t e s t s i s c o n f i r m e d i n a moment o f dramatic r e v e l a t i o n , when the marquess admits "My s e l f e have 71 don most wrong, f o r I d i d t r y / To breake the temper of tr u e c o n s t a n c i e " (V.ii.204-205). Dekker's p o r t r a y a l o f the marquess' c o n f l i c t with the c o u r t r e g a r d i n g h i s marriage to a subordinate a l i g n s the p l a y with the growing tendency t o view marriages of convenience as p a r t o f a broader power s t r u c t u r e t h a t denies the i n d i v i d u a l f u l f i l l m e n t . The p s y c h o l o g i c a l consequences of t h a t d e n i a l are brought i n t o r e l i e f i n the marquess' defense a g a i n s t the c o u r t i e r s ' h o s t i l i t y . A t the same time, the a l t e r a t i o n o f the stock p a t i e n t - w i f e f i g u r e , which c o n t r i b u t e s to the " c e n t r a l t o p i c o f marriage and the qu e s t i o n o f male or female dominance, tends toward undermining the marriage code. We have seen t h a t G r i s s i l l ' s p r o g r e s s i o n from quiescence to extreme h u m i l i t y goes beyond the d o c i l i t y n o r m a l l y expected of p a t i e n t wives. While Gwalter's c h a r a c t e r suggests i n t e r i o r i t y , G r i s s i l l remains loc k e d w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s o f stock c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , and the c o n t r a s t between the two c h a r a c t e r s h i g h l i g h t s the play's exaggeration of the f o l k m o t i f s . Yet, G r i s s i l l does on o c c a s i o n step out of the p a t i e n t - w i f e r o l e to r e v e a l what Mary L e l a n d Hunt long ago a p t l y d e s c r i b e d as " f l i c k e r i n g s i g n s o f sense a l i e n to the monstrous mush of concession long admired by the credulous." G r i s s i l l has her r e b e l l i o u s moments, as when, f o r example, she bemoans her st a t u s a f t e r the marquess has her c h i l d r e n taken away: 72 I must oh God I must, must i s f o r Kings, And l o e obedience, f o r l o e v n d e r l i n g s . (IV.ii.142-143) S i m i l a r l y , G r i s s i l l admits t o being w r o n g f u l l y t r e a t e d by her husband, and upon being banished from court, i n a moment of doubt and c o n f l i c t , she c r i e s out: Thus tyranny oppresseth innocence, Thy lookes seeme heauy, but thy h e a r t i s l i g h t , For v i l l a i n e s laugh when wrong oppresseth r i g h t . (IV.i.191-193) The sharp d i s c r e p a n c y between G r i s s i l l ' s extreme h u m i l i t y and her f l a s h e s of anger, however, a l s o r e v e a l Dekker's e s s e n t i a l ambivalence toward the p a t i e n t - w i f e f i g u r e ; f o r w h i l e the l i m i t a t i o n s of p a t i e n c e as a response to m a r i t a l c o n f l i c t are a r t f u l l y exposed, Dekker does not u l t i m a t e l y p o r t r a y G r i s s i l l ' s s u f f e r i n g as m o r a l l y u n j u s t i f i e d . Her o u t b u r s t s and her extreme h u m i l i t y notwithstanding, G r i s s i l l ' s f o r t i t u d e i n the face of grave abuse i s the character's c h i e f moral a t t r i b u t e , and her numerous speeches on the n e c e s s i t y of the wife's submission to her husband's a u t h o r i t y undermine the marginal parody of the p a t i e n t - w i f e paradigm i n the main p l o t . The i d e o l o g y of p a t i e n c e t h e r e f o r e r e t a i n s i t s f o r m i d a b l e h o l d on the action's imaginative s t r u c t u r e amid a muted c u r r e n t of o p p o s i t i o n . I l l The ambiguity i n the treatment of male-female r e l a t i o n -ships extends to the p o r t r a y a l of f a m i l y l i f e i n g e n e r a l . The main p l o t ' s most e x t e n s i v e m o d i f i c a t i o n s of the G r i s e l d a s t o r y are the a d d i t i o n s of G r i s s i l l ' s b r o t h e r Laureo and the earthy s e r v a n t - a p p r e n t i c e Babulo, both of whom are Dekker's 2 2 c r e a t i o n s . The c h a r a c t e r s , a l o n g with J a n i c o l a ' s pro-t r a c t e d r o l e as the g e n t l e f a t h e r and master, p r o v i d e a c h o r u s — a t once r e s e n t f u l , c o m i c a l , and s y m p a t h e t i c — w h i c h 9 3 accompanies and comments on the marriage theme, but which p r o j e c t s the a c t i o n beyond the marriage debate. The frequent o v e r l a p of scenes d e p i c t i n g J a n i c o l a ' s household and those i n v o l v i n g the marquess and G r i s s i l l f u r t h e r d i m inishes the a l l e g o r i c a l tenor of the a c t i o n . In the M e d i e v a l analogues the s t o r y proceeds q u i c k l y to the marquess' p r o p o s a l of marriage and the meeting with G r i s e l d a ' s f a m i l y , t o the wedding and the t r i a l s . Deloney, on the other hand, omits e n t i r e l y the meeting with the f a m i l y , p r e f e r r i n g i n s t e a d to d w e l l on the romance between the marquess and h i s b r i d e . In P h i l l i p ' s p l a y , a f t e r G r i s s e l l and her parents are introduced, there i s a b r i e f i n t e r l u d e wherein the dying Mother addresses G r i s s e l l i n the presence of Indigent P o v e r t y who i s r a v a g i n g t h e i r l i v e s . The Mother e n t r u s t s h e r d a u g h t e r w i t h t h e c a r e o f h e r o l d and lame f a t h e r and subsequently d e l i v e r s a l e n g t h y sermon on G r i s s e l l ' s duty to l o v e and obey him (11. 294ff.). We have l i t t l e f e e l i n g f o r the f a m i l y ' s p o v e r t y as a t a n g i b l e , treacherous r e a l i t y ; nor s h o u l d we expect t o from a p l a y whose purpose, l i k e t h a t o f most m o r a l i t i e s , i s to r e v e a l acceptance of e a r t h l y s u f f e r i n g as "a measure of j u s t i c e 74 a c c o r d i n g to n a t u r a l law and order." Although the c h a r a c t e r s must undergo extreme ha r d s h i p s the p l a y upholds 95 the " m e r c i f u l denouement" of the m o r a l i t y p l a y , and the s i t u a t i o n s i t dramatizes are l a r g e l y a s e r i e s o f a b s t r a c t i o n s . Dekker, on the other hand, i n t e r p o s e s complex f a m i l y scenes between the G r i s s i l 1 - m a r q u e s s a c t i o n , and p r o p e l s the main p l o t forward amid a concrete background of everyday domestic l i f e . To P h i l l i p ' s f a m i l y scenes Dekker adds the t o t a l i t y o f l i f e surroundings, i n c l u d i n g the m a t e r i a l b a s i s o f the bond between parents, c h i l d r e n , and servants. In the second scene, Dekker i n t r o d u c e s Babulo, the cl o w n i s h but pragmatic s e r v a n t - a p p r e n t i c e . Babulo's d e s c r i p t i o n o f the pains i n c u r r e d by h a v i n g to r i s e e a r l y plunges the a c t i o n i n t o the midst of a workaday domestic environment r e s p o n s i v e to the c o n s t r i c t i o n s o f time and space: Olde Master heeres a morning a b l e to make us worke to o t h and n a i l e (marrie then we must haue v i c t u a l I s the Sun hath p l a i d boe peep i n t h e e l e m e n t a n i e time t h e s e two houres, as I doe some mornings when you c a l : what Babulo say you: heere Master say I an then t h i s eye opens, y e t don i s the mouse, l i e s t i l l : what Babulo sayes G r i s s i l , anone say I, and then t h i s eye lookes vp, y e t downe I snug againe: what Babulo say you againe, and then I s t a r t vp, and see the Sunne, and then sneeze, and then shake mine eares, and then r i s e , and then get my b r e a k f a s t , and then f a l to worke, 75 and then wash my hands, and by t h i s time I am ready: heer's your basket, and G r i s s i l l heer's yours. ( I . i i . 1 - 1 1 ) Babulo's remarks suggest t h a t the stage props would i n c l u d e common household items. His frequent r e f e r e n c e s to meal time and to the time of day c o n t r i b u t e t o the atmosphere of mundane r e a l i t y , as do h i s i n t e r m i t t e n t appearances throughout the scene i n which we see him performing house-h o l d chores such as making the f i r e and s c o u r i n g the k e t t l e ( I . i i . 158 and 286). Although Babulo's complaints about the onerous demands of work p r o v i d e moments of welcome humor, t h e y a l s o r e v e a l t h a t a l 1 i s n o t wel 1 i n t h e domain o f day-to-day l i v i n g . We l e a r n , f o r example, t h a t basket-making, J a n i c o l a ' s occupation, i s one of many dying t r a d e s because i t belongs to a former l e s s v o l a t i l e o r d e r : . . . i f t h e w o r l d doe n o t ende, we s h a l l not l i u e one by another: basket making as a l l other trades runs to decay, and s h o r t l y we s h a l l not be worth a butten, f o r non i n t h i s c u t t i n g age sowe t r u e s t i t c h e s , but t a y l e r s , and shoomakers, and yet now and then they t r e a d t h e i r shooes a wrie too. ( I . i i . 8 4 - 8 8 ) Babulo i s e q u a l l y b l u n t i n h i s c r i t i c i s m o f the i d l e r i c h : God f o r g i u e mee, I t h i n k e I s h a l l not e a t e a pecke of s a l t : I s h a l l not l i u e long sure, I should be a r i c h man by r i g h t , f o r they neuer doe good deeds, but when they see they must dye, . . . . ( I . i i . 1 5 - 1 7 ) 76 Babulo's frankness p l a c e s him i n the d i r e c t l i n e of generations o f c y n i c a l observant s e r v a n t s from Roman comedy to Shakespeare. L i k e h i s E l i z a b e t h a n counterparts, Babulo's w i t t y c y n i c i s m c h a l l e n g e s the p r e v a i l i n g view of the master-ser v a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s et f o r t h i n Tudor h o m i l i e s and t r e a t i s e s , a r e l a t i o n s h i p c o nsidered to be " i n many ways l i k e t h a t between parents and t h e i r c h i l d r e n . " I t was common p r a c t i c e i n the t r e a t i s e s to i n c l u d e both masters and ser v a n t s i n d i s c u s s i o n s of f a m i l y conduct. The master's d u t y was t o e n s u r e t h a t t h e b a s i c needs o f h i s s e r v a n t s and app r e n t i c e s were met, and "to teach them the s k i l l s , manners and morals a p p r o p r i a t e t o t h e i r c a l l i n g s and s t a t i o n s i n l i f e , " j u s t as they d i d f o r t h e i r c h i l d r e n ; s e r v a n t s were expected t o be " d e f e r e n t i a l and obedient, submissive always 9 7 to the a u t h o r i t y o f t h e i r e l d e r s . " Babulo's comic i n s u b o r d i n a t i o n c o u n t e r p o i n t s the sombre tone of the G r i s s i l 1 - m a r q u e s s a c t i o n . Babulo, who i s f i e r c e l y l o y a l to G r i s s i l l , "knocks" the marquess f o r t r y i n g to " l i c k e a t " G r i s s i l l ' s l i p s ( I . i i . 328) and admonishes him f o r f o l l o w i n g a fad i n d e s i r i n g t o marry a subordinate: "I am a f r a i d t h a t t h i s wonder o f t h e r i c h l o v i n g t h e / poor, w i l l l a s t b u t nine d a i e s " ( I . i i . 3 1 9 ) . Nor does Babulo h i d e the f a c t t h a t i n an a b j e c t household a r o y a l v i s i t i s a grave i m p o s i t i o n : . . . i f he [the marquess] be a P r i n c e , I hope hee i s not P r i n c e ouer my tongue, s n a i l e s , wherefore come a l l these: Master heeres not f i s h enough f o r vs, S i r h a G r i s s i l l the f i r e burnes out. (I.ii.294-296) 77 Babulo's unsubmissiveness e l i c i t s the d e f e r e n t J a n i c o l a and G r i s s i l l * S reproaches: Bab. Master I have made a good f i r e . . . Ian. F a l l on thy knees thou f o o l e : see heeres our duke. (I.ii.286-287) What G r i s s i l l c a l l s Babulo's "intemperate tongue" (1. 325) i s p a r t o f t h e m i l d c h o r u s o f c y n i c i s m t h a t b a l a n c e s t h e theme of p a t i e n c e i n a d v e r s i t y t h a t informs the main p l o t . The t e n s i o n i s s u s t a i n e d i n the scenes i n v o l v i n g G r i s s i l l ' s b r o t h e r Laureo. An important c o n t r a s t between Dekker's and P h i l l i p ' s p o r t r a y a l of J a n i c o l a ' s f a m i l y i s Dekker's replacement o f the Mother with Laureo. In the e a r l i e r p l a y the Mother, although she d i e s before much of the a c t i o n t a k e s p l a c e , i s a d r a m a t i c t a u t o l o g y i n t h a t she echoes and r e i n f o r c e s the father's sentiments. Dekker's s u b s t i t u t i o n , on the other hand, i n t e n s i f i e s the dramatic c o n f l i c t generated by Babulo's c a u s t i c but l i g h t h e a r t e d remarks. Laureo, a s c h o l a r who has retu r n e d home due to l a c k of money to continue h i s s t u d i e s , p r o v i d e s the i n t e l l e c t u a l s u l l e n n e s s t h a t Babulo's clownishness l a c k s . With the s c h o l a r ' s a l o o f n e s s , Laureo l o g i c a l l y and p e r s i s t e n t l y c h a l l e n g e s G r i s s i l l ' s t r i a l s and the i d e o l o g y t h a t f o s t e r s them, u n t i l he i s f o r c e d to c r y out a g a i n s t h i s sovereign d u r i n g a moment of pa s s i o n a t e b i t t e r n e s s : Oh poore and wretched people are the Pigmies, Oh r i c h oppressors the deuouring Cranes, Within my f a t h e r s house l i e shew thee Pigmies, 78 my s i s t e r G r i s s i l l shee's a Pigmie. The Marquesse i s the r i c h deuouring Crane, That makes vs l e s s e then Pigmies, worse then wormes. (V.i.46-56) However, Laureo's c r i t i c i s m o f u n j u s t a u t h o r i t y i s c o n s t a n t l y undermined by J a n i c o l a , whose p h i l o s o p h y of r e s i g n a t i o n — " A r t thou poore y e t hast thou golden Slumbers: Oh sweet content" ( I . i i . 9 3 -94)—tends to m u f f l e h i s son's harsh judgments. Although a sense o f urgency underscores J a n i c o l a ' s h u m i l i t y as he c o n f r o n t s h i s f a m i l y ' s d e p r i v a t i o n , the f a i r y - t a l e q u a l i t y of the character's p e r c e p t i o n s overshadows the c r u e l r e a l i t y d e s c r i b e d by Laureo: Ian. . . . though I am poore My loue s h a l l not be so: goe daughter G r i s s i l l , F etch water from the s p r i n g to seeth our f i s h , Which y e s t e r day I caught: the sheare i s meane, But be content, when I haue s o l d e these . Baskets, The monie s h a l l be s p e n t t o b i d t h e e [ L a u r e o ] welcome: G r i s s i l l make hast, run and k i n d l e f i r e . For when we cease from worke euen i n t h a t w h i l e My song s h a l l charme g r i e f e s eares and care b e g u i l e . ( I . i i . 1 5 1 - 1 5 7 ; 168-169) The L a u r e o - B a b u l o - J a n i c o l a a c t i o n thus s u s t a i n s the p a t t e r n of c o n t r a d i c t o r y messages t h a t informs the main p l o t . As a f a t h e r , J a n i c o l a i s g e n t l e , b e n e v o l e n t and s e l f -s a c r i f i c i n g . In h i s espousal of c a r i t a s he proves h i m s e l f an i d e a l p a r e n t and master, as w e l l as an - i d e a l s u b j e c t . As 79 head of h i s simple household, J a n i c o l a ' s moral o b l i g a t i o n s are not d i s s i m i l a r to those of h i s sovereign, the marquess. Indeed, the s u p e r s t r u c t u r e of the p l a y suggests we are i n v i t e d to view the f a m i l y as the kingdom i n microcosm. 2 8 The King's moral o b l i g a t i o n towards h i s s u b j e c t s , l i k e the father's towards h i s c h i l d r e n , i s to guide and comfort them, and to teach them " b r o t h e r l y a f f e c t i o n one towards another, . . . i n l o y a l t i e to him t h a t i s t h e i r S o v e r a i g n e . " 2 9 The c o n t r a s t between J a n i c o l a (the wise, temperate, and c a r i n g f a t h e r ) and Gwalter (the i m p u l s i v e , punishing, and t y r a n n i c a l r u l e r ) as c h a r a c t e r s and as p h i l o s o p h i c a l p o l a r i t i e s i s an a b s t r a c t statement on the n e c e s s i t y of b e n e v o l e n t a u t h o r i t y . The marquess' tyranny reaches beyond h i s c r u e l t y as a husband; i t extends to G r i s s i l l ' s f a m i l y as w e l l . In a unique a l t e r a t i o n of the G r i s e l d a s t o r y , J a n i c o l a and h i s f a m i l y are brought to c o u r t with G r i s s i l l , and are h u m i l i a t e d and banished with her. Thus G r i s s i l l ' s t r i a l s extend to the marquess' s u b j e c t s as w e l l . Yet the happy r e s o l u t i o n i n which a l l the f a c t i o n s are r e c o n c i l e d , and i n which Gwalter seems to have l e a r n e d the l e s s o n o f good r u l e r s h i p , i s not e n t i r e l y c o n v i n c i n g because i t has been a c h i e v e d l a r g e l y through G r i s s i l l and J a n i c o l a ' s surrender to a b s o l u t e and t y r a n n i c a l r u l e . As a c h a r a c t e r J a n i c o l a , l i k e G r i s s i l l , never a t t a i n s p s y c h o l o g i c a l depth and t h e r e f o r e remains an i d e a l i z e d a b s t r a c t i o n . That the marquess i s more c o n v i n c i n g as a c h a r a c t e r i n h i s inhumanity than are the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of v i r t u e s t r o n g l y suggests i t 80 i s i m p o s s i b l e f o r e a r t h l y a u t h o r i t y t o r e f l e c t the d i v i n e w i l l . The comic r e s o l u t i o n t h e r e f o r e does not f u l l y i n t e g r a t e the main p l o t ' s d i v i d e d thought s t r u c t u r e s . IV The ambivalence i s s u s t a i n e d i n the o p p o s i t i o n between t h e main p l o t and t h e two minor p l o t s , b o t h o f which c o n t r i b u t e to the debate of dominance i n marriage and the qu e s t i o n o f obedience t o unjust a u t h o r i t y . In the context of the su r f a c e a c t i o n the o p p o s i t i o n takes the form o f parody. S i r Owen's comical and u n s u c c e s s f u l e f f o r t s t o tame the shrewish Gwenthyan amount t o a parody of Gwalter's c r u e l t y ; o b s e r v i n g both couples i s J u l i a , who u n e q u i v o c a l l y r e j e c t s what she sees, p r e f e r r i n g t o " l e a d Apes i n h e l l " (V.ii.282) r a t h e r than marry. A s e r i e s o f i n t r i c a t e p a r a l l e l s at once i n t e g r a t e s and d i v i d e s the p l o t s : Gwalter and Gwenthyan are cousins, t h e i r mutual c r u e l t y suggesting p s y c h o l o g i c a l p a r i t y as w e l l ; J u l i a , the misogamist, i s Gwalter's s i s t e r , and her cou n t e r p a r t Laureo i s G r i s s i l l ' s brother. The marquess' tyranny i s f o i l e d by S i r Owen's d o c i l i t y , j u s t as G r i s s i l l ' s h u m i l i t y i s opposed by Gwenthyan's r e b e l l i o u s n e s s . Compare, f o r example, the marquess' d r e s s i n g o f G r i s s i l l i n her o l d rags to h u m i l i a t e her (IV.i) w i t h Gwenthyan's d r e s s i n g h e r s e l f i n rags to h u m i l i a t e S i r Owen and revenge G r i s s i l l : "pecause G r i s s i l l i s made f o o l e / and t u r n e away, Gwenthian mag f o o l e o f S i r Owen" ( I V . i i i . 134-135). C r i t i c s , however, e i t h e r ignore or 81 are uneasy with the parody. Richard L e v i n disapproves o f the s t r u c t u r a l and thematic incoherence i t generates: "the v a l u e s o f the f o l k t a l e source of the main p l o t , " he argues, " d i c t a t e t h a t G r i s s i l ' s u t t e r s e l f - a b n e g a t i o n be t r e a t e d as the w i f e l y i d e a l , " but the moral scheme p l a c e s Gwalter i n an ambiguous p o s i t i o n , f o r w h i l e h i s p e r s e c u t i o n o f G r i s s i l . . . i s d e f i n e d by the double s t r u c t u r e as a gross d i s t o r t i o n o f proper husbandly b e h a v i o r a t the opp o s i t e p o l e from S i r Owen, the f o l k d o c t r i n e would have us accept i t as the p r e r o g a t i v e o f h i s sex (and rank), as w e l l as a j u s t i f i a b l e subterfuge designed t o demonstrate her worthiness. And w h i l e G r i s s i l l ' s forbearance " i s meant to win our whole hearted sympathy," Gwenthyan's shrewishness i s "not judged i n e t h i c a l terms . . . b u t s i m p l y as a comic extreme"; because the p l o t s c l u m s i l y combine two p o l a r i t i e s the comedy of the s u b p l o t a c t u a l l y works a t cross-purposes with the i d e a l i z a t i o n o f the main-p l o t heroine, whose c l a i m t o p e r f e c t i o n i s undercut both by i t s r e d u c t i o ad absurdum i n the henpecked S i r Owen and by Gwenthyan's s p i r i t e d r e f u s a l to emulate 'such ninny pobby f o o l as G r i s s i l . ' 3 1 Levin's censure o f the dramatic i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s i n the play's m u l t i p l e - p l o t s t r u c t u r e i s an attempt to make coherent a system t h a t i s e s s e n t i a l l y ambiguous. The l a c k of e q u i v a l e n c e between p l o t s , however, does not c o n s t i t u t e dramatic f a i l u r e . What L e v i n regards as i n c o n s i s t e n c y i s the p l a y ' s e s s e n t i a l statement t h a t t r u t h i s not a b s o l u t e but p a r a d o x i c a l . The h o m i l e t i c design o f the play ' s 82 s u p e r s t r u c t u r e , a f f o r d e d by the p o p u l a r legend, i s undermined by i n t e r n a l t e n s i o n s and c o n t r a d i c t e d by the for c e o f the parody i n the minor p l o t s . Moreover, w h i l e the m u l t i p l e - p l o t s t r u c t u r e appears to a c h i e v e u n i t y through e l a b o r a t e i n t e r c o n n e c t i o n s of c h a r a c t e r s and scenes, the p l o t s remain i s o l a t e d from each other even a f t e r the r e s o l u t i o n where Gwalter and Gwenthyan r e v e a l they were merely t r y i n g t h e i r mates, wi t h whom they now can be r e c o n c i l e d . The separate r e s o l u t i o n s are presented as p a r a l l e l , but the analogy i s "only v e r b a l . " Gwenthyan announces i n the f i n a l scene t h a t j u s t as the marquess has t r i e d G r i s s i l l , so she has t r i e d S i r Owen ( V . i i . 262), but the h u m i l i t y t h a t S i r Owen has shown, u n l i k e G r i s s i l l ' s , i s not a v i r t u e o f h i s sex and i s d i s c a r d e d once t h e r e s o l u t i o n occurs. And w h i l e Gwenthyan, as a consequence of the t e s t , informs a l l t h a t she " s h a l l no more be c a l I ' d Gwenthian but p a t i e n t G r i s s i l l " (V.ii.272), i n the main p l o t G r i s s i l l h e r s e l f does not renounce the e t h i c o f extreme h u m i l i t y a f t e r her r e s t o r a t i o n a t court, and the marquess remains i n c o n t r o l o f the marriage. "The a r c h a i c m o r a l i t y o f the f o l k t a l e , " observes L e v i n , "cannot be a s s i m i l a t e d t o the c o n t r a s t o f extremes p o s i t e d by t h i s d o u b l e - p l o t formula." The h o m i l e t i c p a t t e r n i s f u r t h e r d i s t u r b e d by the i n t r u s i o n o f the J u l i a a c t i o n , which reaches a separate c o n c l u s i o n from t h a t o f the other two p l o t s . The marquess' s i s t e r ' s d e c i s i o n to remain unmarried c o n t r a s t s s h a r p l y w i t h the r e s o l u t i o n s we have witnessed: 83 Marq. Our ioyes are compleate, forward t o our f e a s t , P a t i e n c e hath won the p r i z e and now i s b l e s t . I u l . Nay b r o t h e r your pardon awhile: besides our selues there are a number heere, t h a t haue behelde G r i s s i l s p a t i e n c e , your owne t r y a l s , and S i r Owens s u f f e r a n c e , Gwenthians frowardnes, these Gentlemen l o u e r t i n e , and my s e l f e a ha t e r o f loue: amongst t h i s company I t r u s t there are some mayden b a t c h e l e r s , and v i r g i n maydens, those t h a t l i u e i n t h a t freedome and loue i t , those t h a t know the war of mariage and hate i t , set t h e i r hands to my b i l l , which i s r a t h e r t o dye a mayde and leade Apes i n h e l l , then to l i v e a w i f e and be c o n t i n u a l l y i n h e l l . (V.ii.273-283) J u l i a i s j u s t i f i a b l y s u s p i c i o u s o f the peace t h a t has been won; marriage, she suggests, i s an ongoing war. That J u l i a knows she i s not al o n e i n her p r e f e r e n c e f o r "freedome" underscores her d i s s e n t . And Gwenthyan's r e p l y , w h i l e i t h a r d l y p r o v i d e s an i n s p i r i n g m o t i v a t i o n f o r m a r r i a g e — "wedlocke i n c r e a s e s / peobles i n c i t i e s " ( V . i i . 2 8 9 - 2 9 0 ) — confirms the permanence of c o n f l i c t : Gwen. . . . d i s c o r d ' s mag goode musicke, and when l o u e r s f a l l out i s soone f a l l i n , and t i s good you knaw: pray you a l be maried, . . . . . awl you then t h a t haue husbands t h a t you would p r i d l e , s et your hands t o Gwenthians p i l l , f o r t i s not f i d t h a t poore womens should be kept alwaies vnder. (V.ii.287-292) The marriage debate has no c l e a r v i c t o r y f o r e i t h e r s ide, and no epi l o g u e i s added t o r e s o l v e the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s . 84 The t e n s i o n between the p r e s e r v a t i o n of orthodox s t r u c t u r e s on the one hand, and the o p p o s i t i o n of c o n v e n t i o n a l views of f a m i l y l i f e on the other, i s expressed i n more b i t t e r overtones i n The Honest Whore, I, a h y b r i d domestic p l a y t h a t a t t e s t s t o Dekker's i n t e r e s t i n the s a t i r i c a l t r e n d t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e d the drama of the e a r l y 1600's. 85 Notes Harry K e y i s h i a n , " G r i s e l d a on the E l i z a b e t h a n Stage: The P a t i e n t G r i s s i l o f C h e t t l e , Dekker, and Haughton," Studie s i n E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , 16 (1976), 261. o Petrarch's L a t i n t r a n s l a t i o n appeared i n a l e t t e r the poet wrote to Boccaccio p r a i s i n g the t a l e . In h i s p r e f a t o r y remarks, P e t r a r c h wrote: "At the c l o s e [ o f The Decameron] you have p l a c e d a s t o r y which . . . so d e l i g h t e d and f a s c i n a t e d me t h a t . . . I was s e i z e d w i t h a d e s i r e t o l e a r n i t by h e a r t , so t h a t I might h a v e th e p l e a s u r e o f r e c a l l i n g i t f o r my own b e n e f i t , and of r e l a t i n g i t to my f r i e n d s i n c o n v e r s a t i o n . When an o p p o r t u n i t y f o r t e l l i n g i t o f f e r e d i t s e l f . . ., I found t h a t my a u d i t o r s were d e l i g h t e d . . . . So one f i n e day . . . d i s c o n t e n t e d w i t h m y s e l f and my surroundings, I suddenly sent e v e r y t h i n g f l y i n g , and snatching my pen, I a t t a c k e d t h i s s t o r y of yours" [Mark Musa and Peter E. B o ndanella, trans, and eds., G i o v a n n i  Boccaccio: The Decameron (New York: Norton" 1977), pp. 186-87] . For a complete account o f the M e d i e v a l v e r s i o n s of the G r i s e l d a story, see W.F. Bryan and Germaine Dempster, eds., Sources and Analogues of Chaucer's Canterbury T a l e s (New York: Humanities Press, 1958), pp. 288-331. 4 Cyrus Hoy, I n t r o d u c t i o n s , Notes, and Commentaries t o  Texts i n 'The Dramatic Works o f Thomas Dekker' E d i t e d by Fredson  Bowers (Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1980), T~, 134. 5 . . . Quoted i n G i o v a n n i Boccaccio: The Decameron, tr a n s . and ed. Mark Musa and Peter K. Bondanella, p. 186. George P r i c e , Thomas Dekker, p. 85. 7 Quoted i n Lawrence Stone, The Family, Sex and  Marriage i n England 1500-1800, p. 135. Q Stone, p. 137, et passim; and M i c h a e l MacDonald, M y s t i c a l Bedlam, passim. 9 P a t i e n t G r i s e l (London: The Percy S o c i e t y , 1841). 86 F o r a d i s c u s s i o n o f l a t e m o r a l i t i e s o f the non-a l l e g o r i c a l k i n d , see A l a n Dessen, Jonson's Moral Comedy (n.p.: Northwestern U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1971), pp. 12, 21, and passim. ^ Before d i s c u s s i n g the play's s t a t u s as a domestic drama, a few words must be s a i d concerning the q u e s t i o n o f authorship. The extent of Dekker's share i n the p l a y i s no l o n g e r the p u z z l e i t was e a r l i e r i n the century. S c h o l a r s now agree t h a t Dekker c o n t r i b u t e d more l i n e s than e i t h e r C h e t t l e or Haughton; however, as Cyrus Hoy w i s e l y concludes, a lthough each dramatist's c o n t r i b u t i o n s are "reasonably c l e a r - c u t f o r most of the p l a y , . . . i t would be f o o l i s h t o suppose t h a t no one o f the t h r e e . . . e v e r c o n t r i b u t e d a touch to the work of one of h i s f e l l o w s " ( I n t r o d u c t i o n s ,  Notes, and Commentaries, I, 146). About the main p l o t two a u t h o r i a l d e t a i l s are undisputed: 1) both Dekker and C h e t t l e ' s s t y l e s are e v i d e n t i n the Grissi11-marquess a c t i o n ; 2) Dekker a l o n e was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r those scenes d e p i c t i n g G r i s s i l l with her f a m i l y : G r i s s i l l ' s f a t h e r J a n i c o l a , her misogamist b r o t h e r Laureo, and the earthy s e r v a n t Babulo a l l bear Dekker's stamp i n t h a t as e a r l y as t h i s p l a y Dekker's p o r t r a i t of everyday l i f e c o n t a i n s the indictment a g a i n s t p o v e r t y and human s u f f e r i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of h i s pamphlets and l a t e r p l a y s . The most d i f f i c u l t a u t h o r i a l problem concerns the Gwenthyan-Sir Owen p l o t and i t s enigmatic Welsh c h a r a c t e r s . There are two s c h o o l s of thought concerning the a u t h o r s h i p of the minor p l o t . One h o l d s t h a t because Dekker was fond of Welsh (there are Welsh c h a r a c t e r s i n S a t i r o m a s t i x and Northward Ho) and because Dekker's " i s the most i d i o m a t i c as w e l l as the most e n t e r t a i n i n g W e l s h - E n g l i s h on the E l i z a b e t h a n stage," he c o u l d have been r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the Welsh scenes i n P a t i e n t G r i s s i l , which c o n t a i n a unique b l e n d of C e l t i c and E n g l i s h d i a l e c t [Mary L e l a n d Hunt, Thomas Dekker, p. 16]. On the other hand, W.L. H a l s t e a d , i n " C o l l a b o r a t i o n on P a t i e n t G r i s s i l , " P h i l o l o g i c a l Q u a r t e r l y , 18 (1939), 381-94, and D.M. Greene, i n "The Welsh Characters i n P a t i e n t  G r i s s i l , " Boston U n i v e r s i t y S t u d i e s i n E n g l i s h , 4 (1960), 171-80, c l a i m Dekker d i d not w r i t e these scenes because the Welsh here i s more r e f i n e d than t h a t i n e i t h e r S a t i r o m a s t i x or Northward Ho. Cyrus Hoy concurs w i t h Greene i n a s s i g n i n g the Gwenthyan-Sir Owen p l o t to Haughton, at the same time c a u t i o n i n g t h a t "the a t t r i b u t i o n i s as secure as such t h i n g s can ever be" ( I n t r o d u c t i o n s , Notes, and Commentaries, I, 144). We cannot know f o r c e r t a i n on the b a s i s of l i n g u i s t i c e vidence a l o n e whether Dekker had a hand i n the Welsh scenes; however, I b e l i e v e t h a t i n these scenes are d i s c e r n i b l e a t t i t u d e s and themes t h a t recur i n Dekker's l a t e r domestic p l a y s , as w e l l as s i m i l a r i t i e s i n the h a n d l i n g o f m u l t i p l e - p l o t c o n s t r u c t i o n . S t r u c t u r a l l y , P a t i e n t G r i s s i l i s designed i n such a way t h a t together the 87 minor p l o t s f u n c t i o n as a c r i t i q u e o f t h e a c t i o n o f t h e main p l o t , a technique Dekker w i l l f i n e l y hone i n h i s mature p l a y s , The Honest Whore, I I , and The Witch of Edmonton. There i s , moreover, a c l o s e resemblance between Gwenthyan's headstrong a s s e r t i v e n e s s and s t r o n g d e s i r e f o r freedom w i t h i n m a r r i a g e and t h e s t r o n g sense o f s e l f o f many o f Dekker's heroines, namely, B e l l a f r o n t and I n f e l i c e i n The  Honest Whore, I I , E l i z a b e t h Sawyer i n The Witch o f Edmonton, and M o l l i n The Roaring G i r l , a l t h o u g h M o l l resembles J u l i a more than she does Gwenthyan. L i k e J u l i a , M o l l u n e q u i v o c a l l y denounces marriage f o r h e r s e l f . Even more s t a r t l i n g i s the f a c t t h a t n e i t h e r c h a r a c t e r i s f o r c e d to renege her choice. The s i m i l a r i t i e s between P a t i e n t G r i s s i l and Dekker's l a t e r p l a y s l e a d me to conclude t h a t Dekker may h ave had a hand i n t h e minor p l o t s ; i f i n d e e d t h e W e l s h scenes are Haughton's alone, i t i s n e v e r t h e l e s s c l e a r t h a t Dekker's dramatic s e n s i b i l i t y was f i n e l y attuned to t h a t of h i s c o l l a b o r a t o r s , and t h a t t h e p l a y i s an example o f a c l o s e and harmonious venture. 1 7 . G i o v a n n i Boccaccio, The Decameron: A New  T r a n s l a t i o n , p. 135. 1 3 John P h i l l i p , The P l a y of P a t i e n t G r i s s e l l (The Malone S o c i e t y R e p r i n t s , 1909). A l l subsequent c i t a t i o n s are from t h i s e d i t i o n . 1 4 Thomas Deloney, The G a r l a n d of Good-Will, ed. J.H. Dixon (London: The Percy S o c i e t y , 1852), XXX, 83. 15 . . . . Thomas Dekker, P a t i e n t G r i s s i l , i n Dramatic Works, ed. Fredson Bowers, I. A l l f u r t h e r c i t a t i o n s from the p l a y are from t h i s e d i t i o n . 16 Cyrus Hoy, I n t r o d u c t i o n s , Notes, and Commentaries, I, 141. 1 7 Hoy, 141. 18 Hoy, 141. 1^ R.E. Latham, R e v i s e d M e d i e v a l L a t i n Word-List: From  B r i t i s h and I r i s h Sources (London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1965). 20 Hoy, 143. 21 Hunt, Thomas Dekker, p. 60. Hunt a t t r i b u t e s G r i s s i l l ' s r e b e l l i o u s n e s s to Dekker (pp. 6 0 f f . ) . 2 2 See above, n. 8. 2 3 Hoy, 143. 88 24 W i l l a r d Farnham, The M e d i e v a l H e r i t a g e of  E l i z a b e t h a n Tragedy (Berkeley: U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1936), p. 229. 2 5 Farnham, p. 230. 2 6 MacDonald, M y s t i c a l Bedlam, p. 86. 2 7 MacDonald, p. 86. The equation between King and p a t e r f a m i l i a s became a commonplace d u r i n g the r e i g n of James I. In 1609 James d e c l a r e d t h a t "The s t a t e of monarchy i s the supremist t h i n g upon earth," a view he supported on the b a s i s t h a t "Kings are compared t o f a t h e r s i n f a m i l i e s : f o r a K i n g i s t r u l y parens p a t r i a e , the p o l i t i c f a t h e r of h i s people" (quoted i n Stone, p. 152). Dekker, l i k e many of h i s f e l l o w w r i t e r s , was fond of the analogy. In a plague pamphlet (1609) Dekker d e s c r i b e s t h e u n i v e r s e as a s e r i e s o f f a m i l i e s , w i t h God a t the head: the " P r a i e r f o r the Court" begins with the i n v o c a t i o n , "0 Lord, bee thou a f a t h e r unto t h a t f a m i l i e , and keepe them (as c h i l d r e n ) both i n thy feare and l o v e , " and continues w i t h the s u p p l i c a t i o n f o r r e c t i t u d e at c o u r t : "Let thy word bee of such power i n t h i s p l a c e , t h a t i t may r a t h e r seem the Temple of the e v e r l a s t i n g k i n g of Heaven, then the d w e l l i n g house of a k i n g upon e a r t h " [Foure B i r d s  of Noahs Arke, ed. F.P. W i l s o n (Oxford: B a s i l B l a c k w e l l , 1924), pp. 124-25], 2 9 Foure B i r d s of Noahs Arke, p. 125. 3 0 Richard L e v i n , The M u l t i p l e P l o t i n E n g l i s h  Renaissance Drama (Chicago and London: U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago Press, 1971), p. 50. 3 1 L e v i n , p. 50. 3 2 L e v i n , p. 50. 33 L e v i n , p. 51. 89 CHAPTER I I I THE HONEST WHORE, I Between the p u b l i c a t i o n of P a t i e n t G r i s s i l and The Honest Whore, Part I Dekker appears to have w r i t t e n two domestic p l a y s , The Tragedy of Page of Plymouth (with Jonson, ca. 1599) and A Medicine f o r a C u r s t Wife (ca. 1602), both of which have been l o s t . 1 The Honest Whore, I (ca. 1604) has no d i r e c t source; i t s analogues are a group of domestic comedies performed i n the p u b l i c t h e a t r e s between 1600 and 1608. These comedies r e t a i n the convention of e x t o l l i n g the w i f e ' s p a t i e n c e w i t h i n a t u r b u l e n t marriage, and "are concerned . . . with c o n t r a s t i n g seeming and a c t u a l v i r t u e , c h i e f l y i n sexual matters." P l a y s l i k e Heywood's How a Man May Choose a Good Wife From a Bad (1601-1602), the anonymous F a i r Maid of B r i s t o w (1603-1604) and The London P r o d i g a l (1604) s y s t e m a t i c a l l y a r t i c u l a t e these themes w i t h i n a t y p i c a l h o m i l e t i c super-s t r u c t u r e . M i c hael Manheim has o u t l i n e d the s a l i e n t f e a t u r e s of these domestic comedies: The h e r o i n e . . . i s a p a t i e n t and l o n g - s u f f e r i n g w i f e , whose t r i a l s are f r e q u e n t l y dramatized i n d e t a i l . The hero i s a p r o d i g a l husband, an i r r e p r e s s i b l e and i r r e s p o n s i b l e young man who f a l l s through h i s i n a b i l i t y t o cope with i n c r e d i b l e s t r e a k s of bad l u c k . (He i s always a gambler and o c c a s i o n a l l y keeps a whore.) Two of these p l a y s a l s o c o n t a i n a t h i r d major c h a r a c t e r , a youth who i s overcome with l u s t f o r the p a t i e n t 90 w i f e . A l l three of these c h a r a c t e r types are t e s t e d : the youth by h i s l u s t , the husband by h i s bad luck, and the w i f e by the abuses of her husband . . . and [by] the advances of the youth . . . . Only the w i f e s u c c e s s f u l l y withstands the t r i a l s . The youth and the husband repent a t the end, and the w i f e r e c e i v e s her rewards with g r e a t h u m i l i t y . A p e r i p h e r a l f i g u r e i n the a c t i o n i s u s u a l l y one who w i e l d s at l e a s t some a u t h o r i t y (a f a t h e r or a magistrate, f o r example) and who f u n c t i o n s as the w i f e ' s p r o t e c t o r , ensuring a j u s t r e s o l u t i o n . In How a May May Choose a Good Wife From  a Bad, the prototype of these comedies, M i s t r e s s A r t h u r i s subjected to the c r u e l t y of her husband who poisons her i n order t o p l e a s e h i s whore. The w i f e i s rescued by her admirer who o f f e r s to marry her and a l l e v i a t e her misery. The wife remains l o y a l t o her marriage, and her exemplary a c t i o n , together with J u s t i c e Reason's p r o t e c t i v e i n f l u e n c e , secure a happy ending. The Honest Whore, I resembles i t s analogues o n l y m a r g i n a l l y . The p l a y combines a loose blend of genres w i t h i n three separate p l o t s , each of which r e v e r s e s one or more s t r u c t u r e s c e n t r a l to the analogues. The romance p l o t p resents a h o s t i l e Duke determined to prevent the marriage between h i s daughter and her s u i t o r , thereby a l t e r i n g the stock s i t u a t i o n which sees a benign a u t h o r i t y - f i g u r e encourage domestic harmony. The m o r a l i t y or B e l l a f r o n t p l o t takes the whore r a t h e r than the v i r t u o u s w i f e as i t s h e r o i n e and f o l l o w s her c o n v e r s i o n from p r o s t i t u t i o n to c h a s t i t y to her marriage with the gamester who o r i g i n a l l y seduced h e r . The marriage code, however, i s r e l e g a t e d almost e n t i r e l y t o the Candido a c t i o n , which, l i k e the m o r a l i t y and romance p l o t s , f u n c t i o n s as a separate p l o t with i t s own c o m p l i c a t i o n s and r e s o l u t i o n s . ~* The Candido p l o t m o d i f i e s the major paradigm of the genre by t r a n s f o r m i n g the p a t i e n t wife i n t o a p a t i e n t "mad-man" ( I V . i i i . 2 9 - 3 0 ) 6 f l o u t e d by a shrewish w i f e who commissions r a t h e r than f l e e s from a l u s t y youth i n order to s a t i s f y her l o n g i n g to thwart her husband's p a t i e n c e r a t h e r than t e s t h i s v i r t u e . Taken as a whole, these d i s p a r a t e p l o t s make f o r a weak dramatic s t r u c t u r e marked by loose n a r r a t i v e and thematic connections between and w i t h i n the three separate a c t i o n s . H i p p o l i t o ' s s i t u a t i o n i n the romance p l o t , f o r i n s t a n c e , which i s o n l y l o o s e l y t i e d t o the m o r a l i t y p l o t through h i s r o l e as B e l l a f r o n t ' s i n s t r u c t o r i n v i r t u e , i s obscured by h i s dual f u n c t i o n as whore-reformer and mad l o v e r . S i m i l a r l y , i n the m o r a l i t y p l o t the h o m i l e t i c impulse u n d e r l y i n g B e l l a f r o n t ' s p r o g r e s s i o n from s i n to r e f o r m a t i o n i s c o n t r a d i c t e d by her s u s t a i n e d p a s s i o n f o r H i p p o l i t o and by the nature of her marriage to Matheo, a marriage based not on love but on expediency. The Candido a c t i o n , which, as the p l a y ' s t i t l e suggests, i s about "The Humours of the P a t i e n t Man," c o n t a i n s an e x p l i c i t h o m i l e t i c s u p e r s t r u c t u r e t h a t c l a s h e s oddly with humor comedy: at the same time t h a t the l i n e n d r a p e r i s h e l d up as a v e r i t a b l e "mirror of p a t i e n c e " ( l . i v . 1 5 ) he i s subjected to a s e r i e s of b i z a r r e t e s t s exposing h i s compulsive opportunism and l i m i t e d understanding of the v i r t u e he r e p r e s e n t s . "Candido's humour," w r i t e s Peter Ure, "makes him seem r i d i c u l o u s and t o u c h i n g l y good at one and the same time; we look up to him 7 with one a u s p i c i o u s and one dropping eye." The dramatic i n c o n g r u i t i e s , however, are not the product of c a r e f u l l y s u s t a i n e d c o u n t e r p o i n t but of a c e n t r a l thematic o p p o s i t i o n i n which a f i r m h o m i l e t i c framework c o l l i d e s with, r a t h e r than balances, a s a t i r i c a l p o r t r a i t of domestic and c i t y l i f e , so t h a t c h a r a c t e r s who serve as norms or models of e t h i c a l conduct are a t once venerated and exposed as e i t h e r f o o l s (Candido) or madmen (The Duke and H i p p o l i t o ) . The p l a y ' s s a t i r i c a l tone suggests Dekker was i n f l u e n c e d by "the growing d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t which p c h a r a c t e r i z e d the Jacobean age." The d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t p a r t i a l l y e f f e c t e d the s h i f t toward s a t i r i c a l drama i n the p r i v a t e playhouses f o l l o w i n g the reopening of the t h e a t r e s i n 1604 ( a l l playhouses had been c l o s e d d u r i n g the major outbreak of plague i n 1603). The tendency toward s a t i r e peaked between 1600 and 1613 when most p l a y s w r i t t e n f o r the c o t e r i e t h e a t r e s were s a t i r i c a l comedies. Few t r a g e d i e s were staged here and v i r t u a l l y no c h r o n i c l e p l a y s or romances. "In a l l but a few of the p l a y s , " w r i t e s A l f r e d Harbage, "the theme i s sexual t r a n s g r e s s i o n , coupled i n tragedy with t r e a c h e r y and murder, and i n comedy with c u p i d i t y and f r a u d " ; the new drama i s "preoccupied with l u s t and murder or l u s t and money, and w i t h the e x h i b i t i o n of the f o o l i s h and the f o u l . " Dekker's s a t i r i c a l purpose i n The  Honest Whore, I d i s t i n g u i s h e d the p l a y as one of the f i r s t to convey the s a t i r i c a l temper of the p r i v a t e t h e a t r e s through an a d u l t company and a popular playhouse. 1*"* The pl a y ' s t o n a l and s t r u c t u r a l i n c o n g r u i t i e s , t h e r e f o r e , although d r a m a t i c a l l y p r o b l e m a t i c , might be due i n p a r t t o Dekker's d e s i r e at once to s a t i s f y h i s audience's ex p e c t a t i o n s and to expose the f o l l y o f those e x p e c t a t i o n s . Although the s a t i r i c a l elements i n The Honest Whore, I have not been examined i n d e t a i l , c r i t i c s have g e n e r a l l y a t t r i b u t e d the s a t i r i c a l tone t o the i n f l u e n c e of Middleton, who c o l l a b o r a t e d with Dekker on the p l a y . 1 1 Middleton's i n f l u e n c e has been d i s c e r n e d i n the p l a y ' s p e s s i m i s t i c tone and i n the p o r t r a y a l o f abusive power and moral degeneracy, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n sexual matters. The Honest Whore, I i n many ways i s a b l u e p r i n t o f Middleton's mature s a t i r e s which share the r e a l i s t i c urban s e t t i n g s common to domestic drama, but which can be d i s t i n g u i s h e d from domestic comedy by t h e i r c a u s t i c p o r t r a i t s of moral a b e r r a t i o n and by the v i r u l e n c e of t h e i r language. Middleton's c h a r a c t e r s are o f t e n grotesque c a r i c a t u r e s o f power and a p p e t i t e (one t h i n k s o f Dampit and S i r Walter Whorehound, whose heinous p u r s u i t s o f power l e a d t o moral and s o c i a l d i s s o l u t i o n ) . Since Dekker's p o r t r a i t s o f f a m i l y and s o c i a l l i f e have been h e r e t o f o r e more compassionate and prone t o s e n t i m e n t a l i t y , as i n the p o r t r a y a l o f J a n i c o l a ' s f a m i l y i n P a t i e n t G r i s s i l , the absence of these tendencies i n The Honest Whore, I has been viewed as evidence o f Dekker's obeisance to Middleton's s a t i r i c a l temper. N e i l Rhodes, who o f f e r s a r a r e but b r i e f 94 a n a l y s i s o f the p l a y ' s s a t i r i c a l d e t a i l s , observes Dekker s t r i v i n g to p o r t r a y the courtesan scenes r e a l i s t i c a l l y by c a p t u r i n g B e l l a f r o n t ' s nervousness and b e l l i g e r e n c e w h ile suggesting moral degeneracy: B e l l a f r o n t " a l t e r n a t e l y curses and coos at her pimp . . . while the longer o u t b u r s t s are a c y n i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s a t i o n of her own trade . . . . 1 , 1 2 The courtesan d e s c r i b e s a m i s e r l y customer, f o r example, as . . . made l i k e an Aldermans night-gowne, f a c ' s t a l l with conny before, and w i t h i n nothing but Foxe: t h i s sweete O l i u e r , w i l l eate Mutton t i l l he be ready to b u r s t , but the leane-lawde slaue w i i not pay f o r the sc r a p i n g o f h i s t r e n c h e r . (I.i.105-109) Noting t h a t Dekker's language has been "checked and s t i f f e n e d " s i n c e P a t i e n t G r i s s i l , Rhodes suggests the change might be a t t r i b u t a b l e t o Middleton's i n f l u e n c e . 1 3 While the extent o f Middleton's c o l l a b o r a t i o n i n The Honest Whore, I was probably minimal i n number of l i n e s , i t i s c l e a r t h a t many of the themes of P a t i e n t G r i s s i l and of the domestic comedies popular between 1600 and 1608 are re-examined i n The Honest Whore, I i n the c y n i c a l tone we a s s o c i a t e with Middleton's s a t i r i c a l drama. Yet the view of Middleton as a staunch r e a l i s t whose p l a y s o f f e r only c y n i c a l p o r t r a i t s o f urban and domestic l i f e i s not e n t i r e l y a c c u r a t e . R.B. Parker, i n h i s a n a l y s i s of Middleton's comic v i s i o n , has observed "At the h e a r t of Middleton's . . . comic s t y l e . . . a t e n s i o n between s k i l l 95 i n the p r e s e n t a t i o n of manners and a d e s i r e to denounce immorality.""'" 4 The a c e r b i c tone of Middleton's comedies, suggests Parker, with t h e i r "ingenious i n t r i g u e , v e r b a l wit, and v i v i d r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of contemporary London scenes and behavior, i s apt to obscure h i s concern with d e p r e c a t i o n " i n those p l a y s "where moral judgement i s played down," a t e n s i o n t h a t c e n t r e s on Middleton's " s t r u g g l e between "I 5 s a t i r i c o b s e r v a t i o n and determined m o r a l i z i n g . " I b e l i e v e t h i s o p p o s i t i o n i s a l s o at the centre of The Honest Whore, I which i s at once a s a t i r i c a l drama with a l t e r n a t i n g t r a g i c and comic p e r s p e c t i v e s , and a domestic comedy espousing the v i r t u e of P a t i e n c e and the t r a n s f o r m a t i v e power of repentance. The f l u c t u a t i o n s i n tone, r a t h e r than simply Middleton's s a t i r i c a l temper or h i s l i m i t e d c o n t r i b u t i o n , p o i n t to the p o s s i b l e nature o f h i s i n f l u e n c e i n The Honest  Whore, I at the same time t h a t the p l a y r e v e a l s Dekker's experimentation with a popular dramatic form. Since the c o n f l i c t i n g dramatic modes i n The Honest  Whore, I are never fused, the t e n s i o n s the p l a y dramatizes do not c l e a r l y a r t i c u l a t e a theme. As w e l l , weak p l o t t i n g and an o b l i q u e dramatic p e r s p e c t i v e , together with c h a r a c t e r i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s , o f t e n r e s u l t i n melodrama. For these reasons The Honest Whore, I has r e c e i v e d o n l y c u r s o r y s c h o l a r l y a t t e n t i o n as most c r i t i c s merely r e f e r to the p l a y ' s shortcomings b e f o r e proceeding to the more s a t i s f y i n g s e q u e l . However, the p l a y i s worth studying i n the context of Dekker's development as a w r i t e r of domestic drama. In 96 The Honest Whore, 1^  we see Dekker s t r u g g l i n g with a growing ambivalence toward orthodox s t r u c t u r e s t h a t i s c r y s t a l l i z e d i n the p l a y ' s formal a n t i t h e s e s . Moreover, i n i t s treatment o f the marriage code and the c u l t o f d o m e s t i c i t y The Honest  Whore, I forms a s i g n i f i c a n t l i n k between P a t i e n t G r i s s i l and Dekker's comic masterpiece, The Honest Whore, I I . In P a t i e n t G r i s s i l Dekker a n t i c i p a t e d the domestic comedies popular between 1600 and 1608 by i n c l u d i n g c h a r a c t e r s l i k e G r i s s i l l and her f a t h e r J a n i c o l a who u n e q u i v o c a l l y represented values and i d e a l s of f a m i l y l i f e , and who a t l e a s t p a r t i a l l y succeeded i n m i t i g a t i n g the s e r i o u s o p p o s i t i o n to the s t a b i l i t y o f marriage and the f a m i l y posed by those who ch a l l e n g e d those i n s t i t u t i o n s . In The Honest Whore, I i n s t e a d o f an i d e a l f a t h e r l i k e J a n i c o l a , or a p r o t e c t o r l i k e Heywood's J u s t i c e Reason, c h a r a c t e r s who repr e s e n t a centre o f v i r t u e i n t h e i r s o c i e t y , Dekker i n t r o d u c e s a malevolent Duke whose det e r m i n a t i o n to prevent h i s daughter's marriage s e t s the pla y i n motion. At the o u t s e t of the p l a y , the romance p l o t e s t a b l i s h e s a t r a g i c r a t h e r than a comic tone. Duke T r e b a t z i with the h e l p of h i s p h y s i c i a n drugs I n f e l i c e and pronounces her dead; the p l a y opens on the macabre f u n e r a l p r o c e s s i o n t h a t f o l l o w s from the Duke's m a l i c i o u s t r i c k . The s e t t i n g evokes a vague Milanese environment whose remoteness enhances the a r c h a i c q u a l i t y of the Duke's val u e s . As defender of a r i g i d f e u d a l e t h i c , T r e b a t z i ' s c h i e f p r e o c c u p a t i o n i s with the p r o t e c t i o n of h i s l i n e a g e . While s t a g i n g I n f e l i c e ' s mock f u n e r a l he orders an a t t a c k on H i p p o l i t o " f o r my bloods sake" ( l . i . 1 2 ) , t h a t i s , f o r the sake of h i s f a m i l y and n o b i l i t y . T r e b a t z i ' s antagonism a g a i n s t H i p p o l i t o stems from a long-standing enmity between t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e f a m i l i e s : Duke . . . I must confesse, H i p p o l i t o i s nobly born; a man, Did not mine enemies blood b o i l e i n h i s veines, Whom I would c o u r t to be my sonne i n law? ( I . i i i . 2 6 - 2 9 ) The Duke shows no sympathy f o r the love e t h i c ; he views marriage s t r i c t l y i n terms of convenience. Although he acknowledges H i p p o l i t o ' s a r i s t o c r a t i c h e r i t a g e , T r e b a t z i wishes to preserve the p u r i t y of h i s c l a n ; H i p p o l i t o ' s "blood" belongs to a r i v a l c l a n and would t h e r e f o r e render h i s own impure. The Duke's p o l i t i c a l reasons are thus confirmed as he s e t s out to prevent h i s daughter's marriage of c h o i c e . Yet the convention t h a t sees an obdurate parent attempt t o impede a love marriage assumes a complex dimension i n t h a t the Duke seems determined t o deny I n f e l i c e any s u i t o r . To a l l i n t e n t s and purposes, the f i r s t scene has a l l the makings of a preamble to a tragedy and r e v e a l s a s o p h i s t i c a t e d attempt on Dekker's p a r t to p o r t r a y the c r u e l f a t h e r as p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y complex. The p s y c h o l o g i c a l dimension i s brought i n t o r e l i e f i n the a s s o c i a t i o n between the Duke's a r i s t o c r a t i c blood values and h i s r e v u l s i o n 98 a g a i n s t the body which i s expressed i n language more v i r u l e n t than t h a t of B e l l a f r o n t and her bawds. Throughout the scene the Duke's imagery underscores a perverse o b s e s s i o n with degrading the body. T r e b a t z i ' s c r u e l t y i n attempting to stop I n f e l i c e ' s marriage knows no bounds, and i n order to p r o t e c t the p u r i t y o f h i s c l a n he i s prepared to go beyond the p r e t e x t of k i l l i n g I n f e l i c e by a c t u a l l y murdering her: " l i e starue her on the Appenine / Ere he s h a l l marrie her" ( I . i i . 2 5 - 2 6 ) . Lashing out at H i p p o l i t o ' s a c c u s a t i o n t h a t the c r u e l Duke has murdered I n f e l i c e , T r e b a t z i orders h i s f o l l o w e r s to "seeke out [ H i p p o l i t o ' s ] b owells" w i t h t h e i r swords (I.i.15-16) i f the count should dare to i n t r u d e upon the f u n e r a l . The o b s e s s i o n i s r e i n f o r c e d i n the mock elegy to I n f e l i c e , whose former "beautie" the Duke d e s c r i b e s as "but a coarse" ( l . i . 5 5 ) and a prey to "sand dust," the enemy of "earths p u r e s t formes," (1. 56) which renders "Queenes bodies . . . but trunckes to put i n wormes" (1. 57). The Duke knows h i s daughter i s not dead, ye t the f o r c e of h i s necrophagous imagery suggests a b l u r r i n g of d i s t i n c t i o n s between l i f e and death. His r e v u l s i o n from what i s n a t u r a l and g e n e r a t i v e i s the source of h i s a t t r a c t i o n t o e x c e s s i v e p u r i t y , a d i s o r d e r r e f l e c t e d i n h i s language. While a w a i t i n g I n f e l i c e ' s awakening from her drug-induced sleep, the Duke wonders whether the drug could have d e f i l e d h i s daughter's body, while h i s tawdry v e r s i f i c a t i o n h i g h l i g h t s h i s o b s e s s i o n with her v i r g i n i t y : 99 Duke. . . . Doctor Benedict, does your A r t e speake t r u t h ? A r t sure the s o p o r i f e r o u s streame w i l l ebbe, And leaue the C h r i s t a l l banks of her white body (Pure as they were a t f i r s t ) i u s t at the houre? ( I . i i i . 5 - 9 ) The Duke r e g u l a r l y d e s c r i b e s I n f e l i c e as a symbol of p u r i t y . That h i s p e r c e p t i o n o f I n f e l i c e i s based on s t e r e o t y p i c a l n o t i o n s o f feminine beauty i s f u r t h e r suggested by h i s response to H i p p o l i t o ' s d i s b e l i e f i n I n f e l i c e ' s death, a response u t t e r e d i n s t a i d Petrarchan c o n c e i t s : . . . I f to behold Those roses withered, t h a t s et out her cheekes: That p a i r e o f s t a r r e s t h a t gaue her body l i g h t , Darkened and dim f o r euer: A l l those r i u e r s That fed her veines w i t h warme and crimson streames, Froxen and d r i e d vp: I f these be signes of death. Then she i s dead. (I.i.22-28) The i d e a l i z a t i o n of I n f e l i c e ' s p u r i t y culminates i n scene i i i i n a c l u s t e r of imagery r e v e a l i n g the f a t h e r ' s d e s i r e t h a t h i s daughter deny s e x u a l i t y and f e r t i l i t y a l t o g e t h e r : A coach i s ready, Bergamo doth stand In a most wholesome a i r e , sweete walkes, t h e r e s d i e r e , I, thou s h a l t hunt and send vs venison, Which l i k e some goddesse i n the C i p r i a n groues, Thine owne f a i r e hand s h a l l s t r i k e ; s i r s , you s h a l l teach her To stand, and how to shoote, I, she s h a l l hunt . . . . ( I . i i i . 7 5 - 8 0 ) By d i s p a t c h i n g I n f e l i c e t o a "most wholesome a i r e " where she i s to emulate the c o l d and v i r g i n a l Goddess Diana, T r e b a t z i 100 r e v e a l s h i s fantas y o f a s e x l e s s I n f e l i c e , a fantasy t h a t l i e s behind h i s p o l i t i c a l r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n f o r p r e v e n t i n g a marriage of c h o i c e . The t r a g i c p e r s p e c t i v e , however, i s obscured i n scene i i i by the n a r r a t i v e t r i c k which allows the s p e c t a t o r t o know I n f e l i c e ' s death i s o n l y a pretense, so t h a t H i p p o l i t o can rescue the f a i r maiden i n Act f i v e , thereby s e c u r i n g a comic ending. The t r a g i c tone i s a l s o eroded by the broad humor i n scene i i , s e t i n the l i n e n d r a p e r ' s house, where V i o l a and F u s t i g o arrange t h e i r p l a n t o b a i t Candido, a scene i n t e r p o s e d between I n f e l i c e ' s f u n e r a l and our di s c o v e r y t h a t the f u n e r a l i s o n l y a t r i c k . The romance p l o t i t s e l f , however, continues to v a c i l l a t e awkwardly between a vaguely t r a g i c and s a t i r i c a l tone, marking the absence o f c a r e f u l l y c o n t r o l l e d c o u n t e r p o i n t . H i p p o l i t o , the hero o f the romance and m o r a l i t y p l o t s , i s a c h a r a c t e r fragmented by Dekker's d i s p a r a t e dramatic impulses. H i p p o l i t o , who does not l e a r n of the Duke's t r i c k u n t i l the end of Act four, i s at once presented as a q u a s i -t r a g i c hero and s a t i r i z e d as a mad l o v e r b e f o r e being upheld as a whore-rescurer. I r o n i c a l l y , H i p p o l i t o i s unable to pe r c e i v e I n f e l i c e as a fle s h - a n d - b l o o d woman, and h i s i d e a l i z a t i o n of her approaches the Duke's d i s t o r t e d p e r c e p t i o n s . T r e b a t z i ' s mock paean with i t s s t a l e c o n c e i t s ( I . i i . 2 2 - 2 8 ) shares v e r b a l s i m i l a r i t i e s with H i p p o l i t o ' s s t y i l z e d lamentation f o r I n f e l i c e whom he presumes dead: 101 Hip. Of a l l the Roses g r a f t e d on her cheekes, Of a l l the graces dauncing i n her eyes, Of a l l the Musick set vpon her tongue Of a l l t h a t was past womans e x c e l l e n c e , In her white bosome, l o o k e l a p a i n t e d board, Ci r c u m s c r i b e s a l l : E a r t h can no b l i s s e a f f o o r d . (IV.i.42-47) H i p p o l i t o ' s t r a d i t i o n a l catalogue of h i s lady's p e r f e c t i o n s , r e i n f o r c e d by an elegant anaphora, reduces I n f e l i c e t o an a e s t h e t i c o b j e c t . The o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n of the beloved through a s t y l i z e d c o n c e i t r e c a l l s T r e b a t z i ' s grammatical i d i o s y n c r a c i e s as when, f o r example, the Duke r e s o r t s t o the pronoun " i t " i n r e f e r e n c e to I n f e l i c e upon her awakening: "Oh ho, i t speaks, / I t speaks" ( I . i i i . 1 7 - 1 8 ) . More s i g n i f i c a n t l y , perhaps, H i p p o l i t o ' s g r i e f over the beloved's death i s a r t i c u l a t e d i n language r e m i n i s c e n t of t r a g e d i e s of blood: there are s t r i k i n g v e r b a l correspondences, f o r i n s t a n c e , between H i p p o l i t o ' s c y n i c a l a t t i t u d e toward the decorum surrounding death, What f o o l e s are men to b u i l d a g a r i s h tombe, Onely to saue the c a r c a s s e w h i l s t i t r o t s , To m a i n t e i n ' t long i n s t i n c k i n g , make good c a r i o n , (IV.i.71-73) f o l l o w e d by h i s o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t the corpse's " c o l o u r s / In time k i s s i n g but ayre, w i l l be k i s t o f f " (11. 79-80), and Hamlet's use of s i m i l a r imagery i n h i s meditations on 17 death. H i p p o l i t o ' s apostrophe to the s k u l l a l s o bears s i m i l a r i t y to V i n d i c e ' s worship of h i s beloved's s k u l l i n 1 p The Revenger's Tragedy. I n f e l i c e ' s death induces i n 102 H i p p o l i t o an a s c e t i c d e n i a l corresponding to the contempt of the body and of the world p r e v a l e n t i n both Jacobean tragedy and s a t i r i c a l drama: Hip. I f h e n c e f o r t h t h i s a d u l t e r o u s bawdy world Be got with c h i l d e with treason, s a c r i l e g e , Atheisme, rapes, treacherous f r i e n d s h i p , p e r i u r i e , Slaunder, (the beggars s i n n e ) , l i e s , (sinne of f o o l e s ) Or anie other damned i m p i e t i e s , . . . l e t em be d e l i u e r e d . . . . (I.i.115-120) The imagery harbors a d i s t o r t i o n of the body and of the world, which hovers between the i d e a l and the grotesque. The count's pledge to meditate "On nothing but my I n f e l i c e ' s end" (I.i.126) and to love no woman "Saue her t h a t s dead" (1. 133) i s a product of a f f e c t e d g r i e f , a f f e c t e d because i t i s not borne out by a deep emotional i n t e r a c t i o n with the beloved. The e x c e s s i v e g r i e f e s s e n t i a l l y r e v e a l s a mental imbalance: H i p p o l i t o , observes a c o u r t i e r , " b e t r a i e s h i s youth too g r o s l y to t h a t t y r a n t melancholy" ( I I . i . 2 0 4 ) , a d i s o r d e r acknowledged by H i p p o l i t o h i m s e l f when he notes the a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s o f an asylum f o r the insane as the l o c a t i o n of h i s wedding: Hip. At Bethlem monasterie: the p l a c e w e l l f i t s , I t i s the s c o o l e where those t h a t l o s e t h e i r w i t s , P r a c t i s e againe to get them: I am s i c k e Of t h a t d i s e a s e , a l l loue i s l u n a t i c k e . (IV.v.101-104) Dekker p o r t r a y s H i p p o l i t o ' s melancholy as an e f f e c t of a 103 f a l s e apprehension of love, which i s a m p l i f i e d by a d i s t o r t e d view of the world. The c o n d i t i o n i s grounded i n the Renaissance theory of melancholy as sometimes rooted i n e x c e s s i v e sorrow: "A g r e a t sorrow," w r i t e s Lawrence Babb, "because i t engenders the melancholy humor, leads to 19 l e t h a r g i c misery." H i p p o l i t o thus only o s t e n s i b l y d i s p l a y s the order and i n t e g r i t y which the Duke should r e p r e s e n t . The p a t h o l o g i c a l syndrome expressed i n the Duke-H i p p o l i t o a c t i o n i s Dekker's attempt to capture a complex and c o n t r a d i c t o r y world, a "world vpside downe" ( I V . i i i . 6 3 ) where order and reason have been d i s p l a c e d by madness. The syndrome, however, i s not s u s t a i n e d i n a p a t t e r n of a c t i o n which p r o v i d e s the assurance of e i t h e r tragedy or s a t i r e . The p o t e n t i a l l y dynamic c o n f i g u r a t i o n between the two c h a r a c t e r s i s obscured by the melodramatic order of the p l o t i m p e l l i n g the c l a n d e s t i n e marriage of H i p p o l i t o and I n f e l i c e , and by the i n t r u s i o n of h o m i l e t i c impulses. At the same time t h a t H i p p o l i t o ' s g r i e f i s r e v e a l e d as p a t h o l o g i c a l , the count's success i n reforming B e l l a f r o n t r e p r e s e n t s the p l a y ' s c e n t r a l d i d a c t i c episode. C r i t i c s who see The Honest Whore, I e s s e n t i a l l y as a c r i t i q u e of p r o s t i t u t i o n r i g h t l y p o i n t to H i p p o l i t o ' s c o n v e r s i o n of B e l l a f r o n t as evidence of the p l a y ' s h o m i l e t i c 2 0 p a t t e r n of " s i n , d i s c o v e r y , [and] repentance." Harry Keyishian,- who f i n d s the c o n v e r s i o n scene g r o s s l y s e n t i m e n t a l , claims t h a t i n the success of "the earnest, 104 r a t i o n a l , p u r i t a n i c a l H i p p o l i t o " who "not o n l y r e s i s t s temptation but converts h i s tempter . . . Dekker giv e s v i c t o r y to t r a d i t i o n a l m o r a l i t y . " T h i s view i s based on Hardin C r a i g ' s o r i g i n a l e x p l a n a t i o n of H i p p o l i t o ' s d i a t r i b e a g a i n s t p r o s t i t u t i o n i n I I . i as based on Renaissance f o r e n s i c p r a c t i c e . A c c o r d i n g to C r a i g , B e l l a f r o n t ' s abrupt re f o r m a t i o n a t t e s t s to Dekker's f o r m a l i z a t i o n of the use of r h e t o r i c and psychology i n t h a t the p l a y upholds "the b e l i e f t h a t p e r s u a s i o n , the t r u t h having once been put home i n the mind of the h e a r e r , i s a b s o l u t e l y compelling and i r r e s i s t i b l e " ; H i p p o l i t o induces remorse i n B e l l a f r o n t "by p r e s e n t i n g to her a t r u e p i c t u r e of her t r a d e , and her conversion f o l l o w s as matter of n e c e s s i t y . C r a i g , however, claims Dekker's use of f o r e n s i c o r a t o r y i s n a i v e , while Michael Manheim suggests " c o n s i d e r a b l e s o p h i s t i c a t i o n p 3 i n i t s use." The c o n f u s i o n over Dekker's manipulation of f o r e n s i c o r a t o r y , I b e l i e v e , r e s u l t s from o v e r l o o k i n g the c o n t r a d i c t o r y messages the s p e c t a t o r r e c e i v e s i n the c o n v e r s i o n scene. While f o r e n s i c o r a t o r y depends f o r i t s e f f e c t s upon the a p p l i c a t i o n of reason to suggestion and d i s p u t a t i o n , we s h a l l see t h a t H i p p o l i t o ' s d i a t r i b e i s presented as the product of i n t e n s e emotion r a t h e r than l o g i c , and t h a t r h e t o r i c throughout the scene i s as much an e f f e c t of a d i s t u r b e d mind as i t i s "a s e r i e s of II 94 c o n v e n t i o n a l f i g u r e s presented w i t h great v i g o r . In the scene we observe Dekker s t r u g g l i n g to f o r e s t a l l the sentimental e f f e c t of B e l l a f r o n t ' s sudden conversion by 105 p e r s i s t i n g i n the i r o n i c p o r t r a i t of H i p p o l i t o . The attempt, however, r e s u l t s i n f u r t h e r dramatic i n c o n g r u i t y whereby heavy-handed m o r a l i z i n g c l a s h e s oddly with the p r e s e n t a t i o n o f i r r a t i o n a l behavior. The i n c o n g r u i t y i s s t r i k i n g , and can be a p p r e c i a t e d o n l y i n the context o f the e n t i r e scene i n which the c o n v e r s i o n o c c u r s . The scene opens with H i p p o l i t o w i l l i n g l y accompanying Matheo to B e l l a f r o n t ' s "house of v a n i t y " ( l l . i i . 1 7 8 ) . Upon h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n to the courtesan the count becomes i n e x p l i c a b l y nervous and d i s t r a c t e d : B e l l . Pray s i t f o r s o o t h . Hip. I'm hot. I f I may vse your roome, i l e r a t h e r walke. B e l l . At your b e s t pleasure—whew—some rubbers there.* (II.i.242-245) I f Dekker wished us to view the would-be-virtuous count as someone i n complete c o n t r o l o f h i s f a c u l t i e s , i t i s u n l i k e l y he would have l e d up to B e l l a f r o n t ' s c o n v e r s i o n by showing H i p p o l i t o i n a hot distemper. In both Medieval and Renaissance p h y s i o l o g y , to be hot meant to have an " i n t e n s i t y of f e e l i n g " aroused e i t h e r by anger or sexual d e s i r e (O.E.D.); the s e n s a t i o n of heat, i f caused by humoral imbalance, was a l s o c o n s i d e r e d a symptom of madness. As the scene progresses H i p p o l i t o ' s distemper shows signs of a l l three symptoms. Refusing B e l l a f r o n t ' s o f f e r of towels, H i p p o l i t o engages the courtesan i n awkward c o n v e r s a t i o n . He begins by r e v e a l i n g c o n s i d e r a b l e i n t e r e s t i n B e l l a f r o n t ' s 106 r e l a t i o n s h i p with the gamester Matheo, who i r o n i c a l l y i s the count's best f r i e n d . Upon l e a r n i n g t h a t Matheo i s a frequent guest at B e l l a f r o n t ' s house, H i p p o l i t o a r d e n t l y f l i r t s and pleads with the courtesan, l e a d i n g her to b e l i e v e he d e s i r e s her: Hip. . . . would you l e t me p l a y Matheos p a r t ? B e l l . What p a r t ? Hip. Why imbrace you: d a l l y with you, k i s s e : F a i t h t e l l me, w u l l you leaue him, and loue me? (11. 255-258) From the p o i n t of view of dramatic coherence there i s no reason f o r H i p p o l i t o to e n t i c e B e l l a f r o n t s i n c e both he and the s p e c t a t o r a l r e a d y know she i s a whore. The v i g n e t t e i s t h e r e f o r e i r o n i c i n t h a t we are i n v i t e d t o view H i p p o l i t o ' s declamation as a defense a g a i n s t h i s own l u s t . As H i p p o l i t o ' s d i s c o m f o r t i n c r e a s e s , h i s speeches become i n c r e a s i n g l y h y p e r b o l i c . Upon h e a r i n g t h a t B e l l a f r o n t i s " i n bondes to no man" (1. 259) he pleads h i s case l i k e a p o s s e s s i v e s u i t o r : Hip. Why then Y'are f r e e f o r any man: i f any, me. But I must t e l l you Lady, were you mine, You should be a l l mine: I could brooke no sharers, I should be couetous, and sweepe vp a l l . I should be p l e a s u r e s v s u r e r : f a i t h I should. (11. 259-263) The r h e t o r i c a l bravura overwhelms B e l l a f r o n t , who i s l e d t o b e l i e v e her romantic notions have been f u l f i l l e d : 107 B e l l . O f a t e I Hip. Why s i g h you Lady? may I knowe? B e l l . T'has neuer b i n my fortune y e t to s i n g l e Out t h a t one man, whose loue c o u l d f e l l o w mine. As I haue euer wisht i t : o my S t a r s ! (11. 263-267) Suspecting B e l l a f r o n t ' s s i n c e r i t y , H i p p o l i t o begins to i n v e i g h a g a i n s t her, a c c u s i n g her of tempting him with her " A r t " and comparing h i m s e l f with an innocent c h i l d : Hip. T h i s were w e l l now, to one but newly f l e d g ' d And scarce a day o l d i n t h i s s u t t l e world: Twere p r e t t i e A r t , good b i r d - l i m e : cunning net: But come, come, f a i t h — c o n f e s s e : how many men Haue drunke t h i s self-same p r o t e s t a t i o n , From t h a t red t y c i n g l i p ? B e l l . Indeed not any. Hip. Indeed? and b l u s h not 1 B e l l . No, i n t r u t h not any. (11. 276-285) The delay i n B e l l a f r o n t ' s c o n v e r s i o n i s p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y coherent i n t h a t i t stems from the a l t e r n a t i o n s i n the count's tormented mind r a t h e r than from a r e c o g n i t i o n o f moral t r a n s g r e s s i o n a r r i v e d a t through a l o g i c a l thought p r o c e s s . Although at the c l o s e of the forthcoming d i a t r i b e H i p p o l i t o w i l l wish t h a t " a l l the H a r l o t s i n the towne had heard me" (1. 426), h i s sermon has a p a r t i c u l a r t a r g e t : throughout the scene he remains obsessed with B e l l a f r o n t ' s f e e l i n g s f o r other men, e s p e c i a l l y h i s f r i e n d Matheo. F o r e n s i c o r a t o r y i s f u r t h e r undermined by the q u a l i f i c a t i o n t h a t H i p p o l i t o ' s arguments are o f t e n i n the form of f a l s e 108 s y l l o g i s m s , as i n h i s attempt to prove t h a t "Our s i n s by custome, seeme (at l a s t ) but s m a l l " (1. 295) by i n f o r m i n g B e l l a f r o n t t h a t he has "seene l e t t e r s sent from t h a t white hand, / Tuning such musicke to Matheos eare" (11. 295-296). The ob s e s s i o n with Matheo obscures the t h e o l o g i c a l premise. To B e l l a f r o n t ' s reassurance t h a t "mine eyes no sooner met you, / But they conueid and l e a d you to my h e a r t " (11. 301-302), H i p p o l i t o responds by couching h i s p a s s i o n i n grotesque images of voluptuousness and d i s e a s e : Oh, you cannot f a i n e w i t h me, why, I know Lady, This i s the common f a s h i o n of you a l l , To hooke i n a k i n d gentleman, and then Abuse h i s coyne, conueying i t to your l o u e r , And i n the end you shew him a french t r i c k , And so you leaue him, t h a t a coach may run Betweene h i s legs f o r b r e d t h . (11. 303-309) The count's sanctimoniousness begins to r e v e a l i t s e l f i n the fantasy of h i m s e l f as the "kind gentleman" who i s l e f t pox-r i d d e n by a p e r n i c i o u s whore. The image, however, s t a r t l e s B e l l a f r o n t who vows to be f a i t h f u l t o the count, convinced t h a t he i s t e s t i n g her l o v e : B e l l . 0 by my s o u l e l Not I: t h e r e i n i l e porue an honest whore, In being t r u e to one, and to no more. (11. 310-312) The i r o n y of the scene i s enhanced by the suggestion t h a t B e l l a f r o n t ' s c o n v e r s i o n to the v i r t u o u s l i f e i s i n c i t e d by her e r o t i c a t t r a c t i o n to her reformer. 109 Determined t o d i s t r u s t B e l l a f r o n t ' s oath, H i p p o l i t o proceeds t o "teach" her "how to l o a t h " h e r s e l f (1. 316). In a f i n e touch o f dramatic i r o n y , H i p p o l i t o s e t s out to persuade B e l l a f r o n t " m i l d l y " and "not without sense or reason" (1. 316); h i s sermon, however, i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the absence of l o g i c and the predominance of emotion. His v i s i o n i s the t r a d i t i o n a l C h r i s t i a n a s c e t i c m o r a l i t y expressed with a new v i o l e n c e and wit h a new p a r t i c u l a r i t y . The p r o s t i t u t e ' s body i s compared t o a sewer t h a t " r e c e i u e s / A l l the townes f i l t h " (11. 325-326) and to a plague t h a t "maym'd and dismembred" as many men "As would ha s t u f t an H o s p i t a l l " (11. 332-333). The images of excrement and m u t i l a t i o n evoke complementary a l l u s i o n s t o anal i n t e r c o u r s e and d i s e a s e : A h a r l o t i s l i k e Dunkirke, t r u e t o none, Swallowes both E n g l i s h , Spanish, fulsome Dutch Back-door'd I t a l i a n , l a s t o f a l l the French, And he s t i c k s to you f a i t h : giues you your d i e t , B rings you acquainted, f i r s t w ith monsier Doctor, And then you know what f o l l o w e s . (11. 354-359) H i p p o l i t o ' s language debases and degrades i t s o b j e c t , and achieves a p a r t i c u l a r vehemence through r e c u r r i n g b e s t i a l imagery: Methinks a toad i s happier than a whore, That with one pois o n s w e l l s , with thousands more The other stocks her veines . . . . (11. 360-363) 110 0 y'are as base as any beast t h a t beares, Your body i s ee'ne h i r d e , and so are t h e i r s . (11. 335-336) L i k e Beares and Apes, y'are bayted and shew t r i c k s For money; but your Bawd the sweetnesse l i c k s . (11. 369-370) The o v e r s t r a i n e d metaphor and s i m i l e s s t r i p the p r o s t i t u t e of her humanity. In so doing they underscore her d e t r a c t o r ' s emotional decadence, and h e l p to e x p l a i n the l i f e l e s s n e s s of h i s v i s i o n of I n f e l i c e . Dekker's ambiguous use of f o r e n s i c o r a t o r y i n the conv e r s i o n scene suggests h i s uneasiness with pure r h e t o r i c as an e f f e c t i v e t o o l f o r i n f l u e n c i n g b e havior. The diminished power of r h e t o r i c i n I I . i . i s c o n s i s t e n t with r e c e n t c r i t i c a l evidence of Dekker's use of r h e t o r i c i n h i s 27 pamphlet l i t e r a t u r e . The prose pamphlets r e v e a l Dekker's s u s t a i n e d regard f o r Ramian l o g i c and method, a system that views l o g i c as the o n l y " a r t which a s s e r t s t r u t h " : o p i n i o n and the a r t of p e r s u a s i o n , on the other hand, "belong to 28 r h e t o r i c and are merely d e c o r a t i v e and ornamental." R h e t o r i c , a c c o r d i n g to a s i x t e e n t h - c e n t u r y l o g i c i a n , i s the 2 9 " a r t e of speaking f i n e l y , and can be employed o n l y a f t e r a premise has been l o g i c a l l y proved: i n the Ramian system l o g i c "appeals to reason, r h e t o r i c to the emotions . . . 30 l o g i c i s f o r reasoning, r h e t o r i c f o r e m b e l l i s h i n g . " S i m i l a r l y , Bacon observes the "duty and o f f i c e of r h e t o r i c , i s to apply Reason and Imagination f o r the b e t t e r moving of 111 the w i l l . " The absence of reason i n H i p p o l i t o ' s d i a t r i b e p r e v e n t s us from r e c e i v i n g the sermon as an e f f e c t i v e p i e c e of m o r a l i z i n g ; however, the q u e s t i o n a b l e motives and methods of B e l l a f r o n t ' s reformer are obscured by the subsequent melodramatic p o r t r a i t of B e l l a f r o n t ' s p e r s i s t e n c e i n her r e f o r m a t i o n . In the c o n v e r s i o n scene i t s e l f , B e l l a f r o n t i s a s t y l i z e d c h a r a c t e r . Her " s h i f t i n the scope of a s i n g l e scene," observes L a r r y Champion, from a p r a c t i s i n g whore, "bandying words of the trade w i t h her s e r v a n t Roger and with s e v e r a l of her b e s t customers, to a repentant ('honest') whore r e p l e t e with sermonettes, t e a r s , and a dagger with which t o end h e r shame i s i n d e e d so s h o c k i n g l y sudden as t o 3 2 be comic . . . ." However, once B e l l a f r o n t has been drawn as a c o m i c a l l y s t y l i z e d c h a r a c t e r , Dekker f o l l o w s up her c o n v e r s i o n with three scenes ( I l l . i i ; I I I . i i i ; IV.i) which h i g h l i g h t her r e c t i t u d e . H i p p o l i t o does not end h i s sermon with C h r i s t i a n f o r g i v e n e s s of B e l l a f r o n t ' s s i n s ; i n s t e a d he l e a v e s her d e s p a i r i n g o v e r h i s c r u e l t y and d i s d a i n (II.i.448-456). R e s o l u t e i n her c o n v e r s i o n , B e l l a f r o n t thereupon i s f l o u t e d s u c c e s s i v e l y by her former pimp and M i s t r e s s F i n g e r l o c k , by her former customers, who are h i g h l y s k e p t i c a l of her c o n v e r s i o n , by Matheo, her o r i g i n a l seducer, who i s shocked at her p r o p o s a l t h a t they marry to p r e s e r v e her v i r t u e : "How, marry with a Punck, a C o c k a t r i c e , a H a r l o t ? mary / foh, l i e be burnt thorow the nose f i r s t " ( I I I . i i i . 1 1 6 - 1 1 7 ) , and by H i p p o l i t o , who mocks her o f f e r of 112 l o v e . A f t e r H i p p o l i t o ' s f i n a l r e j e c t i o n of her i n Act four, B e l l a f r o n t announces her i n t e n t i o n to l e a v e the c i t y i n order to ask her father's f o r g i v e n e s s f o r her p r o f l i g a t e l i f e . Instead, she turns up at Bethlem h o s p i t a l , s t i l l p u r s uing H i p p o l i t o amid the l u n a t i c s u n t i l she i s r e c o n c i l e d with Matheo i n marriage. Our p e r s p e c t i v e on the c h a r a c t e r thus c o n s t a n t l y s h i f t s so t h a t emotional i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h the courtesan's s i t u a t i o n i s never a t t a i n e d . B e l l a f r o n t ' s c o n v e r s i o n and repentance, moreover, are o n l y m a r g i n a l l y rewarded through marriage. B e l l a f r o n t and Matheo do not marry f o r emotional f u l f i l l m e n t but to s a t i s f y t h e i r moral o b l i g a t i o n t o one another: B e l 1 . Metheo thou d i d s t f i r s t turne my s o u l e b l a c k e , Now make i t white agen . . . . Math. Cony-catcht, g u l d , must I s a i l e i n your f l i e - b o a t e , Because I h e l p t to reare your maine-mast f i r s t . (V.ii.436-441) B e l l a f r o n t i s eager to s a t i s f y an orthodox m o r a l i t y by marrying her o r i g i n a l seducer, and a l t h o u g h she cannot be happy wi t h her choice, she makes the best of a bad s i t u a t i o n . The r e s o l u t i o n i s t h e r e f o r e s u r p r i s i n g , f o r w h i l e Dekker has manipulated the p l o t i n order to ensure a melodramatic ending, complex c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n at t h i s p o i n t s e v e r e l y undercuts the sentimentalism of the marriage code. 113 The marriage between B e l l a f r o n t and Matheo r e c e i v e s o n l y minimal a t t e n t i o n ; f o r a f u l l e r treatment of the marriage theme we must look to the Candido p l o t . A weak thread l i n k i n g the Candido a c t i o n w i t h the m o r a l i t y p l o t i s the taming o f the "waspish" (l.i.141) V i o l a by Candido's pati e n c e , an accomplishment t h a t r e v e r s e s the r e s o l u t i o n of the M a t h e o - B e l l a f r o n t a c t i o n whereby Matheo i s subdued enough to marry the reformed whore. L i k e the B e l l a f r o n t p l o t , the Candido a c t i o n s u s t a i n s an o v e r t h o m i l e t i c design: Candido, who i s c o n s t a n t l y r i d i c u l e d f o r h i s p a t i e n c e , undergoes a s e r i e s of t e s t s t h a t c u l m i n a t e i n h i s wrongful i n c a r c e r a t i o n i n Bethlem h o s p i t a l . A f t e r h i s o r d e a l , Candido emerges a model of v i r t u e f o r h i s e n t i r e community, a male v e r s i o n of P a t i e n t G r i s s i l l . The 1inendraper's p a t i e n c e i s g e n e r a l l y viewed as Dekker's code of exemplary b e h a v i o r i n a husband and tradesman, a code t h a t c o n t r a s t s w i t h the s p i r i t u a l and s o c i a l d i s s o l u t i o n represented by the w o r l d of panders and 3 3 bawds i n the B e l l a f r o n t p l o t . The view of Candido as Dekker's i d e a l husband and merchant i s based i n p a r t on the l i n e n d r a p e r ' s encomium on p a t i e n c e at the end of the p l a y (V.ii.488-509) which r e c e i v e s h i g h p r a i s e from the Duke. In the r e s o l u t i o n Dekker was eager to s a t i s f y the p o p u l a r audience f o r whom he was w r i t i n g ; 3 4 i n the Candido scenes themselves, however, we s h a l l see t h a t Dekker undermines popular m o r a l i z i n g through i r o n y and s a t i r e . From the o u t s e t the b a n a l i t y of Candido's t r i a l s , r a t h e r than r e v e a l i n g the s t r u g g l e s of the s o u l a g a i n s t the enemies of v i r t u e , exposes the merchant as a comic b u t t . Candido's p a t i e n t r e s o l v e i n the face of a d v e r s i t y does not r e s u l t from h i s i n t o x i c a t i o n w i t h v i r t u e but from an obs e s s i o n w i t h wealth and r e p u t a t i o n , and the l i n e n d r a p e r i s as much a t i g h t - f i s t e d merchant as he i s a model of s t o i c i s m : F u s t i g o . T r o t h s i s t e r I heard you were married to a v e r i e r i c h e c h u f f e , [ t h a t i s , m i s e r ] . . . . ( I . i i . 3 0 ) His m i s e r l i n e s s , together with h i s absurd behavior, suggest Candido i s l e s s wholesome than he appears. From the o u t s e t Candido's p a t i e n c e i s l i n k e d with h i s sharp business sense. The l i n e n d r a p e r ' s understanding and p r a c t i c e of the v i r t u e he embodies i s so l i m i t e d to i t s a p p l i c a t i o n to the business of s e l l i n g l i n e n t h a t b e f o r e the r e s o l u t i o n i t i s v i r t u a l l y i m p o s s i b l e t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e between Candido the s u c c e s s f u l 35 merchant and Candido the p a t i e n t man. During the f i r s t t e s t Candido e a g e r l y complies with the g u l l e r s ' request of a "pennyworth of lawne" cut from the c e n t r e of a seventeen-yard p i e c e (I.v.63-68). V i o l a ' s i n c r e d u l o u s remark, "What w i l l he s p o i l e the Lawne now?" (1. 87), i s c a l m l y reproached by Candido i n h i s r e p l y , "Patience, good w i f e " (1. 88). His r a t i o n a l e f o r p a t i e n c e i s t h a t by a l l o w i n g one customer to g e t away "We g e t by many" (1. 123); "Deny a p e n n o r t h , " he warns h i s w i f e , " i t may c r o s s e a pound" (1. 126). Candido's s u p p l i c a t i o n of h i s customers underscores h i s opportunism: 115 'Pray Gentlemen take . . . [ V i o l a ] t o be a woman Do not regard her la n g u a g e . — 0 kinde so u l e : Such words w i l l d r i u e away my customers. (I.v.92-95) U n r u f f l e d even by h i s journeyman's warning t h a t these customers are "some ch e a t i n g companions" (1. 98), Candido implores the c o u r t i e r s to b r i n g him f u r t h e r business: "I haue your mony heare; pray know my shop, / Praye l e t me haue y o u r custome / . . . L e t me t a k e more o f y o u r money" (11. 100-103). The scene b u i l d s i n such a way t h a t i t emphasizes Candido's p r i m i t i v e understanding o f Patience r a t h e r than h i s exemplary b e h a v i o r . The li n e n d r a p e r ' s "quiet s u f f e r e n c e " (I.v.218) i s undercut by the v i r t u e ' s r e d u c t i o  ad absurdum i n Candido's motto, "he th a t meanes to t h r i u e , w i t h p a t i e n t eye / Must p l e a s e t h e d i u e l l , i f he come t o buy" (I.v.127-128). In p l e a s i n g " a l l customers, / T h e i r humours and t h e i r f a n c i e s " (11. 121-122) one f i n d s the way to wealth. Candido's s e l f i s h ends make him s u s c e p t i b l e to d e c e i t . In h i s s t u d y o f d e c e p t i o n as a common m o t i f o f E l i z a b e t h a n comedy, John Curry observes t h a t the degree o f s u s c e p t i b i l i t y t o decept i o n depends on the extent o f the v i c t i m ' s i n t e l l i g e n c e : A t the lowest l e v e l l i e the fatuous and the lumpish; then come those who are not s t u p i d but who, because of l a c k of education and c u l t u r e , are ig n o r a n t and s u p e r s t i t i o u s ; above these are v i c t i m s who, w h i l e not e n t i r e l y s t u p i d or ignorant, are e g o i s t i c or s e l f - d e c e i v e d w i t h r e s p e c t t o some p a r t i c u l a r phase of t h e i r own c h a r a c t e r or powers; we f i n d next some who are not 116 j u s t l y c l a s s i f i e d with any of the above groups, but are shown as unwary and o v e r t r u s t i n g ; and f i n a l l y there are those who are r a t h e r cunning and d e c e i t f u l and q u i t e e x p e r i e n c e d . 3 ^ Candido's opportunism excludes him from Curry's t h i r d category o f b l i n d t r u s t ; h i s v u l n e r a b i l i t y to deception i s an e f f e c t of s e l f - d e c e p t i o n l i n k e d t o a weak understanding. As the t e s t i n g progresses, Candido's o b s e s s i o n w i t h money becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y d i s t a s t e f u l and h i s l i m i t e d understanding becomes more d r a m a t i c a l l y focussed. The t e s t s culminate i n Act four where the word "mad" permeates the 37 d i a l o g u e . V i o l a , who has been u n s u c c e s s f u l i n i n c i t i n g her husband's pa s s i o n , has l o c k e d away h i s senate gown, which he has p a t i e n t l y s u b s t i t u t e d w i t h a f i n e t a b l e cover cut through the middle so t h a t i t may f i t over h i s head. Exasperated w i t h Candido's r e s o l v e , V i o l a c r i e s out i n d i s b e l i e f : G r i t about him l i k e a mad-man: what: has he l o s t h i s cloake too: t h i s i s the maddest f a s h i o n t h a t ere I saw. ( I V . i i i . 2 9 - 3 0 ) V i o l a ' s waspish pronouncement t h a t her husband i s mad would be l e s s c o n v i n c i n g were i t not f o r the f a c t t h a t Candido's l u d i c r o u s garb i s unnecessary. Candido has h i m s e l f admitted he c o u l d have attended the senate meeting without the s i l l y t a b l e cover had he been w i l l i n g to pay a h i g h e r f i n e : Out of two e u i l s hee's accounted wise, That can p i c k e out the l e a s t ; the F i n e imposde 117 For an vn-gowned Senator, i s about F o r t y Cruzadoes, the Carpet [ t a b l e c o v e r ] not 'boue f o u r e . Thus haue I choosen the l e s s e r e u i l l y e t, Preseru'd my p a t i e n c e . . . . (III.i.202-207) The l i n e n d r a p e r ' s boast t h a t h i s p a t i e n c e has been s u s t a i n e d through h i s wise choice o f a minor e v i l exposes h i s f e e b l e understanding o f the ve r y concepts he addresses, namely, wisdom and e v i l . Wisdom, a c c o r d i n g to the m e r c a n t i l e e t h i c , i s not the s p i r i t u a l c a p a c i t y o f judging r i g h t l y i n matters p e r t a i n i n g t o moral conduct or soundness of judgment which, a c c o r d i n g t o a Tudor homily, "can not be atteyned, but by 3 8 the d i r e c t i o n of the s p i r i t of God"; i n s t e a d , i t i s sound sense i n p r a c t i c a l a f f a i r s . E v i l , by the same token, i s anything t h a t d i s r u p t s those a f f a i r s . Candido's behavior, w h i l e o v e r t l y upheld as a model o f s t o i c v i r t u e , i s a l s o a trenchant p o r t r a i t o f s e l f -indulgence. Candido's i n a b i l i t y t o d i s t i n g u i s h between s p i r i t u a l and m e r c a n t i l e v a l u e s c r y s t a l l i z e s Dekker's c y n i c i s m toward the merchant code. I f Candido f u r t h e r s s t a b i l i t y and order, he does so by embracing a system of q u e s t i o n a b l e v a l u e s , so t h a t h i s e x e m p l i f i c a t i o n o f p a t i e n c e i s s e v e r e l y undermined by h i s p o r t r a y a l as a s e l f - s a t i s f i e d tradesman. The ambiguity p a r t i a l l y f o r e s t a l l s any se n t i m e n t a l e f f e c t by c a l l i n g i n t o q u e s t i o n Candido's understanding, and by exposing the e f f e c t s o f a money economy on the c h a r a c t e r . The i r o n i c admixtures of the Candido p l o t are d i r e c t e d a t the stock h o m i l e t i c paradigms 118 and melodramatic tone t h a t inform domestic comedy: we note i n the p r e s e n t a t i o n o f Dekker's p a t i e n t "madman" the impulse Northrop Frye a s c r i b e s t o " i r o n i c comedy," t h a t i s , a "tendency . . . to r i d i c u l e and s c o l d an audience assumed t o be hankering a f t e r sentiment, solemnity, and the triumph o f 3 9 f i d e l i t y and approved moral standards." Dekker's b o l d s a t i r i c a l p o r t r a i t o f a tradesman i s perhaps h i s major accomplishment i n The Honest Whore, I. But j u s t as i n the romance and m o r a l i t y p l o t s our p e r s p e c t i v e i s b l u r r e d by the c l a s h between s a t i r e and heavy-handed m o r a l i z i n g , Dekker's i n s i s t e n c e upon solemn p a r a b l e d e t r a c t s from the i r o n y i n the Candido episodes. T h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y e v i d e n t d u r i n g the l i n e n d r a p e r ' s t e s t s , i n which the c l a s h between Dekker's c y n i c i s m and h i s obeisance t o audience e x p e c t a t i o n once again r e v e a l s i t s e l f . Dekker's s t r u g g l e to capture the t e n s i o n between p s y c h o l o g i c a l and e t h i c a l s t r u c t u r e s i n the p r e s e n t a t i o n o f ch a r a c t e r i s most e x p l i c i t i n those episodes i n v o l v i n g V i o l a ' s shrewishness, where we are l e d to i n f e r t h a t Candido's m a r i t a l problems are the r e s u l t o f sexual d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n . In an e a r l y exchange between V i o l a and her bro t h e r F u s t i g o , Candido's sexual impotence i s int i m a t e d . V i o l a ' s "strange / l o n g i n g " (I.ii.81-82) to make her husband "horne mad" (1. 91) i s not e n t i r e l y whimsical; r a t h e r , i t i s p a r t l y a m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f sexual f r u s t r a t i o n . V i o l a complains, f o r in s t a n c e , t h a t w h i l e she l a c k s none of the m a t e r i a l comforts a c i t i z e n ' s wife may d e s i r e , her husband 119 "haz not a l l t h i n g s / b e l o n g i n g to a man" (11. 58-59). Responding to the sexual innuendo, F u s t i g o proceeds t o b e l i t t l e h i s b r o t h e r - i n - l a w through an e x p l i c i t l y s e x u a l metaphor: "Gods my l i f e , hee's a v e r i e mandrake, or e l s e (God b l e s s e vs) / one a these w h i b l i n s " (11. 60-61), a " w h i b l i n " b eing an "impotent c r e a t u r e ; a term of contempt." 4 (" ) That V i o l a commissions F u s t i g o t o p l a y her l o v e r i n order to dupe her husband i n t o b e l i e v i n g he i s being cuckolded p o i n t s t o Dekker's c l e v e r m a n i p u l a t i o n o f a stock s i t u a t i o n i n domestic comedy t h a t r e q u i r e s the p a t i e n t w i f e t o be p u r s u e d by a l u s t y y o u t h , whose a d v a n c e s she p i o u s l y scorns. Dekker comes c l o s e to making the wif e a d u l t e r o u s , a c o m p l i c a t i o n f o r which he has a l r e a d y i m p l i e d a c r e d i b l e m o t i v a t i o n , t h a t i s , sexual l o n g i n g . But by having V i o l a ' s b r o t h e r pose as the l o v e r , the c o m p l i c a t i o n i s a v e r t e d . The t r i c k i n a l l l i k e l i h o o d r e p r e s e n t s Dekker's compliance with the g e n e r a l r u l e o f decorum i n the p u b l i c t h e a t r e s never t o p l a y a comedy of a d u l t e r y . In comedies performed on the p u b l i c stage, observes Harbage, "A number o f w i v e s a r e a t r i a l t o t h e i r husbands, . . . b u t t h e y are not u n f a i t h f u l . " 4 1 Dekker, moreover, immediately b u r i e s the r e f e r e n c e to Candido's impotence i n V i o l a ' s c o n f e s s i o n t h a t she l o v e s her husband "most a f f e c t i o n a t e l y " (1. 80) d e s p i t e h i s f a u l t s . We hear no more of sexual f r u s t r a t i o n , and i n the r e s o l u t i o n Dekker c l a r i f i e s the i s s u e by i n s i s t i n g Candido's m a r i t a l d i f f i c u l t i e s are the e f f e c t r a t h e r than the cause of V i o l a ' s shrewishness: 120 Cand. . . . [ P a t i e n c e ] i s the sap of b l i s s e , Reares a l o f t ; makes men and Angels k i s s e , And ( l a s t of a l l ) to end a houshould s t r i f e , I t i s the hunny g a i n s t a waspish w i f e . (V.ii.506-509) "In t h i n k i n g about Candido," w r i t e s Peter Ure, " i t seems necessary to keep i n mind both the t r a n s f o r m i n g power of h i s e t h i c — i t s c a p a c i t y to change l i v e s — a n d a l s o the r o l e o f the dramatic c h a r a c t e r i n what i s a d v e r t i s e d as a comedy of 'the 49 humours of the p a t i e n t man." Yet d e s p i t e Ure's i n s i s t e n c e t h a t i n the p o r t r a i t of Candido's humor Dekker's treatment of Patience i s an o r i g i n a l o n e , 4 3 a p o t e n t i a l l y complex set of a m b i g u i t i e s d i s s o l v e s i n t o s t r i k i n g i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s . Although i t i s p o s s i b l e to concede t h a t while "Candido remains t r u e to h i s humour . . . unruly, v i o l e n t stage-fun proceeds even from the triumph o f the p e c u l i a r v i r t u e to which he i s so humourously t r u e , " 4 4 the equation between v i r t u e and humor, i s i n h e r e n t l y i l l o g i c a l . Ure h i m s e l f i s f o r c e d to admit t h a t a humor " i s not normally a v i r t u e " i n Jacobean s a t i r i c a l drama, where humor comedy "achieves i t s e f f e c t by r e p e t i t i o n , by a continuous r e v e r s a l of the v i c t i m ' s e x p e c t a t i o n s . " 4 5 A humorous character's dramatic f u n c t i o n i s to be obsessed by h i s humor. The l i n e n d r a p e r , as a c h a r a c t e r whose humor i s to want q u i e t and order, meets with p e r p e t u a l d i s c o r d . But to p r a c t i s e p a t i e n c e i n the face o f c r u e l t y and r i d i c u l e does not mean one i s overwhelmed by a humor; i t suggests one i s p e r s i s t i n g i n C h r i s t i a n s t e a d f a s t n e s s . The dramatic i n c o n g r u i t y 121 d e r i v e s from a f a i l u r e t o i n t e g r a t e s a t i r i c a l and h o m i l e t i c impulses. I t has been s u g g e s t e d t h a t t h e m a t i c u n i t y i n t h e p l a y might c o n s i s t o f t h e ways i n which t h e C a n d i d o p l o t opposes the B e l l a f r o n t a c t i o n . R.J. Palumbo argues f o r a "thematic c o n t r a s t between Candido and B e l l a f r o n t " on the b a s i s t h a t Candido's r o l e as i d e a l tradesman enhances the s o c i a l order w h i l e B e l l a f r o n t ' s " f u n c t i o n — p r o s t i t u t e — i s p a r t of a custom t h a t b r i n g s s o c i a l d i s o r d e r . " Because the c o n t r a s t i s d r a m a t i c a l l y conspicuous, i t obscures the i r o n i c correspondences between the two p l o t s . Both Candido and B e l l a f r o n t , f o r inst a n c e , p l y a trade, and both consi d e r human i n t e r a c t i o n i n terms of how i t f u r t h e r s t h e i r economic ends. The p r o s t i t u t e ' s trade i s s i m i l a r to the merchant's i n t h a t B e l l a f r o n t must comply wi t h the sex u a l demands of her customers, and i n order t o prosper would p l e a s e the d e v i l h i m s e l f "Could the d i e u l put on humane shape" (II.i.341), j u s t as Candido would "ple a s e the d i e u l l , i f he come to buy" (I.v.128). The scene f o l l o w i n g Candido's s a l e o f a "pennyworth of lawne" i n t r o d u c e s B e l l a f r o n t who i s d e s c r i b e d by a c o u r t i e r i n terms of l i n e n : "A s k i n , your s a t t e n i s not more s o f t , nor lawne whiter" ( I I . i . 172). The v e r b a l p a r a l l e l s c r e a t e a t e n t a t i v e i r o n i c c o n f i g u r a t i o n l i n k i n g t h e s a l e o f c l o t h w i t h t h e s a l e o f f l e s h , a q u a l i f i c a t i o n t h a t undermines Candido's v i r t u e . 122 Thematic u n i t y between the play's separate l i n e s o f a c t i o n i s more c a r e f u l l y worked o u t i n t h e c o n t e x t o f the ge n e r a l d e t e r i o r a t i o n of domestic l i f e captured i n the p o r t r a y a l o f t h e domus as t h e s e a t o f c o n f l i c t and d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n . We have seen t h a t i n domestic drama the domus c l a r i f i e s the q u a l i t y o f l i f e o f i t s occupants. In domestic comedy, the d e s i r e f o r an upstanding household o f t e n d e f l e c t s from the a d v e r s i t y the heroine experiences at the hands of a c r u e l husband. In How a Man May Choose a Good  Wife from a Bad the i l l - t r e a t e d M i s t r e s s A r t h u r i s eager t o maintain an e l e g a n t and e f f i c i e n t l y - r u n household d e s p i t e her husband's r e f r a c t o r y behavior. As she prepares f o r a dinner party, her c h i e f w o r r i e s are th a t her "guests w i l l come / Ere we be ready," and t h a t a s e r v a n t "cannot keep h i s f i n g e r s from the r o a s t . " 4 7 M i s t r e s s A r t h u r b u s i l y prepares f o r her company by g e n t l y admonishing her s e r v a n t s when they are cheeky, and p r a i s i n g them when they behave—"There was a c u r t s y i l e t me see't again; / Ay, t h a t was w e l l " (Scene I I I , p. 54). The house becomes the wife's c h i e f source o f p l e a s u r e , and i t s appearance d i m i n i s h e s the emotional upheaval i n her marriage: MRS ART. Come, spread the t a b l e ; i s the h a l l well-rubb'd? The cushions i n the windows n e a t l y l a i d ? The cupboard o f p l a t e s et out? the casements stuck With rosemary and flowers? the carpets brush'd? MAID. Ay, f o r s o o t h , m i s t r e s s . MRS ART. Look t o the kitchen-maid, and b i d the cook take down the oven-stone, l e s t the p i e s be burned . . . . 123 MAID. Yes, f o r s o o t h , m i s t r e s s . MRS ART. Where's t h a t knave P i p k i n ? b i d him spread the c l o t h . Fetch the c l e a n d i a p e r napkins from my chest, Set out the g i l d e d s a l t , and b i d the f e l l o w Make h i m s e l f handsome, get him a c l e a n band. (Scene I I I , p. 54) Open-handed h o s p i t a l i t y , l i k e M i s t r e s s Arthur's, shown to f r i e n d s and f a m i l y or t o c a s u a l passers-by i s a common m o t i f i n domestic drama. I t s symbolic f u n c t i o n i s the p r e s e r v a t i o n of one's moral refinement through the d i s p l a y of good w i l l . Through h o s p i t a l i t y , the household maintains i t s s t a t u s i n the community. In P a t i e n t G r i s s i l we saw t h a t J a n i c o l a ' s c a r i t a s i s manifested i n h i s eagerness to be h o s p i t a b l e d e s p i t e h i s poverty: . . . though I am p o o r e My loue s h a l l not be so: goe daughter G r i s s i l l , F etch water from the s p r i n g to seeth our f i s h , . . . the sheare i s meane, But be content, when I haue solde these Baskets, The monie s h a l l be s p e n t t o b i d t h e e [ L a u r e o ] welcome . . . . (I.ii.151-157) The home of Candido, on the other hand, i s t a i n t e d by the merchant's obse s s i o n with wealth. Fustigo's c y n i c a l q u e s t i o n to V i o l a ' s P o r t e r — " a r t / sure thou wentst i n t o a t r u e house?" ( I . i i . 1 0 - 1 1 ) — a l e r t s us to the ambiguity surrounding Candido's domestic l i f e . The guests who v i s i t the house do so f o r the purpose e i t h e r of duping Candido or t a k i n g h i s money; at the same time, Candido extends i n v i t a t i o n s o n l y to those who might a i d h i s economic advancement. We hear, f o r example, t h a t the l i n e n d r a p e r has 124 "vpon a time i n u i t e d / home to h i s house c e r t a i n e N e a p o l i t a n e l o r d s o f c u r i o u s t a s t e , / and no meane p a l l a t s " (I.v.25-27), but we never see h i s h o s p i t a l i t y extended t o the l e s s f o r t u n a t e . A f t e r s e l l i n g the "pennyworth of lawne" Candido i n v i t e s the c o u r t i e r s to dine with him (I.v.230-231), but h i s de t e r m i n a t i o n to deny nothing even t o the d e v i l h i m s e l f f o r the sake of a p r o f i t undermines h i s h o s p i t a l i t y . Immediately f o l l o w i n g Candido's i n v i t a t i o n o f the c o u r t i e r s we are i n t r o d u c e d t o B e l l a f r o n t seated a t her make-up t a b l e p r e p a r i n g f o r the evening's entertainment. The scene d e p i c t s a mock r i t u a l o f household a c t i v i t y as the courtesan and her servant-pimp Roger make ready to r e c e i v e t h e i r "guests": B e l l . Wheres my r u f f e and poker you block-head? Rog. Your r u f f e , and your poker, are i n g e n d r i n g together vpon the cup-bord of the Court, or the Court-cup-bord. B e l 1 . Fetch'em: Is the poxe i n your hammes, you can goe no f a s t e r ? Rog. Thers your r u f f e , s h a l l I poke i t ? Be l 1 . Yes honest Roger, no stay: pry thee good boy, h o l d here, Downe, downe, downe, downe, I f a l l downe, and a r i s e I neuer s h a l l . Rog. T r o t h M i s t r i s then leaue the trade i f you s h a l l neuer r i s e . B e l l . Vds l i f e , l i e s t i c k e my k n i f e i n y o u r Guts and you p r a t e to me so . . . . Pox on you, how doest thou h o l d my g l a s s e ? Rog. Why, as I h o l d your doore: with my f i n g e r s . B e l 1 . Gods my p i t t i k i n s , some f o o l e or other knocks. Rog. S h a l l I open t o the f o o l e m i s t r e s s e ? 125 B e l 1. And a l l these b a b i e s l y i n g thus? away with i t q u i c k l y , I, I, knock and be dambde, whosoeuer you be. So: giue the f r e s h Salmon l y n e now: l e t him come a shoare, hee s h a l l serue f o r my br e a k e f a s t , tho he goe a g a i n s t my stomack. (II.i.15-56) The exchange between B e l l a f r o n t and Roger l a c k s the sentiment t h a t marks the d i a l o g u e between M i s t r e s s Arthur and her l a c k l u s t r e s e r v a n t s . Roger's r e b e l l i o u s n e s s i s not mechanical but h y p o c r i t i c a l ; at the same time t h a t he mocks h i s mistress's trade, her occupation f u r t h e r s h i s own s e l f i s h ends. L i k e Candido, the courtesan e n t e r t a i n s i n order t o meet her m a t e r i a l needs; u n l i k e Candido, B e l l a f r o n t f e e l s r e v u l s i o n a g a i n s t her trade and a g a i n s t the "guests" upon whom she depends f o r h e r l i v e l i h o o d . The domus i s no longer a f i x e d p o i n t of v i r t u e and s t a b i l i t y ; i t has become a bawdy house. The homes of B e l l a f r o n t and Candido are never c o n t r a s t e d w i t h an i d e a l i z e d s e t t i n g l i k e the J a n i c o l a household or the home o f M i s t r e s s Arthur. In the Duke-H i p p o l i t o p l o t the conv e n t i o n o f r e c e i v i n g guests i n t o a decorous home amid a com f o r t a b l e d o m e s t i c i t y i s r e c a s t i n a grotesque c o n f i g u r a t i o n amid mundane images of everyday l i f e . Matheo, wanting t o humor H i p p o l i t o who b e l i e v e s I n f e l i c e has been k i l l e d by h e r f a t h e r , makes a s e r i e s o f d i s t u r b i n g a s s o c i a t i o n s between d a i l y r o u t i n e and death: 126 Math. . . . i s i t i n y o u r stomacke t o goe t o dinner? Hip. Where i s the body? Math. The body . . . i s gone to be wormed. Hip. I cannot r e s t e , i l e meete i t at next turne, What day i s to day, Matheo? Math. . . . t h i s i s an e a s i e q u e s t i o n : why t o d a y i s , l e t me see, thurseday. Hip. Oh, thurseday. She d i e d on monday then. Math. And t h a t s the most v i l l a i n o u s day of a l l the weeke to d i e i n : and she was wel, and eate a messe of water-grewel on monday morning. (I.i.64-94) The n e c e s s i t i e s of everyday l i f e , such as the concern w i t h time and the o b s e r v a t i o n of d a i l y r o u t i n e s , are c o l o r f u l l y juxtaposed by Matheo wi t h the impermanence of the temporal world. H i p p o l i t o responds i n k i n d w i t h a grotesque d i s t o r t i o n of the c u l t of h o s p i t a l i t y : Hip. On thurseday b u r i e d ! and on monday d i e d , Quicke haste b i r l a d y : sure her winding sheete Was l a i d e out f o r e her bodie, and the wormes That now must f e a s t with her, were euen bespoke, And solemnely i n u i t e d l i k e strange guests. Math. Strange feeders they are indeede my l o r d , and l i k e your i e a s t e r or yong C o u r t i e r , w i l l enter vpon any mans t r e n c h e r w i t h -out b i d d i n g . (I.i.101-108) H i p p o l i t o ' s macabre imagery v i t i a t e s the f a m i l i a r a c t i v i t y o f e n t e r t a i n i n g v i s i t o r s by reducing i t to a f e a s t of d e a t h — a banquet of v e r m i c u l a t i o n — t o which the awesome "guests" have been engaged beforehand through "solemne" or ceremonious 127 i n v i t a t i o n , w h i l e Matheo's p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n of vermin as a p a r a s i t i c guest-such as a j e s t e r or c o u r t i e r extends the c o n f i g u r a t i o n t o the e n t i r e s o c i a l spectrum. The a l l i a n c e between household and shop, and between household and b r o t h e l , together w i t h the d i s s o l u t i o n of the c u l t o f d o m e s t i c i t y expose a mutable and c o r r u p t world. These c o n f i g u r a t i o n s form an a s s a u l t not o n l y on the s a n c t i t y of the body, which u n d e r l i e s grotesque imagery i n 48 g e n e r a l , but a l s o on the s a n c t i t y of domestic l i f e . Moving r a p i d l y from household to household the p l o t s converge i n Bethlem Monastery, a h o s p i t a l f o r the insane i r o n i c a l l y d e s c r i b e d as a "house" (V.ii.108) and wherein B e l l a f r o n t i s r e f e r r e d to as "huswife" (1. 300). A l l the couples are here r e u n i t e d i n marriage, a happy ending s e v e r e l y undermined by 49 the s e t t i n g . The c o u p l e s s o l i d i f y t h e i r marriage vows here because, as Matheo observes, "none goes to be married t i l l he be s t a r k e mad" (1. 35). As a p o r t r a i t of a w o r l d gone mad, however, the Bethlem scenes l o s e t h e i r s a t i r i c a l f o r c e d u r i n g the r e s o l u t i o n . The Duke, whose i r r a t i o n a l b e h a v i o r has h e r e t o f o r e been the source of so much misery, reappears i n order to be purged of madness by the wisdom of F r i a r Anselmo so t h a t he may be r e c o n c i l e d with h i s daughter and H i p p o l i t o . Beseeching T r e b a t z i to pardon those who t r i c k e d him i n t o t h i n k i n g H i p p o l i t o dead, F r i a r Anselmo i n i t i a t e s the melodramatic tone t h a t undercuts the s a t i r e : 128 Ans. . . . a l l was to t h i s end To turne the a n c i e n t hates of your two houses To f r e s h greene f r i e n d s h i p : t h a t your Loues might looke, L i k e the s p r i n g s forehead, comfortably sweete, And your vext soules i n p e a c e f u l l vnion meete, T h e i r b l o u d w i l l now be yours, yours w i l l be t h e i r s . And happinesse s h a l l crowne your s i l u e r h a i r e s . (V.ii.377-383) P r a i s i n g the F r i a r ' s a b i l i t y t o "make madmen tame," (1. 388) the Duke announces he w i l l " y e e l d vnto" H i p p o l i t o and I n f e l i c e ' s "happiness, be b l e s t / Our f a m i l i e s s h a l l h e n c e f o r t h b r e a t h i n r e s t " (11. 391-392). The Duke's t r a n s f o r m a t i o n from madness to s a n i t y has not come about as a r e s u l t o f i n n e r d e v e l o p m e n t b u t as an e f f e c t o f a melodramatic s o l u t i o n . Once the Duke's madness has been subdued the f i n a l scene y i e l d s to the taming of V i o l a by Candido's p a t i e n c e . The exemplum of P a t i e n c e contained i n the f i n a l t h i r t y l i n e s , however, i s presented amid c o n t r a d i c t o r y and ambivalent messages. J u s t as i n the analogues the a c t i o n ends w i t h the p a t i e n t w i f e r e c e i v i n g with great h u m i l i t y p r a i s e s f o r her f o r t i t u d e , The Honest Whore, I ends wi t h an encomium on Candido's p a t i e n t endurance. But r a t h e r than a s s i g n the panegyric to another c h a r a c t e r , Dekker g i v e s i t to the l i n e n d r a p e r h i m s e l f , who i n the course of p r a i s i n g h i s v i r t u e makes a s t a r t l i n g r e f e r e n c e to h i m s e l f as a C h r i s t - f i g u r e : 129 P a t i e n c e my Lord; why t i s the soule of peace: Of a l l the vertues t i s the neerest k i n to heauen. I t makes men looke l i k e Gods; the b e s t of men That ere wore e a r t h about him, was a s u f f e r e r , A s o f t , meeke, p a t i e n t , humble, t r a n q u i l l s p i r i t , The f i r s t t r u e Gentleman t h a t euer b r e a t h d ; . . . (V.ii.489-494) Given Candido's obse s s i o n w i t h m e r c a n t i l e v a l u e s , h i s c o n f u s i o n of h i m s e l f with "The f i r s t t r u e Gentleman" i s i r o n i c . The c l a s h between s a t i r i c a l and h o m i l e t i c tones i s borne out by the mock-heroic element i n Candido's speech. Candido's grand, admirable, and exemplary panegyric i n p r a i s e of Patience as "the sap" of s p i r i t u a l " b l i s s e " (1. 506) i s d u l l e d by i t s r e d u c t i o ad absurdum as "the hunny g a i n s t a waspish wife" (1. 509). The mock-heroic tone extends to the end of the p l a y i n the Duke's pronouncement th a t w h i l e a "calme s p i r i t " such as Candido's " i s worth a golden Mine" (1. 515), "Twere sinne a l l women should such husbands haue. / For euery man must then be h i s wife's s l a u e " (11. 512-513). The p o l a r i t y at the h e a r t of the p l a y between an o v e r t h o m i l e t i c design and the s a t i r i c a l exposure of an i r r a t i o n a l world i s thus never b r i d g e d . A more c a r e f u l l y s t r u c t u r e d p l o t informs The Honest  Whore, I I , Dekker's unaided sequel, where the p a r a d o x i c a l nature of experience i s captured w i t h i n a more i n t r i c a t e and coherent comic v i s i o n . 130 Notes George P r i c e , Thomas Dekker, pp. 170-76. Michael Manheim, "The Thematic S t r u c t u r e of Dekker's 2 Honest Whore," S t u d i e s i n E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , V (1965), 365. 3 E a r l i e r i n the century the p l a y was considered anonymous, but s c h o l a r s now g e n e r a l l y a t t r i b u t e the authorship to Heywood; see M i c h e l G r i v e l e t , Thomas Heywood, pp. 166-74, and Andrew C l a r k , Domestic Drama, I I , 249, n. 36. 4 Manheim, 365. L a r r y Champion, "From Melodrama to Comedy: A Study of the Dramatic P e r s p e c t i v e i n Dekker's The Honest Whore, Parts I and I I , " S t u d i e s i n P h i l o l o g y , 69 (1977), 194. Champion has been the f i r s t i n r e c e n t years to r e j e c t the p r e v a l e n t view of the Candido a c t i o n as the s u b p l o t . In essence and i n the amount of time i t r e c e i v e s , the Candido p l o t i s e q u i v a l e n t to the two other p l o t s : the Candido scenes t o t a l 859 l i n e s , compared with 669 l i n e s given the B e l l a f r o n t p l o t and 605 to the romance p l o t . Thomas Dekker, The Honest Whore, P a r t I, i n Dramatic  Works, ed. Freson Bowers, f l (Cambridge: Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1955). A l l f u r t h e r c i t a t i o n s from the p l a y are from t h i s e d i t i o n . Peter Ure, " P a t i e n t Madman and Honest Whore: The Middleton-Dekker Oxymoron," Essays and S t u d i e s , NS 19 (1966), 26. Cf. A l f r e d Harbage, Shakespeare and t h e - R i v a l  T r a d i t i o n s (New York: Macmillan, 1952), p^ 143, who claims Dekker's " l o n g - s u f f e r i n g husband . . . i s an absurd f i g u r e " although h i s a b s u r d i t y i s couched i n "an aura" of i d e a l i z e d h u m i l i t y . More r e c e n t l y , L a r r y Champion has suggested t h a t i f the Candido a c t i o n i s not "played broadly, . . . the s p e c t a t o r would understandably begin to q u e s t i o n not o n l y V i o l a ' s m o t i v a t i o n i n her d e t e r m i n a t i o n to i n f u r i a t e her husband but a l s o Candido's w i l l i n g n e s s to be mocked and bludgeoned i n the name of p a t i e n c e which by any r e a l i s t i c standard smells e i t h e r of cowardice or of s t u p i d i t y " ("From Melodrama to Comedy," 195). 131 D.C. A l l e n , "The Degeneration of Man and Renaissance Pessimism," S t u d i e s i n P h i l o l o g y , XXXV (1938), 202. Cf. A.L. W i l l i a m s , "A Note on Pessimism i n the Renaissance," S t u d i e s i n P h i l o l o g y , XXXVI (1939), 243-46. On the development of s a t i r i c a l comedy i n Jacobean England, see O.J. Campbell, Comical Satyre and Shakespeare's T r o i l u s and  C r e s s i d a (San Marino, C a l . : Huntington L i b r a r y , 1938); A l f r e d Harbage, Shakespeare and the R i v a l T r a d i t i o n s , pp. 71-80; and A l a n Dessen, Jonson's Moral Comedy (n.p.: Northwestern U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1971), passim. 9 Harbage, p. 71. 1 0 Ure, " P a t i e n t Madman and Honest Whore," 21. 1 1 E a r l y c r i t i c i s m c o u l d not d i s t i n g u i s h Middleton's p a r t , prompting some to doubt whether h i s share went beyond "a few suggestions on the general groundwork o f the p l a y " [quoted i n M.L. Hunt, Thomas Dekker, p. 95]. R.H. Shepherd i n h i s e d i t i o n , The Dramatic Works of Thomas Middleton (London, 1873), I, p. x x i i i , found Middleton's c o n t r i b u t i o n to be minimal, an o p i n i o n shared by A.H. B u l l e n , who, i n h i s e d i t i o n , The Works of Thomas Middleton (London: B u l l e n , 1885-1886Ti 1^ p^ x x v i i , claimed Middleton's r o l e i n The Honest Whore, I, was " i n c o n s i d e r a b l e . " Samuel Schoenbaum, i n "Middleton's Share i n 'The Honest Whore,' Parts I and I I , " N&Q, 197 (1952), 3, has a l s o found Middleton's p a r t i c i p a t i o n t o be " n e g l i g i b l e " on the grounds t h a t because h i s name does not appear on the t i t l e - p a g e h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n must have been s l i g h t , otherwise Dekker, who i n the same year (1604) had s c r u p u l o u s l y acknowledged Middleton's s i n g l e speech i n M a g n i f i c e n t Entertainment, would have named Middleton as h i s c o l l a b o r a t o r . Cyrus Hoy, on the other hand, contends the omission i n d i c a t e s " e i t h e r t h at the f a c t of a c o l l a b o r a t i o n was not duly noted by the p r i n t e r . . . or Middleton's name was omitted because h i s share i n the p l a y i s not as g r e a t as Dekker's"; what i s c e r t a i n , a c c o r d i n g to Hoy, i s t h a t The Honest Whore, I, " i s l a r g e l y Dekker's" although the c o l l a b o r a t i o n "was o b v i o u s l y very c l o s e " ( I n t r o d u c t i o n s , Notes, and Commentaries to Texts  in'The Dramatic Works of Thomas Dekker' E d i t e d by Fredson  Bowers, I I , 10, n. 2). Hoy echoes other recent c o n j e c t u r e s r e g a r d i n g Middleton's share. Peter Ure, f o r one, argues t h a t Candido "the wonderful l i n e n d r a p e r a l s o has h i s l i k e l y c o u n t e r p a r t s i n other Middleton p l a y s " such as The Phoenix (ca. 1602) and Anything f o r a Quiet L i f e (1621), a p o i n t o r i g i n a l l y made by Hunt i n 1911 (Thomas Dekker, p. 100). The evidence based on these analogues, however, i s shaky given the u n c e r t a i n t y of the p r e c i s e date of The Phoenix, and the f a c t t h a t Anything f o r a Q u i e t L i f e was w r i t t e n much l a t e r than The Honest Whore, I. George P r i c e , i n Thomas Dekker, p. 60, a l s o c o n j e c t u r e s t h a t Middleton's c o n t r i b u t i o n c o n s i s t s "mainly of the shopkeeper scenes," 132 although Middleton's c o l l a b o r a t i o n i s "unusually l i m i t e d i n number of l i n e s . " Another group of s c h o l a r s , convinced t h a t Middleton was a d i s t r e s s i n g i n f l u e n c e on the drama of the time i n general and on Dekker i n p a r t i c u l a r , p o i n t e d to Middleton's fondness f o r p r e s e n t i n g courtesans r e c e i v i n g t h e i r c l i e n t s on stage, and claimed he infuenced Dekker i n t o doing the same i n The Honest Whore, I ( f o r a survey of the e a r l y commentary on Middleton's "negative" i n f l u e n c e on Dekker see Cyrus Hoy, I n t r o d u c t i o n s , Notes, and  Commentaries, I I , 6-127^ More r e c e n t l y , Ure has suggested " I t may w e l l have been Dekker who s t a r t e d courtesan-scenes, 'questionable' scenes i n which courtesans are d e p i c t e d . . . running t h e i r households" ("Patient Madman and Honest Whore," 19). N e i l Rhodes, E l i z a b e t h a n Grotesque (London, Boston, and Henley: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980), p. 78. 1 3 Rhodes, p. 77. 1 4 R.B. Parker, "Middleton's Experiments with Comedy and Judgement," i n Jacobean Theatre, ed. J.R. Brown and B. H a r r i s (New York: C a p r i c o r n Books, 1967), pp. 179-200; p. 179. 1 5 Parker, p. 179. For a d i s c u s s i o n of the meanings of the term "blood" i n the p l a y see A.L. and M.K. K i s t n e r , "Honest Whore: A Comedy of Blood," Humanities A s s o c i a t i o n B u l l e t i n (Canada), XXIII, No. 4 (1972), 23-27. 1 n Hoy compares H i p p o l i t o ' s r e f e r e n c e to "good c a r i o n " (1. 73) to Hamlet's "good k i s s i n g c a r r i o n " i n I I . i i . 1 8 2 , "where 'good,' the r e a d i n g of Q2 and F l , i s sometimes emended to 'god,'" and H i p p o l i t o ' s "these coulours . . . k i s t o f f " to Hamlet, V.i.191-192: "'O, t h a t t h a t e a r t h which kept the world i n awe / should patch a w a l l t ' e x p e l the w i n t e r ' s f l a w I ' " ( I n t r o d u c t i o n s , Notes, and Commentaries, I I , 51-52). 1 8 Hoy (p. 52) notes the p a r a l l e l between H i p p o l i t o ' s "heres a f e l l o w . . . a l t e r s not complexion" (11. 81-82) and V i n d i c e ' s "'Here's a cheek keeps her c o l o r , l e t the wind go w h i s t l e ' " ( I I I . v . 6 0 ) . 1 9 Lawrence Babb, The E l i z a b e t h a n Malady (East Lansing: Michigan S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1951), p. 105. Michael MacDonald, i n M y s t i c a l Bedlam, p. 154, observes t h a t g r i e f i t s e l f was not n e c e s s a r i l y equated w i t h " p a t h o l o g i c a l sadness," a syndrome which was "unprovoked or f a r surpassed the normal r a t i o of ' g r i e f to gloom, of cause to e f f e c t . . . Many i n s t a n c e s of sadness had l e g i t i m a t e o c casions i n the 133 death of loved ones and were r e v e a l e d to be the s i g n of melancholy d e l u s i o n by t h e i r unusual i n t e n s i t y and d u r a t i o n . " 2 0 G.N. Rao, The Domestic Drama, p. 44. 21 Harry K e y i s h i a n , "Dekker's Whore and Marston's Courtesan," 264. Cf. A l f r e d Harbage, Shakespeare and the  R i v a l T r a d i t i o n s , p. 71, who c o n s i d e r s the p l a y "a t r a c t a g a i n s t p r o s t i t u t i o n . " 2 2 Hardin C r a i g , The Enchanted Glas s (Oxford: B a s i l B l a c k w e l l , 1952), p. 175. 2 3 C r a i g , p. '258; Michael Manheim, "The Thematic S t r u c t u r e of Dekker's 2 Honest Whore," 376, n. 10. 2 4 Manheim, 376. 2 5 Michael MacDo L i l l i a n Feder, Madness i n L i t e r a t u r e ( P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n nald, M y s t i c a l Bedlam, pp. 182-83; c f . U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s ] 1 9 8 0 ) , pp. 100-03. 2 6 "Back-door'd I t a l i a n " (1. 356): T h i s i s Alexander Dyce's o r i g i n a l emendation i n The Works of Thomas Middleton (London, 1840), which Cyrus Hoy accepts as c o r r e c t , c l a i m i n g that " P r o f e s s o r Bowers' emendation of Qq 'Blacke-door'd . . . i s c e r t a i n l y wrong" ( I n t r o d u c t i o n s , Notes, and Commentaries, I I , 37). Dyce's c o n j e c t u r e t h a t "back-door'd" might mean " ' s l y ' " or "'devious'" has, however, been d i s c r e d i t e d by Hoy on the b a s i s of R.K. Turner's s u p p o s i t i o n i n Notes &  Queries, 205 (January 1960), 25-26, t h a t "Dekker wrote 'Back-door 'd,' . . . r e f e r r i n g to anal i n t e r c o u r s e , " a s u p p o s i t i o n based on a c i t a t i o n from Marston's The I n s a t i a t e Courtesan, I I I . i i i . 2 9 - 3 1 (ed. H.H. Wood): T h a i s . But you meane they s h a l l come i n at the back dores? Abig. Who, our Husbands? nay, and they come not i n the f o r e - d o r e s , there w i l l be no p l e a s u r e i n ' t . As f u r t h e r r e c e n t evidence, Hoy c i t e s Richard L e v i n ' s argument i n Notes and Queries, 208 (Sept. 1963), 338-40, sup p o r t i n g Turner's c o n j e c t u r e on the b a s i s t h a t "there are passages i n other Jacobean p l a y s , " namely, Middleton's Michaelmas Term and A Game at Chess, and Middleton's or Beaumont and F l e t c h e r ' s The Nice V a l o r , "which i n d i c a t e t h a t Englishmen of the time d i d b e l i e v e the I t a l i a n s were e s p e c i a l l y given to t h i s p a r t i c u l a r p e r v e r s i o n . " Hoy puts f o r t h "a c o n s i d e r a b l e body of f u r t h e r evidence" drawn from the drama and prose of the p e r i o d , evidence "which puts the 134 matter beyond any doubt" (p. 38). For a complete survey of the evidence supporting Turner's c o n j e c t u r e see Hoy, 37-40. 9 7 See F.O. Wage, J r . , "Thomas Dekker's Career as a Pamphleteer, 1603-1609: P r e l i m i n a r y S t u d i e s of F i v e Major Works and t h e i r Background," D i s s . P r i n c e t o n 1971; and P.C. Schwartz, "Ramus and Dekker: The I n f l u e n c e of Ramian L o g i c and Method on the Form and Content of Seventeenth-Century Pamphlet L i t e r a t u r e , " D i s s . Bowling Green 1978. 2 8 Schwartz, p. 38. 99 Dudley Fenner, The A r t e of Logike and Rhetorike (Middleburg, 1584), s i g ~ D l v ; quoted i n Schwartz, p~. 38. Schwartz, p. 38. Quoted i n C r a i g , The Enchanted G l a s s , p. 174. L a r r y Champion, "From Melodrama to Comedy," 198. 30 31 32 3 3 Harry K e y i s h i a n , i n "Dekker's Whore and Marston's Courtesan," 265, sees i n Candido Dekker's s i m p l i s t i c p o r t r a i t of "an i d e a l tradesman," a viewpoint m o d i f i e d by R.J. Palumbo, i n "Trade and Custom i n 1 Honest Whore," American Notes and Queries, 15, No. 3 (1976), 34, who p r a i s e s the l i n e n d r a p e r as the embodiment of "the h i g h e s t values of Dekker's c i t i z e n m o r a l i t y , " and by G.N. Rao, i n The Domestic Drama, p. 63, who c o n s i d e r s Candido "a masculine c o u n t e r p a r t of P a t i e n t G r i s s i l . " 34 The Honest Whore, I was performed at the Fortune Theatre by P r i n c e Henry's Men (Harbage, Shakespeare and the  R i v a l T r a d i t i o n s , p. 347). 3 5 The p o r t r a i t o f Candido r e v e a l s s i g n i f i c a n t p a r a l l e l s w i t h t h a t of Simon Eyre, the tradesman-hero of The  Shoemaker's H o l i d a y . J o e l Kaplan, i n " V i r t u e ' s H o l i d a y : Thomas Dekker and Simon Eyre," has observed t h a t Eyre " i s as much merchant as madcap," and t h a t h i s "opportunism and madness are most o f t e n i n s e p a r a b l e " (113). While i n the e a r l y p l a y Dekker c r e a t e d a c h a r a c t e r whose v i t a l i t y obscures m o r a l l y q u e s t i o n a b l e behavior, i n the Candido episodes of The Honest Whore, I the merchant's opportunism c l a s h e s with Dekker's i d e a l i z a t i o n of the c h a r a c t e r , suggesting a growing c y n i c i s m on Dekker's p a r t toward a world t h a t i s becoming thoroughly c o r r u p t e d by madness. 3 ^ J.V. Curry, Deception i n E l i z a b e t h a n Comedy (Chicago: L o y o l a U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1955), pT 99. 37 C h a r l o t t e Spivack, i n "Bedlam and B r i d e w e l l : I r o n i c Design i n The Honest Whore," Komos, 3 (1973), 12, observes 135 t h a t "Part I con t a i n s over twenty r e f e r e n c e s t o madness p r i o r to the madhouse scene i n the l a s t a c t . " 3 8 Quoted i n O.E.D. 3 9 Northrop Frye, Anatomy of C r i t i c i s m ( P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1957), p. 48. 4 0 Hoy, I I , 19. 4 1 Harbage, Shakespeare and the R i v a l T r a d i t i o n s , p. 249. The " s i n g l e e x c e p t i o n , " notes Harbage, i s "Chapman's B l i n d Beggar o f A l e x a n d r i a . " 4 2 Peter Ure, " P a t i e n t Madman and Honest Whore," 25. 4 3 Ure, 26. 4 4 Ure, 25. 4 5 Ure, 25-26. 4 6 Palumbo, "Trade and Custom i n 1 Honest Whore," 44. 4 7 Thomas Heywood, How a Man May Choose a Good Wife  from a Bad, i n Robert Dodsley's A S e l e c t C o l l e c t i o n of O l d  E n g l i s h P l a y s , ed. W.C. H a z l i t t (London: Reeves and Turner, 1874), IX, Scene I I I , pp. 54-55. A l l c i t a t i o n s from the p l a y are from t h i s e d i t i o n . 4 8 N e i l Rhodes, E l i z a b e t h a n Grotesque, p. 80. 4 9 My a n a l y s i s o f the Bethlem scene i s o b v i o u s l y a t odds with George P r i c e ' s statement t h a t " S e t t i n g the denouement i n Bedlam permits Dekker to e n t e r t a i n h i s audience w i t h a show of madmen, which has but l i t t l e r e l a t i o n to h i s drama" (Thomas Dekker, p. 63). 136 CHAPTER IV THE HONEST WHORE, II Part II of The Honest Whore belongs e n t i r e l y to Dekker and could have been w r i t t e n as e a r l y as one year w i t h i n the completion o f Part I . 1 I t i s impo s s i b l e , o f course, to determine why Dekker wrote the sequel. Some c r i t i c s suggest he may have been " s p e c i f i c a l l y commissioned to continue the s t o r y , and t h a t i t was only n a t u r a l to seek "to repeat a s u c c e s s f u l formula." Another p o s s i b i l i t y i s t h a t Dekker may have been i n s p i r e d by Shakespeare's Measure f o r Measure which bears s t r i k i n g s i m i l a r i t i e s to The Honest Whore, I I , but t e x t u a l u n c e r t a i n t i e s have made i t d i f f i c u l t to conclude which p l a y was w r i t t e n f i r s t . 4 A f u r t h e r s u p p o s i t i o n i s th a t "the n a r r a t i v e p o s s i b i l i t i e s haunted . . . [Dekker] as he considered the abrupt c o n c l u s i o n [ o f Part I ] i n which B e l l a f r o n t . . . t r i c k e d Matheo f o r the sake of an honor which c o u l d h a r d l y be regained i n name o n l y to the f i r s t of her many bed p a r t n e r s . " While i t i s u n l i k e l y we w i l l ever know what spurred Dekker to w r i t e P a r t I I , the p l a y achieves what P a r t I l a c k s — a f i r m l y c o n t r o l l e d p l o t s t r u c t u r e d around a c e n t r a l s u b j e c t , the marriage code, supported by a complex e t h i c a l d e s i g n . The p l a y ' s analogues are those domestic comedies from which The Honest Whore, I took i t s themes, although i n P a r t 137 II the marriage code i s brought i n t o h i g h r e l i e f . In Part I m a r i t a l c o n f l i c t was the s u b j e c t of the Candido p l o t ; at the c o n c l u s i o n of the p l a y B e l l a f r o n t and Matheo, l i k e I n f e l i c e and H i p p o l i t o , had j u s t been married and n e i t h e r marriage had been r e a l i z e d . The Honest Whore, II focuses more c o n s i s t e n t l y on the w i f e ' s behavior, the c h i e f source of i n t e r e s t i n most E n g l i s h domestic comedies of the time, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n r e l a t i o n to the husband's p r o g r e s s i o n from p r o d i g a l t o punished s i n n e r to reformed man. As Peter Ure notes, the " e t h i c a l b a s i s " of domestic p l a y s of t h i s k i n d i s "the d o c t r i n e , r e i t e r a t e d everywhere i n the t r e a t i s e s , t h a t the w i f e should win her mate with mildness." In How a Man  May Choose a Good Wife from a Bad, the prototype of these comedies, M i s t r e s s Arthur, even a f t e r her husband's a d u l t e r y , bigamy, and an attempt to murder her, pursues him with love and h u m i l i t y , q u a l i t i e s t h a t i n the end r e c l a i m the p r o f l i g a t e husband. A s i m i l a r p a t t e r n informs The  London P r o d i g a l ; Flowerdale, the young w a s t r e l , i s f i n a l l y d e serted by everyone except h i s l o y a l w i f e , Luce, whose p a t i e n t s u f f e r i n g s c h e m a t i c a l l y opens the path to penitence and r e f o r m a t i o n . The Honest Whore, II shares with the analogues an e x p l i c i t h o m i l e t i c framework p e r c e p t i b l e i n the development of the p a t i e n t - w i f e and prodigal-husband paradigms. The thoroughly reformed B e l l a f r o n t i s now the p a t i e n t w i f e of the s p e n d t h r i f t Matheo, who has sunk from c a r e f r e e swaggering to the depths of v u l g a r i t y and c r u e l t y . In accordance with the h o m i l e t i c formula Matheo squanders 138 e v e r y t h i n g , pawning even the gown from B e l l a f r o n t ' s back. Although urged by Matheo to r e t u r n to p r o s t i t u t i o n to earn money, B e l l a f r o n t remains l o y a l to her marriage. She i s rescued from economic d e s t i t u t i o n by the i n t e r v e n t i o n of her aging f a t h e r , j u s t as the wives i n the analogues are aided by benevolent a u t h o r i t y - f i g u r e s . To heighten B e l l a f r o n t ' s t r i a l s Dekker r e p l a c e s the l u s t y youth of the genre, who d e s i r e s to marry the p a t i e n t wife, with the married and middle-aged H i p p o l i t o , B e l l a f r o n t ' s o r i g i n a l reformer who i s now obsessed with seducing her. The a c t i o n of the main p l o t i s complicated by H i p p o l i t o ' s dual f u n c t i o n as B e l l a f r o n t ' s tempter and as prodigal-husband to I n f e l i c e , whose p a t i e n c e i s a l s o t e s t e d by H i p p o l i t o ' s t r a n s g r e s s i o n s . B e l l a f r o n t r e s i s t s H i p p o l i t o ' s advances, and i n the end the wives are r e u n i t e d with t h e i r husbands. B e l l a f r o n t ' s f i n a l words conform to the d i d a c t i c formula r e q u i r i n g the w i f e ' s p a t i e n c e to be h e l d up as exemplary: "women," she d e c l a r e s , " s h a l l l e a r n e of me, / To loue t h e i r husbands i n g r e a t e s t misery" ( V . i i . 4 6 8 - 4 6 9 ) . 8 The Candido a c t i o n , which i n Pa r t I f u n c t i o n e d as a double p l o t with separate c o n f l i c t s and r e s o l u t i o n s , now f u n c t i o n s as the subplot and serves "as a b r o a d l y comic p a r a l l e l t o the more complex i s s u e s of the main p l o t . " Thematic correspondence between main p l o t and subplot i s achieved i n the extension of the marriage code to the Candido a c t i o n i n which "the l i n e n d r a p e r ' s p a t i e n c e and h i s taming of a shrewish b r i d e form a comic r e v e r s a l of the main a c t i o n , and i n which Candido's h u m i l i a t i o n i n B r i d e w e l l p a r a l l e l s B e l l a f r o n t ' s . At the c o n c l u s i o n of the l i n e n d r a p e r ' s t r i a l s the Duke p r a i s e s Candido's p a t i e n c e as a v e r i t a b l e "Patterne f o r a King" ( V . i i . 4 9 7 ) . Whereas i n The Honest Whore, I s a t i r i c a l o b s e r v a t i o n c l a s h e d with the h o m i l e t i c design of the p l a y , i n Part II the e t h i c a l paradigms are m o d i f i e d by paradox, which r e p l a c e s s a t i r e as the dominant r h e t o r i c a l p r i n c i p l e . The comedy b u i l d s on a s e r i e s of i r o n i e s t h a t d r a m a t i c a l l y enlarge or s t r i k i n g l y r e v e r s e commonplace s t r u c t u r e s and themes. In the B e l l a f r o n t - M a t h e o a c t i o n the t e s t s of the p a t i e n t w i f e become the t r i a l s of a converted p r o s t i t u t e s t r u g g l i n g a g a i n s t economic d e p r i v a t i o n . In the I n f e l i c e -H i p p o l i t o a c t i o n m a r i t a l c o n f l i c t i s only t e n t a t i v e l y r e s o l v e d , and whatever harmony i s regained comes not through the w i f e ' s p a t i e n c e but through her l a c k of i t . The q u i n t e s s e n t i a l h o m i l e t i c p a t t e r n of s i n , punishment, d i s c o v e r y and redemption dramatized i n the prodigal-husband a c t i o n i s de-emphasized i n t h a t H i p p o l i t o ' s punishment f o r h i s t r a n s g r e s s i o n goes awry, and n e i t h e r he nor Matheo i s given the p r o d i g a l ' s stock p u b l i c - a p o l o g y speech f o r reprobate behavior. The subplot magnifies the e s s e n t i a l a m b i g u i t i e s of the main p l o t by p r e s e n t i n g i n c i d e n t s i n such a way t h a t they r e q u i r e absolute judgments, while exposing the shallowness of absolute moral p r e s c r i p t i o n s . The s u s t a i n e d t e n s i o n between the h o m i l e t i c s u p e r s t r u c t u r e and Dekker's s e n s i t i v i t y to paradox captures the v i c i s s i t u d e o f 140 domestic l i f e without the uneasiness of tone and the s t a r t l i n g dramatic i n c o n g r u i t i e s t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e d The  Honest Whore, I. I The main p l o t of The Honest Whore, II focuses, as do the p l a y ' s analogues, on the p l i g h t of the wife, and does so w i t h i n two corresponding a c t i o n s : both I n f e l i c e and B e l l a f r o n t are t e s t e d f o r t h e i r p a t i e n c e and f o r t h e i r f i d e l i t y to t h e i r p r o d i g a l husbands, whose b a c k s l i d i n g n e c e s s i t a t e s i n t e r a c t i o n between the c h a r a c t e r s . The p l a y opens on H i p p o l i t o ' s and I n f e l i c e ' s a c t i v e household as the couple prepare to r i d e to c o u r t . I n f e l i c e and H i p p o l i t o are no longer the remote young l o v e r s of P a r t I; they are now o l d e r and thoroughly f a m i l i a r with one another. Evoking an everyday domestic atmosphere, the d i a l o g u e between H i p p o l i t o ' s f r i e n d s and h i s footman r e v e a l s t h a t I n f e l i c e d e s i r e s her husband's company, while the footman's comic double-entendres r e s u l t i n g from h i s m i s p ronunciations s u s t a i n our i n t e r e s t d u r i n g the e x p o s i t o r y c o n v e r s a t i o n : Lodovico. How now, i s thy Lord ready? Bryan. No so crees sa mee, my Lady w i l l haue some l i t t l e Tyng i n her p e l l y f i r s t . C a r o l o . Oh, then t h e y ' l e to b r e a k e f a s t . Lod. Footman, does my Lord r i d e y ' t h Coach with my Lady, or on horsebacke? 141 Bryan. No f o o t l a , my Lady w i l l haue me Lord sheet wid her, my Lord w i l l sheet i n de one s i d e , and my Lady sheet i n de toder s i d e . (I.I.14-21) I n f e l i c e i s no longer the r e t i r i n g maiden she was i n P a r t I; she has a c q u i r e d a c o n s i d e r a b l e degree of a s s e r t i v e n e s s and i s not acted upon by anyone. In the opening v i g n e t t e of household l i f e Dekker, through I n f e l i c e ' s a c t i o n s , i n t r o d u c e s the theme of p a t i e n c e which he develops w i t h su s t a i n e d i r o n y . I n f e l i c e ' s and H i p p o l i t o ' s departure i s i n t e r r u p t e d by B e l l a f r o n t who has come to p e t i t i o n H i p p o l i t o to i n t e r c e d e i n Matheo's impending execution f o r k i l l i n g someone du r i n g a brawl. I t i s not c l e a r whether B e l l a f r o n t ' s presence immediately arouses H i p p o l i t o ' s p a s s i o n , but H i p p o l i t o stays to hear B e l l a f r o n t ' s s u p p l i c a t i o n and i n so doing d e f i e s I n f e l i c e ' s wishes. The scene ends a b r u p t l y as I n f e l i c e , r e v e a l i n g an u n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c l a c k of p a t i e n c e f o r a rebuked w i f e i n a domestic comedy, r i d e s away without her husband. Dekker's manipulation of the p a t i e n t - w i f e paradigm i s e s p e c i a l l y sharp i n the c o n f r o n t a t i o n scene between husband and w i f e a f t e r I n f e l i c e has l e a r n e d of H i p p o l i t o ' s p a s s i o n f o r the former courtesan. I n f e l i c e ' s i n s t i n c t u a l response i s to g r e e t H i p p o l i t o w i t h derogatory e p i t h e t s : I n f . Are you so c l o s e , you Bawd, you pandring slaue? Hip. How now, why I n f e l i c e ? what's your q u a r r e l l ? I n f . Out of my s i g h t , base v a r l e t , get thee gone. (III.i.101-103) 142 Once she re g a i n s her composure I n f e l i c e succeeds with the a i d o f reason and r h e t o r i c a l v i r t u o s i t y i n exposing her husband's h y p o c r i s y . I n f e l i c e ' s r h e t o r i c a l weapon i s the r i d d l e , a type o f metaphor which depends on " d e s c r i p t i v e containment: the s u b j e c t i s not d e s c r i b e d but c i r c u m s c r i b e d , a c i r c l e of words drawn around i t . " 1 " ' ' In I n f e l i c e ' s r i d d l e the c e n t r a l image i s the c l o c k , and H i p p o l i t o i s g r a d u a l l y compelled to equate the absence o f synchronism with d i s c o r d i n h i s marriage: Hip. prethee what's the matter? I n f . I f y o u ' l l needs must know, i t was about the c l o c k e : How workes the day, my Lord, (pray) by your watch? Hip. L e s t you c u f f e me, l i e t e l l you p r e s e n t l y : I am neere two. Inf . How, two? I am scarce at one. Hip. One of vs then goes f a l s e . I n f . Then sure ' t i s you, Mine goes by heavens D i a l l , (the Sunne) and i t goes t r u e . Hip. I th i n k e (indeed) mine runnes somewhat too f a s t . I n f . Set i t to mine (at one) then. (III.i.107-115 ) The r i d d l e i n c r e a s e s i n complexity as I n f e l i c e exposes H i p p o l i t o ' s b e t r a y a l through an emblematic r e n d i t i o n o f t h e i r c o n f l i c t , b r i n g i n g i n t o h i g h r e l i e f the balance between the refinement o f her language and the depth and range o f her emotions: Hip. Y'are very p l e a s a n t , Madam. I n f . Yet not merry. Hip. Why, I n f e l i c e , what should make you sad? I n f . Nothing my Lord, but my f a l s e watch, pray t e l l me, 143 You see, my c l o c k e , or yours i s out of frame, Must we vpon the Workeman l a y the blame, Or on our selues t h a t keepe them? (11. 119-125) Puzzled by h i s w i f e ' s words, H i p p o l i t o attempts to subdue her with amorous p l e a s : I read Strange Comments i n those margines o f your lookes: Your cheekes of l a t e are ( l i k e bad p r i n t e d Bookes) So dimly c h a r a c t e r e d , I can scarce s p e l l , One l i n e of loue i n them. . . . (11. 127-131) I n f e l i c e enhances her eloquence when she j o i n s language w i t h gesture t o achieve her d e s i r e d e f f e c t . A d m i t t i n g " A l l i s not w e l l indeed, my dear e s t Lord" (1. 132) I n f e l i c e k n e e l s , p l e a d i n g with H i p p o l i t o t o "thinke me not thy w i f e " (1. 136) as she shrewdly t e l l s her f a l s e s t o r y about her love a f f a i r with H i p p o l i t o ' s footman. H i p p o l i t o , b e l i e v i n g the s t o r y , becomes enraged and proceeds to i n v e i g h a g a i n s t women's i n f i d e l i t i e s (11. 157-180). When asked how Bryan seduced her, I n f e l i c e shows H i p p o l i t o the l e t t e r and g i f t s he had sent t o B e l l a f r o n t and responds with an eloquent parody o f h i s t i r a d e , s e c u r i n g h i s admission o f g u i l t : I n f . Oh Men, You were c r e a t e d Angels, pure and f a i r e , But s i n c e the f i r s t f e l l , worse then D e u i l s you are. You should our s h i e l d s be, but you proue our rods. Were there no Men, Women might l i u e l i k e gods. G u i l t y my Lord? Hip. Yes, g u i l t y my good Lady. (11. 186-192) 144 Shaken by H i p p o l i t o ' s sudden mocking tone, I n f e l i c e commands him from her: Nay, you may laugh, but h e n c e f o r t h shun my bed, With no whores l e a u i n g s l i e be poisoned. (11. 193-194) I n f e l i c e ' s anger and s e l f - a s s e r t i o n c o n t r a s t s h a r p l y w i t h the extreme h u m i l i t y normally expected from wives i n domestic comedy. Her r h e t o r i c a l s k i l l i s a l s o anomalous; her eloquence i s s u p e r i o r t o her husband's, and she does not y i e l d to h i s c l e v e r i m p o r t u n i t i e s . The l a t i t u d e Dekker allows I n f e l i c e i s o n l y p a r t i a l l y a t t r i b u t a b l e to v e r i s i m i l i t u d e with r e s p e c t to c l a s s . C i n t h i o G i r a l d i , the s i x t e e n t h - c e n t u r y c r i t i c and play w r i g h t , observed t h a t i t was common t h e a t r i c a l p r a c t i c e f o r young l a d i e s to be humble and t i m i d , and matrons chaste and " s o l i c i t o u s " ; no woman of humble b i r t h should show s p e c i a l i n t e l l i g e n c e , but a r i s t o c r a t i c women, who are " l e s s c o n s t r i c t e d by household d u t i e s and more f a m i l i a r with the world," may show more s a g a c i t y than t h e i r l e s s s o p h i s t i c a t e d c o u n t e r p a r t s . ^ Dekker's p o r t r a y a l o f female s a g a c i t y breaks completely with the gen e r a l r u l e of decorum when he makes B e l l a f r o n t , a former whore from the ranks o f the Jacobean underworld, I n f e l i c e ' s equal i n i n t e l l e c t u a l a s t u t e n e s s . I r o n i c a l l y , both women r e v e a l t h e i r u n y i e l d i n g natures i n t h e i r eloquent r e s i s t a n c e to H i p p o l i t o , whose formal t r a i n i n g i n f o r e n s i c o r a t o r y g i v e s him a decided advantage i n debate. In The Honest Whore, I Dekker subjected 145 B e l l a f r o n t to a p i e c e o f o r a t o r y from H i p p o l i t o who turned her i n t o a reformed p r o s t i t u t e ; B e l l a f r o n t ' s r e formation, however, was accomplished amid c o n t r a d i c t o r y messages. In Part II H i p p o l i t o ' s moral l a s s i t u d e i s no longer merely i m p l i e d , f o r h i s h y p o c r i s y i s a r t f u l l y exposed by I n f e l i c e and the former courtesan. Dekker i n i t i a t e s the B e l l a f r o n t -H i p p o l i t o debate i n Pa r t I I with H i p p o l i t o ' s i n v i t a t i o n t o B e l l a f r o n t to be h i s m i s t r e s s . A Jacobean audience f a m i l i a r with the popular m o t i f o f the w i f e ' s temptation i n domestic drama would p e r c e i v e H i p p o l i t o ' s i n v i t a t i o n as the prelude to one of two c o m p l i c a t i o n s . I f the p l a y were a tragedy, the s p e c t a t o r would a n t i c i p a t e B e l l a f r o n t ' s f a l l . Anne Frankford, the her o i n e o f A Woman K i l l e d , i s a prototype of the f a l l e n w i f e . Anne i s a model wife b e f o r e her seduction, but she f a l l s through n a t u r a l i n f e r i o r i t y and weakness of w i l l when she y i e l d s q u i c k l y and e a s i l y to Wendoll, whom she h a r d l y knows. In domestic comedy, on the other hand, the sp e c t a t o r would expect the w i f e t o r e j e c t her s u i t o r with p i e t y and h u m i l i t y , a response followed by a s e r i e s o f p l a t i t u d e s on the n e c e s s i t y o f constancy i n marriage. M i s t r e s s A r t h u r , i n How a Man May Choose, does not y i e l d to her admirer's o f f e r to marry and rescue her from her c r u e l husband; however, the wi f e never r e l i e s on eloquence as a weapon. She c o n s i s t e n t l y and meekly r e j e c t s Anselm's advances wi t h pious r e p l i e s , r e i t e r a t i n g f r e q u e n t l y her d i s b e l i e f i n her husband's c r i m i n a l a c t i v i t i e s . Heywood can e a s i l y be accused o f su s p e c t i n g h i s own he r o i n e ' s r e s o l v e 146 because the sed u c t i o n scenes never show Anselm and M i s t r e s s A r t h u r alone on stage; e i t h e r F u l l e r or another c h a r a c t e r i s i n v a r i a b l y present when the l u s t y youth woos the p a t i e n t w i f e . Yet the ambiguity i s b u r i e d , f o r we are never s e r i o u s l y p ermitted to q u e s t i o n how M i s t r e s s A r t h u r would have behaved had another c h a r a c t e r not been pres e n t . M i s t r e s s A r t h u r ' s response i s t y p i c a l o f he r o i n e s i n domestic comedies where the wife' s conduct i s "not onl y o f v i t a l importance to the p l a y ' s p r o f e s s e d d i d a c t i c i n t e n t i o n , " but i s subordinated t o "the i n f l u e n c e of the 1 o conduct books and other l i t e r a t u r e on domestic r e l a t i o n s . " C h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n i n p l a y s l i k e How a May May Choose i s two-dimensional because i t depends f o r i t s e f f e c t on a r e d u c t i v e body of knowledge t h a t does not allow f o r f u l l y r e a l i z e d c h a r a c t e r s . Though l i k e Heywood Dekker does not allow h i s comic her o i n e s t o f a l l , he does not r e s t r i c t t h e i r i n t e l l e c t u a l h o r i z o n s . Both B e l l a f r o n t and I n f e l i c e are unique as hero i n e s i n a domestic comedy i n t h a t Dekker matches t h e i r eloquence a g a i n s t H i p p o l i t o ' s . 1 4 B e l l a f r o n t ' s r e j e c t i o n of her s u i t o r , moreover, i s d r a m a t i c a l l y unorthodox not o n l y because i t claims f o r her a h e r e t o f o r e male p r e r o g a t i v e , but because i t a r i s e s from the f o r c e o f her emotional l i f e , which balances the superimposed demands of d o c t r i n e and decorum. In h i s a n a l y s i s of the B e l l a f r o n t - H i p p o l i t o debate i n The Honest Whore, II Michael Manheim observes t h a t B e l l a f r o n t ' s use of r h e t o r i c , though not as s o p h i s t i c a t e d or 147 l e a r n e d as H i p p o l i t o ' s , i s p e r s u a s i v e because of her "choice of images and the nature of her exemplum"; her imagery i s "more concrete than H i p p o l i t o ' s at every t u r n , " and the " s t o r y she t e l l s i s not based on legend but on her own 15 experience . . . The exemplum, I b e l i e v e , claims f o r B e l l a f r o n t r h e t o r i c a l v i r t u o s i t y because i t u n i f i e s the s u b j e c t i v e content w i t h an a b s t r a c t r h e t o r i c a l design, engaging f u l l y the audience's sympathy: L i k e an i l l husband (tho I knew the same, To be my vndoing) followed I t h a t game. Oh when the worke of Lus t had earn'd my bread, To t a s t e i t , how I trembled, l e s t each b i t , Ere i t went downe, should choake me (chewing i t ? ) My bed seem'd l i k e a Cabin hung i n H e l l , The Bawde H e l l s P o r t e r , and the l i c k o r i s h wine The Pander f e t c h ' d , was l i k e an e a s i e F i n e , For which, me thought I l e a s ' d away my soule, And oftentimes (euen i n my q u a f f i n g bowle) Thus s a i d I to my s e l f e , I am a whore. And haue drunke downe thus much co n f u s i o n more. (IV.i.351-364) In i s o l a t i o n these twelves l i n e s c o n s t i t u t e an epigram, a p o e t i c form expressed i n c o u p l e t s and c h a r a c t e r i z e d by p i t h i n e s s of language, the tone of which i s u s u a l l y e i t h e r i r o n i c or gnomic. Through B e l l a f r o n t ' s exemplum Dekker o f f e r s a trenchant and compassionate d e s c r i p t i o n of the emotional e f f e c t s of p r o s t i t u t i o n . "What d i s t i n g u i s h e s the • epigram . . . from p l a t i t u d e , " w r i t e s Northrop Frye, " i s very f r e q u e n t l y r h e t o r i c a l w i t , " the e f f e c t of which i s the f u s i o n of "emotion and i n t e l l e c t . " " ^ The axiomatic tone of B e l l a f r o n t ' s response i s i n t e n s e l y p e r s o n a l i n i t s c o n c eption: i n the i n i t i a l c o u p l e t the r e p e t i t i o n of the 148 f i r s t person pronoun s u s t a i n s the s i m i l e i n t r o d u c i n g the theme of s p i r i t u a l " i l l [ n e s s ] . " The p e r s o n a l pronoun i s repeated three times i n the second independent c l a u s e (11. 353-355). Interposed between the f i r s t and second c o u p l e t s l i n e 353 ("Oh when the worke of Lus t had earned my bread") i s thrown i n t o h i g h r e l i e f by i t s i s o l a t i o n , which emphasizes the a l i e n a t i n g e f f e c t of the whore's t r a d e . The theme of the d i s s o l u t i o n of the s e l f i s p o i g n a n t l y captured i n the f i n a l independent c l a u s e (11. 356-364) through metaphors drawn from B e l l a f r o n t ' s former trade and from the worlds of law and commerce. The t e r s e and f o r c i b l e l i n e , "My bed seem'd l i k e a Cabin hung i n H e l l , " l i k e l i n e 353, i s lodged between two c o u p l e t s , h i g h l i g h t i n g s p i r i t u a l degeneracy: the s i m i l e harbors the E l i z a b e t h a n a s s o c i a t i o n between "cabin" and death, cabins being temporary b u r i a l s i t e s f o r v i c t i m s of the plague, and between "cabins" and 1 7 . . . . . . h a r l o t s . S i g n i f i c a n t m e t r i c a l v a r i a t i o n occurs i n the subsequent co u p l e t , *c ' S s x X X S" * ? The Bawde H e l l s P o r t e r , and the l i c k o r i s h wine m , x^ /^x / n „ X , .< X s * „S The Pander fetched, was l i k e an e a s i e F i n e , where t e n s i o n between spondaic, iambic, and p y r r h i c impulses a l t e r n a t e l y weighs down and l i g h t e n s the rhythm as anguish gi v e s way to o s t e n s i b l e r e l i e f , o n l y to i n t e n s i f y d e s p a i r : the wine of o b l i v i o n i s " l i k e an e a s i e F i n e , " s p u r r i n g B e l l a f r o n t to " l e a s e away" her "soule" (1. 359). The term " F i n e " r e f e r s i n the f i r s t i n s t a n c e to "exemption 149 from punishment . . . by means of payment" or simply to payment, but other meanings of " c e s s a t i o n " or "death" (O.E.D.) are a l s o i m p l i e d . In the f i n a l c o u p l e t we overhear B e l l a f r o n t d u r i n g the moment of s e l f - c o n f r o n t a t i o n when she admits to her " s e l f e " she i s a "whore," the courtesan's burdened s p i r i t r e v e a l i n g i t s e l f i n the spondaic X / / / X s u b s t i t u t i o n o f the f i n a l l i n e : "And haue drunke downe thus y x s x s much c o n f u s i o n more." The o p e r a t i v e word "confusion" i s a complex term s i g n i f y i n g a t once moral and p s y c h o l o g i c a l s t a s i s : i t s e t h i c a l d e n o t a t i o n i s the " d i s c o m f i t u r e " o f moral purpose; i n Renaissance psychology the term r e f e r s to "mental p e r t u r b a t i o n or a g i t a t i o n such as prevents the f u l l command of the f a c u l t i e s , " a p r e d i s p o s i t i o n to madness. B e l l a f r o n t ' s language enhances her i n d i v i d u a l i t y and the complexity o f her moral c h o i c e s . Her t r a n s i t i o n to the v i r t u o u s l i f e , moreover, has not been a mechanical one. Her candid response to Orlando's feigned c r u e l t y , f o r i n s t a n c e , i n d i c a t e s her awareness of the p r e c a r i o u s n e s s o f her s i t u a t i o n : I f as you say I'm poore, r e l i e u e me then, Let me not s e l l my body to base men. You c a l l me Strumpet, Heauen knowes I am none: Your c r u e l t y may d r i u e me t o be one: Let not t h a t sinne be yours, l e t not the shame Of common Whore l i u e longer then my name. That cunning Bawd (Necessity) n i g h t and day P l o t s t o vndoe me; d r i u e t h a t Hag away, L e s t being at lowest ebbe, as now I am, I sinke f o r euer. (IV.i.129-138) 150 Once again Dekker avoids the bland and f l u e n t verse o f the stock p a t i e n t w i f e . B e l l a f r o n t ' s r e s o l v e i s b u t t r e s s e d by her eloquence and s e l f - a s s e r t i o n . Her s u s t a i n e d admonition of her f a t h e r — a s i n her question, "Is t h i s your comfort, when so many yeeres / You ha l e f t me f r o z e n t o d e a t h ? " — d e v i a t e s s h a r p l y from the s e l f - e f f a c e m e n t of her coun t e r p a r t s , and her frequent rebukes of Matheo contravene the r u l e o f decorum r e q u i r i n g the wife to submit humbly and se r e n e l y to her husband's w i l l : Thou a r t a Gamester, prethee throw a l l , Set a l l vpon one c a s t , we kneele and pray, And s t r u g g l e f o r l i f e , y e t must be c a s t away. Meet misery q u i c k l y then, s p l i t a l l , s e l l a l l , And when thou h a s t s o l d a l l , spend i t , but I beseech thee B u i l d not thy mind on me to coyne thee more . . . . ( I I I . i i . 6 4 - 7 0 ) Dekker's man i p u l a t i o n of c o n v e n t i o n a l dramatic paradigms expresses h i s c h a l l e n g e o f c e r t a i n orthodox p h i l o s o p h i c a l n o t i o n s o f woman. In Marian l i t e r a t u r e and i n many Renaissance t h e o l o g i c a l and p h i l o s o p h i c a l w r i t i n g s about women, there were a few domains i n which woman was deemed s u p e r i o r to man. C e r t a i n v i r t u e s , l i k e " l o n g s u f f e r i n g , h u m i l i t y , p a t i e n c e , compassion and p u b l i c c h a r i t y " were 19 f r e q u e n t l y " a s s o c i a t e d more wit h women than men," but i n other domains woman was con s i d e r e d n a t u r a l l y i n f e r i o r to man. A commonplace of A r i s t o t e l i a n d o c t r i n e was t h a t "woman i s a s s o c i a t e d with the p a s s i v e and man with the a c t i v e . "2(-) F o l l o w i n g A r i s t o t l e , a number of Renaissance commentators 151 considered woman's p a s s i v i t y an impediment to moral behavior. In 1552 R o b o r t e l l o d e c l a r e d woman's i n f e r i o r i t y t o man on the b a s i s of her "tendency t o v i c e " and her " l e s s impulsion to v i r t u e because of weaker powers of reason and judgment," an i m p e r f e c t i o n which s u i t e d her to the " n a t u r a l c o n d i t i o n o f marriage, wherein she "must bend her w i l l t o 9 ] the w i l l and a u t h o r i t y o f her husband . . . ."^-^ Other humanists, both E n g l i s h and c o n t i n e n t a l , granted woman the a b i l i t y to a c t m o r a l l y w i t h i n the terms of her n a t u r a l obedience to her husband. Woman, ac c o r d i n g to M o n t e c a t i n i , possesses the v i r t u e s o f temperance, l i b e r a l i t y , j u s t i c e and a l l others but of a d i f f e r e n t c l a s s ( s p e c i e s ) and i n a d i f f e r e n t way (modus) from man Her r o l e i n l i f e causes them t o be expressed d i f f e r e n t l y : the same p e r f e c t i o n of v i r t u e i s p o s s i b l e to the person who must obey, i f i t i s a p p r o p r i a t e l y adapted. Although male and female v i r t u e were i d e n t i c a l f o r many neo A r i s t o t e l i a n s , the m a n i f e s t a t i o n of v i r t u e i n v a r i a b l y d i f f e r e d a c c o r d i n g to gender: whereas man p e r f e c t e d h i s v i r t u e through command and eloquence, woman p e r f e c t e d hers through obedience and s i l e n c e . The d u a l i t y was upheld by co n s e r v a t i v e and non-conservative t h i n k e r s a l i k e . Moral p h i l o s o p h e r s such as Erasmus, Agrippa and V i v e s r e t a i n e d woman's t h e o l o g i c a l s u b o r d i n a t i o n t o man, arguing t h a t because male and female c a p a c i t y f o r v i r t u e i n genere i s d i f f e r e n t , men and women "should p r a c t i s e d i f f e r e n t v i r t u e s which are o f t e n complementary i n c h a r a c t e r ( s i l e n c e , 9 3 eloquence; obedience, command)." S i m i l a r l y , the'neo-p l a t o n i s t s , who claimed men and women have i d e n t i c a l c a p a c i t i e s f o r v i r t u e , and "should p r a c t i s e i d e n t i c a l 24 v i r t u e s , o f t e n q u a l i f i e d t h e i r view, c o n c u r r i n g t h a t "woman's d i f f e r e n t domestic and s o c i a l f u n c t i o n imposes on her the p r a c t i c e of c e r t a i n v i r t u e s not r e q u i r e d i n man (modesty, s i l e n c e ) and r e l e a s e s her from the need to c u l t i v a t e others which r e l a t e e s p e c i a l l y t o man's r o l e i n 9 ^ s o c i e t y and the household (courage, eloquence)." T h i s view was shared by C a s t i g l i o n e (The C o u r t i e r , 1528) and by Ni c h o l a s F a r e t (L'honnete homme, 1630) who claimed f o r women equal c a p a c i t y f o r v i r t u e w h i l e a f f i r m i n g the orthodox view o f woman's m a r i t a l subservience and the husband's duty to command. In the E n g l i s h h o m i l i e s and t r e a t i s e s , both E l i z a b e t h a n and Jacobean, a common source o f i n t e r e s t was the extent o f the w i f e ' s submission t o her husband and the qu e s t i o n o f the husband's duty to ex e r t h i s a u t h o r i t y . The general consensus was t h a t harmony should serve as the n a t u r a l s o l u t i o n f o r a l l m a r i t a l d i s p u t e s , a view that c h a r a c t e r i z e d the s h i f t i n emphasis from s c h o l a s t i c to Renaissance w r i t i n g s on the q u e s t i o n o f the wife' s s t a t u s i n marriage. According to Renaissance humanists woman " i s c r e a t e d t o be not [man's] servant or h i s m i s t r e s s but h i s companion; f o r t h i s reason she i s c r e a t e d from h i s r i b , not h i s f o o t or h i s head." z However, when compromise f a i l e d i t was the husband's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to r u l e , a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y 27 based on h i s n a t u r a l s u p e r i o r i t y . Many domestic comedies e x p l o i t e d f o r the purpose of d i d a c t i c i n s t r u c t i o n the dictum 153 t h a t a wife should submit t o the a u t h o r i t y of her husband. How a Man May Choose, f o r example, ends wi t h the reformed p r o d i g a l ' s advice t o would-be-husbands on how to choose between a good and bad w i f e : "A good w i f e , " we l e a r n , w i l l q u i e t l y "do her husband's w i l l , " but "a bad w i f e " w i l l be "cros s , s p i t e f u l and madding" (p. 96). Once again, the s o l u t i o n i s based on p l a t i t u d e r a t h e r than on the w i f e ' s c h a r a c t e r . The Honest Whore, I I i s a r a r e p l a y i n which women overcome a man i n debate, and a r a r e domestic comedy because the h e r o i n e s defend t h e i r v i r t u e w i t h command and courage. In a l l o w i n g B e l l a f r o n t and I n f e l i c e recourse to eloquence r a t h e r than bombast as the weapon wit h which they a s s e r t t h e i r v i r t u e , Dekker undercuts the p r e v a l e n t stereotype o f woman's i n f e r i o r i t y based on weakness of i n t e l l e c t . While B e l l a f r o n t ' s l o n g s u f f e r i n g i s c o n s i s t e n t with the moral and t h e o l o g i c a l view of women's p a t i e n c e and endurance as the area where female v i r t u e e q u a l l e d and o f t e n surpassed t h a t of men, B e l l a f r o n t and I n f e l i c e ' s r e j e c t i o n of s i l e n c e a l t e r s the e t h i c a l paradigm t h a t deemed eloquence and command t o be the e x c l u s i v e p r o v i n c e s o f the male. II That Dekker rescues the p a t i e n t - w i f e model from a r e d u c t i v e l i t e r a r y and p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r a d i t i o n has been ignored by those c r i t i c s who see B e l l a f r o n t ' s p e r s i s t e n c e i n 154 v i r t u e as p a r t of Dekker's o v e r r i d i n g concern with " d i d a c t i c II 28 t h e a t r i c a l i s m . Alexander Leggatt sees the reformed whore as the "norm of the p l a y and of others of i t s k i n d , " and argues t h a t B e l l a f r o n t and the c h a r a c t e r s with whom she i n t e r a c t s are o n l y "machines to i l l u s t r a t e moral p o i n t s , " an e f f e c t achieved "with a coldness of temper t h a t i s f i n a l l y 2 9 s e l f - d e f e a t i n g . " Yet while the climax of the p l a y c o n s i s t s of B e l l a f r o n t ' s readmission i n t o her f a t h e r ' s household a f t e r tremendous ha r d s h i p and o n l y a f t e r s o c i e t y has accepted her reform, B e l l a f r o n t ' s p a t i e n c e i s p o r t r a y e d with unsparing r e a l i s m and s u s t a i n e d ambiguity. In a d d i t i o n to endowing h i s heroine w i t h i n t e l l e c t u a l i n t e g r i t y , Dekker transforms the p a t i e n t w i f e i n t o a converted whore s t r u g g l i n g f o r s o c i a l approval and economic s u r v i v a l . The whore i s a stock f i g u r e i n contemporaneous p l a y s such as How  a Man May Choose, A F a i r Maid o f Bristow, and Marston's The  Dutch Courtesan, but i n these p l a y s she i s a thoroughly s i n i s t e r f o r c e and her v i l l a i n y and mercenariness almost de s t r o y the hero. In The Honest Whore, II she i s the h e r o i n e enduring the s u s p i c i o n s of a s k e p t i c a l world. Nor, we have seen, does B e l l a f r o n t p e r s i s t i n her v i r t u e without d i f f i c u l t y . The t e n s i o n between B e l l a f r o n t ' s exemplary pa t i e n c e and the desperate c o n d i t i o n of her l i f e i s sharpest i n the scenes d e p i c t i n g her household l i f e . B e l l a f r o n t must face the i r o n y t h a t , having given up p r o s t i t u t i o n , she has become the s l a v e of n e c e s s i t y . Before her conversion, B e l l a f r o n t was the v i c t i m of her own trade and of the abuse 155 of others, but she could boast economic independence. A f t e r her c o n v e r s i o n she i s confronted not only with her husband's c r u e l t y but with near s t a r v a t i o n . The i r o n y i s accentuated i n the c o n t r a s t between B e l l a f r o n t ' s comfortable l i f e i n Part I of The Honest Whore (II.i.1-239) and her a b j e c t e x i s t e n c e i n P a r t II ( I l . i . l -139). That the d e s c r i p t i o n o f B e l l a f r o n t ' s household begins a t p r e c i s e l y the same p o i n t i n each p l a y suggests the p a r a l l e l may have been i n t e n t i o n a l . In Part I the courtesan's r e s i d e n c e , a l b e i t m o r a l l y c o r r u p t , i s o r n a t e l y f u r n i s h e d , and B e l l a f r o n t h e r s e l f i s elegant and s t y l i s h : she has the means to buy "Hypocras" (1. 78), an e x o t i c wine, and "manchet" (1. 81), a f i n e expensive bread, and she has a l l the p e r s o n a l a m e n i t i e s — " c u s h i o n , " " l o o k i n g - g l a s s e , " " c h a f i n g d i s h " (1. 43), " r u f f e and poker" (1. 13), " f a l l " and "gown" (1. 4 9 ) — w h i c h no f a s h i o n - c o n s c i o u s woman of her 30 day d i d without. In Part II B e l l a f r o n t ' s household has been ravaged by poverty, and her beauty has been eroded by s u f f e r i n g , an o b s e r v a t i o n made e a r l y i n the p l a y : Lodovico. . . . I scarce know her [ B e l l a f r o n t ] , f o r the beauty of her cheeke hath ( l i k e the Moone) s u f f r e d strange E c l i p s e s s i n c e I beheld i t . . . . (I .i.96-98) Emphasis on B e l l a f r o n t ' s impoverished household i s s u s t a i n e d throughout the p l a y . In the f o u r t h a c t Orlando p r o v i d e s a 156 c y n i c a l and d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n of the shabbiness of h i s daughter's home: what, are a l l your S u b i e c t s gone a Sheepe-sheating? not a Maid? not a Man? not so much as a Cat? you keepe a good house b e l i k e , i u s t l i k e one of your pro-f e s s i o n , euery roome with bare w a l l s , and a h a l f e -headed bed to v a u l t vpon (as a l l your bawdy houses are.) Pray who are your V p h o l s t e r e r s ? Oh, the S p i d e r s , I see, they bestow hangings vpon you. (IV.i.44-49) Orlando's comparison between B e l l a f r o n t ' s household and the whore's q u a r t e r s i s undercut by the m a t e r i a l w e l l - b e i n g B e l l a f r o n t knew as a whore. B e l l a f r o n t ' s response, "She t h a t ' s a Whore, / L i u e s g a l l a n t , f a r e s w e l l , i s not ( l i k e me) poore" (11. 58-59) makes e x p l i c i t the c o m p l i c a t i o n inh e r e n t i n her c o n v e r s i o n . The i r o n y i s e s p e c i a l l y poignant i n the scene where Matheo, who has l o s t h i s cloak and sword d u r i n g a gambling s e s s i o n , s t r i p s from B e l l a f r o n t ' s body the o n l y remnant of her former l i f e — h e r s i l k g o w n — i n order to pay h i s debts ( I I I . i i . 3 4 - 3 5 ) . B e l l a f r o n t , whose s u p p l i c a t i o n s of heaven have so f a r gone unheard, verges on d e s p a i r : Matheo. l i e pawne you by 'th Lord, to your very eye-browes. B e l l . With a l l my heart, s i n c e heauen w i l l haue me poore, As good be drown'd at sea, as drown'd at shore. ( I I I . i i . 4 0 - 4 2 ) 157 B e l l a f r o n t ' s p o t e n t i a l l y t r a g i c outcome, however, i s avert e d by the comic order o f the p l o t . Orlando, who as comic redeemer rescues h i s daughter from d e s t i t u t i o n , a r t i c u l a t e s the p l a y ' s d i d a c t i c p o i n t of view. His c h o r i c pronouncements form a l i t a n y on the a c t i o n : O r l . He t h a t makes go l d h i s wife, but not h i s whore, He t h a t at noone-day walkes by a p r i s o n doore, He t h a t 1 i t h Sunne i s n e i t h e r beame nor moate, He t h a t ' s not mad a f t e r a P e t t i c o a t e , He f o r whom ppore mens curses d i g no graue, He t h a t i s n e i t h e r Lords nor Lawyers slaue, He t h a t makes T h i s h i s Sea, and That h i s Shore, He t h a t i n ' s C o f f i n i s r i c h e r then be f o r e , He t h a t counts Youth h i s Sword, and Age h i s S t a f f e , He whose r i g h t hand carues h i s owne Epi t a p h , He t h a t vpon h i s death-bead i s a Swan, And Dead, no Crow, he i s a happy man. ( I . i i . 5 4 - 6 5 ) As "comic c o n t r o l l e r , " w r i t e s L a r r y Champion, Orlando ensures "not o n l y t h a t a benevolent a u t h o r i t y stands behind the a c t i o n to prevent d i s a s t e r from s t r i k i n g but a l s o t h a t t h i s power i s d i r e c t i n g the a c t i o n t o a c o n c l u s i o n both p l e a s a n t and b e n e f i c i a l . " L i k e h i s forerunner J a n i c o l a i n P a t i e n t G r i s s i l Orlando embodies the p r i n c i p l e o f c a r i t a s . Orlando's comparison o f h i m s e l f with the P e l i c a n , whose nature i s t o "picke her owne b r e s t to n o u r i s h her yong ones" ( I . i i . 1 7 4 ) and whom Dekker elsewhere c a l l s "the b i r d o f 158 C h a r i t y ,1 r e c a l l s J a n i c o l a ' s d e t e r m i n a t i o n to p r o v i d e f o r h i s own d e s t i t u t e f a m i l y r e g a r d l e s s of the s u f f e r i n g i t 33 causes him. U n l i k e J a n i c o l a , however, Orlando i s not poor; he i s the only f i g u r e i n the p l a y who dispenses bounty, i n the end rewarding B e l l a f r o n t and Matheo with a l l the b e n e f i t s of h i s household: O r l . . . . p l a y thou the Whore no more, nor thou the T h i e f e agen, My house s h a l l be t h i n e , My meate s h a l l be t h i n e , And so s h a l l my wine, But my money s h a l l bee mine, And y e t when I d i e , (So thou doest not f l i e h i e ) Take a l l , y et good Matheo, mend. (V.ii.477-485) B e l l a f r o n t ' s s p i r i t u a l r e g e n e r a t i o n e l e v a t e s her to a new world t h a t c o n t r a s t s remarkably w i t h the a b j e c t one she formerly i n h a b i t e d . "Domestic comedy," w r i t e s Northrop F r y e , " i s u s u a l l y based on the C i n d e r e l l a archetype, the k i n d of t h i n g t h a t happens when . . . v i r t u e i s rewarded, the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of an i n d i v i d u a l very l i k e the reader i n t o the s o c i e t y a s p i r e d to by both, a s o c i e t y ushered i n w i t h a happy r u s t l e of b r i d a l gowns and b a n k n o t e s . "3 4 While Orlando i n essence f u n c t i o n s as an e a r t h l y m i n i s t e r of providence who makes p o s s i b l e B e l l a f r o n t ' s admission to a b e t t e r w o r l d , there are moments when the o l d man's p e r s o n a l l i m i t a t i o n s are exposed so t h a t the c h a r a c t e r does not completely lac k i n t e r i o r i t y . I n i t i a l l y , Orlando i s presented as a c r u s t y and d i s i l l u s i o n e d o l d man whose penchant f o r f i n e l y honed p l a t i t u d e s surpasses h i s a b i l i t y t o f o r g i v e . W i t h i n moments of h i s l a c k l u s t r e verse d e s c r i p t i o n of happiness ( I . i i . 5 4 - 6 5 ) Orlando d e s c r i b e s t h a t same "true p i c t u r e " (1. 49) i n prose, while h i s p r o l i x i t y exposes h i s s e l f - r i g h t e o u s n e s s : A f t e r t h i s P i c t u r e . . . doe I s t r i u e to haue my face drawne: For I am not couetous, am not i n debt, s i t n e i t h e r a t the Dukes s i d e , nor l i e at h i s f e e t e . Wenching and I haue done, no man I wrong, no man I f e a r e , no man I fee; I take heed how f a r r e I walke, because I know yonders my home. I would not d i e l i k e a r i c h man, to c a r r y nothing away saue a winding sheete: but l i k e a good man, to leaue Orlando behind me. I sowed leaues i n my Youth, and I reape now Bookes i n my Age. I f i l l t h i s hand, and empty t h i s , and when the b e l l s h a l l t o l l f o r me, i f I proue a Swan, and go s i n g i n g to my nest, why so? I f a Crow! throw me out f o r c a r r i o n , and p i c k out mine eyes. ( I . i i . 6 7 - 7 7 ) We a l s o l e a r n t h a t d e s p i t e Orlando's c a r e f r e e e x t e r i o r the aged f a t h e r has s u f f e r e d as a r e s u l t o f h i s b i t t e r n e s s toward h i s daughter s i n c e r e j e c t i n g her seventeen years e a r l i e r , a f e e l i n g d e t e c t e d i n the b i t t e r tone of h i s words: I haue a l i t t l e , haue a l l t h i n g s ; I haue nothing; I haue no w i f e , I haue no c h i l d , haue no c h i c k , and why should not I be i n my Iocundare? ( I . i i . 8 0 - 8 2 ) 160 Yet he has d i f f i c u l t y seeing beyond the narrow scope of p l a t i t u d e . He r e l a t e s the cause of B e l l a f r o n t ' s r e j e c t i o n , f o r example, through a p a r a b l e of Youth and Age: . . . t h i s o l d Tree had one Branch, (and but one Branch growing out of i t ) I t was young, i t was f a i r e , i t was s t r a i g h t ; I pruinde i t d a i l y , d r e s t i t c a r e f u l l y , kept i t from the winde, help'd i t to the Sunne, ye t f o r a l l my s k i l l i n p l a n t i n g , i t grew crooked', i t bore Crabs; I hewed i t downe. ( I . i i . 8 9 - 9 3 ) Dekker p o r t r a y s an o l d man who has d i f f i c u l t y a c c e p t i n g the m u t a b i l i t y of l i f e and who p e r c e i v e s human behavior as a s e r i e s of s t a t i c images which he imposes upon h i s immediate r e a l i t y . While Orlando's d i s g u i s e as Pacheco allows him to penetrate beneath the s u r f a c e of everyday l i f e , he undergoes no in n e r development of c h a r a c t e r and a t t a i n s no added s e l f -knowledge . The e s s e n t i a l ambiguity i n h e r e n t i n B e l l a f r o n t ' s s o c i a l promotion r e v e a l s i t s e l f i n the o p p o s i t i o n between Orlando, the benevolent f a t h e r , and the Duke, who r u l e s the d e s i r a b l e "new" s o c i e t y which B e l l a f r o n t i n h e r i t s , and on whom Dekker t r a n s f e r s the dark s i d e of a u t h o r i t y . The Duke becomes i n v o l v e d i n the a c t i o n when he i s s u e s a decree to c l o s e the b r o t h e l s and to round up the whores of the c i t y and suburbs, a d e c i s i o n which d i r e c t l y p a r a l l e l s Orlando's d e t e r m i n a t i o n to r e s t o r e order to h i s daughter's household. J u s t as Orlando t e s t s the moral worth of B e l l a f r o n t and Matheo, the Duke assembles h i s c o u r t i n B r i d e w e l l t o judge the p r i s o n e r s . Yet a c r u c i a l d i s t i n c t i o n separates the two a u t h o r i t y - f i g u r e s . Whereas Orlando has no hidden motive f o r purging B e l l a f r o n t ' s household o f c o r r u p t i o n , the Duke's decree a r i s e s from an e n t i r e l y s e l f i s h reason: c l e a n s i n g the s t a t e i s not what c h i e f l y concerns him? he orders the a r r e s t of a l l whores i n order to d e t a i n one p a r t i c u l a r woman, B e l l a f r o n t , whose arraignment he hopes w i l l shame h i s son-in-law H i p p o l i t o f o r l u s t i n g a f t e r her. Although the Duke wishes to reform H i p p o l i t o , B e l l a f r o n t ' s repentance does not i n t e r e s t him, and h i s extemporaneous warrant undermines h i s c r e d i b i l i t y as a j u s t r u l e r . The strong o b j e c t i o n s of a c o u r t i e r suggest the Duke's behavior i s c r u e l and i r r a t i o n a l : C a r o l o . But what's your Graces reach i n t h i s ? Duke. T h i s ( C a r o l o ) . I f she whom my son dotes on, Be i n t h a t Muster-booke e n r o l d , h e ' l l shame Euer t'approach one of such noted name. Caro. But say she be not? Duke. Yet on H a r l o t s heads New Lawes s h a l l f a l l so heauy, and such blowes S h a l l giue t o those t h a t haunt them, t h a t H i p p o l i t o ( I f not f o r fea r e o f Law) f o r loue to her, I f he loue t r u e l y , s h a l l her bed forbeare. Caro. A t t a c h a l l the l i g h t h e e l e s i ' t h C i t t y , and c l a p em vp? why, my Lord? you diue i n t o a Well vnsearchable . . . (IV.ii.96-106) But the Duke i s impervious t o reason, and h i s a p p l i c a t i o n o f the law i s p e t u l a n t and s e l f - s e r v i n g : The f i s h being thus i ' t h net, our s e l f e w i l l s i t , And w i t h eye most seuere dispose o f i t . (11. 113-114) C a r o l o ' s exasperated response, "Araigne the poore Whore" (1. 116), evokes our sympathy f o r the p r o s t i t u t e s and leads us to q u e s t i o n the e f f i c a c y of the Duke's r i g i d enforcement of the law f o r the sake of f a m i l y honor and r e p u t a t i o n . Dekker's p o r t r a i t of the Duke con t a i n s a v e s t i g e of the s i n i s t e r f o r c e he represented i n The Honest Whore, I where h i s a c t i o n s were e n t i r e l y motivated by p e r s o n a l ends. In c o n t r a s t to Orlando, whose benevolence f u n c t i o n s as the e t h i c a l norm of the p l a y , the Duke's a r b i t r a r y judgments h i g h l i g h t the o p p o s i t i o n between B e l l a f r o n t ' s new ( i d e a l i z e d ) world and the Duke's r e a l ( r e p r e s s i v e ) world. The o p p o s i t i o n extends paradox, the p l a y ' s supporting s t r u c t u r e , to the comic r e s o l u t i o n where the t e n s i o n between r e a l and i d e a l worlds i s only m a r g i n a l l y r e s o l v e d . I l l The c o n t r a s t between an i d e a l i z e d f i g u r e l i k e Orlando and a s i n i s t e r c o u n t e r p a r t i s a common technique through which Dekker captures paradox w i t h i n the e t h i c a l d e sign of the p l o t . In P a t i e n t G r i s s i l we observed a t e n s i o n between orthodox moral s t r u c t u r e s and the p l a y ' s antinomian c u r r e n t , a t e n s i o n a r i s i n g from the s p l i t between s e t s of separate c h a r a c t e r s . The exemplum of Patience was embodied i n G r i s s i l l and the a n t i t h e t i c a l element was t r a n s f e r r e d wholly to the shrewish Gwenthyan and the misogamist J u l i a , w h i le i n the p r e s e n t a t i o n of a u t h o r i t y J a n i c o l a ' s c a r i t a s 163 f o i l e d the marquess' c r u e l t y , a technique based on the psychomachia c o n f l i c t t y p i c a l of the E l i z a b e t h a n m o r a l i t i e s . A s i m i l a r p a t t e r n was d i s c e r n i b l e i n the o p p o s i t i o n between p u r i t y and p r o m i s c u i t y captured i n the I n f e l i c e - B e l l a f r o n t c o n f i g u r a t i o n i n The Honest Whore, I. In t h a t p l a y we a l s o witnessed Dekker's u n s u c c e s s f u l attempt to i n t e g r a t e d u a l i t y w i t h i n one c h a r a c t e r ( H i p p o l i t o ) whose madness cl a s h e d u n c o n v i n c i n g l y w i t h h i s r o l e as whore-reformer. In The Honest Whore, I I Dekker approaches the i n t e g r a t i o n of c o n f l i c t i n g d r i v e s and emotions i n a s i n g l e c h a r a c t e r i n the d e p i c t i o n of B e l l a f r o n t ' s s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t n e c e s s i t y , and i n the p o r t r a y a l of v i r t u o u s but s e l f -a s s e r t i v e h e r o i n e s , two c o n t r a d i c t o r y elements ac c o r d i n g to orthodox Renaissance n o t i o n s of woman. However, paradox w i t h i n the I n f e l i c e - B e l l a f r o n t c o n f i g u r a t i o n remains e s s e n t i a l l y an e t h i c a l c o m p l i c a t i o n . In the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of H i p p o l i t o and of Matheo e s p e c i a l l y paradox extends beyond the e t h i c a l f i e l d to become the e x p r e s s i o n of ambiguity i n a p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r , a t e n s i o n captured i n the c o n t r a s t between seeming and being, appearance and r e a l i t y . Dekker i n i t i a t e s the prodigal-husband a c t i o n through H i p p o l i t o ' s p u r s u i t of B e l l a f r o n t , which i n t u r n a f f e c t s Matheo's reprobate b e h a v i o r . Although H i p p o l i t o ' s r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of h i s l u s t f o r B e l l a f r o n t on the b a s i s t h a t "wisest men turne f o o l e s , d o t i n g on whores" (IV.i.401) i n d i c a t e s a l a c k of s e l f - i n s i g h t and s e l f - d i s c i p l i n e , Dekker 164 i n s t i l l s a c e r t a i n amount of grace and s i n c e r i t y i n the c h a r a c t e r . His d e s i r e f o r B e l l a f r o n t , f o r example, i s not based e n t i r e l y on her sexual a t t r a c t i o n . Dekker has a l r e a d y suggested through Lodovico's crude p e r c e p t i o n s t h a t B e l l a f r o n t ' s i n d i g e n t l i f e has coarsened her appearance ( I . i . 9 6 - 9 8 ) , an o b s e r v a t i o n r e i t e r a t e d elsewhere ( I I . i . 9 -10), suggesting B e l l a f r o n t ' s hardened f e a t u r e s should be emphasized i n p r o d u c t i o n . H i p p o l i t o a l s o notes B e l l a f r o n t ' s changed appearance at the same time, t h a t he p e r c e i v e s an enduring beauty i n her: The face I would not looke on I sure then 'twas r a r e , When i n despight of g r i e f e , ' t i s s t i l l thus f a i r e . (I.i.161-162) H i p p o l i t o ' s l u s t i s on o c c a s i o n tempered by compassion, a response which i r o n i c a l l y p r o p e l s the p l o t forward. Compassion, f o r example, induces H i p p o l i t o to i n t e r c e d e on Matheo's b e h a l f i n order to save h i s f r i e n d from the gallows: I'm s o r r y These stormes are f a l l e n on him, I loue Matheo. And any good s h a l l doe him, hee and I Haue sea l e d two bonds of f r i e n d s h i p , which are strong In me, how euer Fortune doe him wrong; . . . . (I.i.117-121) Perhaps H i p p o l i t o ' s most s t r i k i n g accomplishment i s h i s success i n s o f t e n i n g Orlando's r e j e c t i o n of h i s daughter. 165 The o l d man's f l e d g l i n g acceptance o f B e l l a f r o n t i s greeted w i t h genuine enthusiasm by the count: Hip. I'm g l a d you are wax, not marble; you are made Of mans bes t temper, there are now good hopes That a l l those heapes of i c e about your h e a r t , By which a f a t h e r s loue was f r o z e n vp, Are thawed i n these sweet showres f e t c h t from your eyes . . . . (I.ii.117-121) H i p p o l i t o i n s t r u c t s Orlando t h a t human beings "are ne'r l i k e Angels t i l l our p a s s i o n dyes" (1. 122), a comment r e v e a l i n g h i s understanding o f the f o l l y o f absolute moral judgments. His p e r c e p t i o n i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the r e s o l u t i o n where Dekker n e i t h e r punishes H i p p o l i t o nor i n s i s t s on h i s repentance. In the f i n a l scene, where the Duke and h i s co u r t have assembled i n B r i d e w e l l to dispense j u s t i c e , H i p p o l i t o does not atone f o r h i s p u r s u i t o f B e l l a f r o n t ; he merely defends her innocence a g a i n s t her d e t r a c t o r s : A g a i n s t t h a t blacke-mouthed D e u i l l [Matheo], a g a i n s t L e t t e r s , and Gold, And a g a i n s t a i e a l o u s Wife I doe vphold, Thus f a r r e her r e p u t a t i o n , I co u l d sooner Shake the Appennine, and crumble Rockes to dust, Then (tho Ioues shoure rayned downe) tempt her t o l u s t . (IV.ii.173-177) H i p p o l i t o ' s defense o f B e l l a f r o n t ' s v i r t u e f a l l s s h o r t o f the stock p u b l i c - c o n v e r s i o n speech o f the wayward husband; nor i s i t at a l l c l e a r t h a t , as Manheim would have i t , " H i p p o l i t o i s cured" by the " f a l s e a c c u s a t i o n s made a g a i n s t 166 B e l l a f r o n t . " H i p p o l i t o never e x p l i c i t l y repents h i s l u s t , q 7 and h i s reunion with I n f e l i c e i s only t e n t a t i v e . A f t e r H i p p o l i t o has v i n d i c a t e d B e l l a f r o n t , he and I n f e l i c e say nothing more to one another on stage so t h a t the r e s o l u t i o n of t h e i r m a r i t a l c o n f l i c t remains ambiguous. Dekker, i t would seem, i s a l l o w i n g the p r o d u c t i o n the l i b e r t y of e i t h e r r e i n f o r c i n g or downplaying H i p p o l i t o ' s tenuous r e f o r m a t i o n . I f s u s t a i n e d ambiguity i s p r e f e r r e d , H i p p o l i t o and I n f e l i c e would not i n t e r a c t d u r i n g the remaining three hundred and twenty l i n e s ; i f a more d i d a c t i c r e s o l u t i o n i s d e s i r e d , the couple would i n t e r a c t amicably through gesture. E i t h e r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n would depend on how the a c t o r d e l i v e r s H i p p o l i t o ' s r e p l y to Matheo's f i n a l statement: Duke. Your Father has the t r u e P h i s i c i o n p l a i d . Math. And I am now h i s P a t i e n t . Hip. And be so s t i l l , ' T is a good signe when our cheekes b l u s h a t i l l . (V.ii.191-194) C l e a r l y , Dekker i s here employing a commonplace r e g u l a r l y found i n the success-formula of the prodigal-husband a c t i o n : there i s , f o r i n s t a n c e , a s t r i k i n g v e r b a l agreement between H i p p o l i t o ' s r e p l y and the hero's repentance speech i n The  London P r o d i g a l : . . . wonder among wives! Thy c h a s t i t i e and vertue hath i n f u s e d Another soule i n mee, red w i t h defame, For i n my b l u s h i n g cheekes i s seene my shame. 167 Dekker, however, manipulates the convention so t h a t H i p p o l i t o a r t i c u l a t e s the commonplace not to h i s wife, and not n e c e s s a r i l y i n r e f e r e n c e t o h i m s e l f , but to another p r o d i g a l . I f u t t e r e d i n such a way t h a t i t suggests h u m i l i t y , H i p p o l i t o ' s repentance would be i m p l i e d . On the other hand, a f i r m l y r e p r o a c h f u l tone, p e r m i t t e d by the imperative "And be so s t i l l , " would o n l y r e i n f o r c e H i p p o l i t o ' s p l e a s u r e i n seeing Matheo under Orlando's care. The l a t t e r choice would seem to be the l o g i c a l e x t e n s i o n o f H i p p o l i t o ' s d e n u n c i a t i o n a few moments e a r l i e r of Matheo as the "blacke-mouthed D e u i l l " ( V . i i . 1 7 3 ) who has f a l s e l y accused B e l l a f r o n t , without r e f e r e n c e to h i s own s i n s , underscoring the e q u i v o c a t i o n suggested elsewhere i n H i p p o l i t o ' s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . Dekker, i n other words, permits the audience t o make a r e d u c t i v e moral judgment of 3Q the p r o d i g a l while undermining i t s v i a b i l i t y . Dekker's p a r a d o x i c a l r e n d i t i o n of the prodigal-husband paradigm i s developed w i t h even g r e a t e r i n t e n s i t y i n Matheo's p r o g r e s s i o n from w a s t r e l t o redeemed comic hero. The prototypes o f the c h a r a c t e r , Young Ar t h u r i n How a Man  May Choose, Mat Flowerdale i n The London P r o d i g a l , and young V a l l e n g e r i n The F a i r Maid of Bristow, are w a s t r e l s and p r o f l i g a t e s who r e j e c t t h e i r wives from the outse t , and whom Providence punishes with insurmountable i l l f o r t u n e . The p l o t s o f these comedies f o l l o w a t i g h t l i n e a r p r o g r e s s i o n from the husband's b a c k s l i d i n g to h i s punishment and repentance. Matheo's p r o d i g a l h a b i t s are as b o o r i s h as h i s 168 c o u n t e r p a r t s ' , but h i s d i s s o l u t e n e s s i s not commonplace. A t the same time t h a t Matheo's behavior i s opprobrious, he i s capable of sympathetic f e e l i n g , a q u a l i t y emphasized d u r i n g h i s reunion with B e l l a f r o n t a f t e r h i s r e l e a s e from p r i s o n . The episode marks Matheo's f i r s t appearance on stage, and an audience f a m i l i a r with the i n i t i a l encounter between p r o d i g a l and p a t i e n t w i f e would expect Matheo immediately to abuse B e l l a f r o n t . Instead we witness a jaded couple, who have had enough of " s c a r r e s " ( l l . i . 1 6 ) , eager to pursue a new l i f e . The sentiment evoked i n the f i r s t f o r t y l i n e s or so of t h e i r d i a l o g u e suggests the marriage has grown beyond the moral pact i t was at the end of The Honest Who