Acting the act in The Changeling

Lisa Hopkins

Abstract

This paper focuses on the dumb-show which opens Act IV of Middleton and Rowley's The Changeling. Using evidence from other Renaissance drama and from within the play itself for the use of the word "act" to describe the interval between the acts, the paper argues that the dumb-show ostensibly offers one kind of act but in fact serves as a metaphoric representation of another, unactable "act," the sex act between Beatrice-Joanna and De Flores. It further suggests that the events of the dumb-show serve as an encapsulation in miniature of many of the concerns of the play as a whole—wonder, absence, seeming, and the hierarchies of class and gender.

Keywords

Middleton and Rowley; The Changeling; Literatura inglesa; Teatro; Metáfora; Sexo



DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/raei.1995.8.10