Four Renaissance Comedies

The Old Wives Tale The Shoemakers Holiday The Alchemist A New Way to Pay Old Debts

  • Editors
  • Robert Shaughnessy

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxviii
  2. George Peele
    Pages 1-32
  3. Thomas Dekker
    Pages 33-104
  4. Ben Jonson
    Pages 105-230
  5. Philip Massinger
    Pages 231-312
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 313-314

About this book


This edition of four Renaissance comedies represents the vitality, range and diversity of the English comic drama of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, reflecting both its capacity for escapist fantasy and its concern with the intrigues of everyday city life. Comprehensive textual notes establish the plays in their originating cultural and theatrical circumstances, as well as explaining obscure references and allusions. A general introduction provides a helpful overview of early modern comedy in the context of Renaissance comic theory and practice, together with an assessment of its continuing theatrical appeal.


comedy English history history of literature knowledge performance play Renaissance time

Bibliographic information