A Comparison of Two Plays Based in London

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This essay is about the comparisons in narrative sited in the city in Thomas Middleton’s “A Chaste Maid in Cheapside” and Daniel Defoe’s “A Journal of the plague year”. Both Based in London and the surrounding districts giving glimpses of the places and the lives of the people at those times. Middleton’s London was based in Cheapside, where from the twelve hundreds the main street had been known to have been a Market, the word ‘cheap’ meaning market, from then on always a prosperous trading area. Many of the streets feeding into the main thoroughfare are named after the produce that was originally sold in those areas of the market, for example, Honey Lane, Milk Street, Bread Street and Poultry. “Next adjoyning is chepe Ward, and thaketh Name of the Market there kept called West- cheping. This Ward also Beginneth on the East, on the Course of Walbrooke, in Buckles bury, and runneth up on both sides to the great Conduit in chepe. “Strype (2007) (1) Cheapside was not as the name suggests cheap, it was a long thoroughfare in a busy area, with the great conduit at one end and St Pauls cathedral to the western end. It was a prosperous part of London, processions of royalty passed through and pageants were played out for the Kings and Queens of the time. Though trade was considered not very well thought of, but when in need of money the rich considered marriage suitable. The rich would trade their good names for rich bounties. Furthermore from Bread Street to Friday Street, the houses and businesses were filled with gold merchants. This is where “Yellowhammer”, one of the chief characters in Middleton’s play who was a gold smith, “a pun on the name as a goldsmith hammers yellow”. (14) Also where at times the play is set. By the... ... middle of paper ... ...vid Roberts. A Journal of the Plague Year. Oxford University Press, Oxford. Defoe, D. (2001) Ed, John Berseth. A Journal of the Plague Year. Dover Publication Inc. Mincola N.Y. Johnson, M. (2001). Stuart London. Britannia.com http://www.britannia.com/history/londonhistory/stulon.html. [Accessed on the 29/11/10]. Middleton, T. (2007). Ed, Emma French. A Chaste Maid in Cheapside. Nick Hern Books, London. Pepys, S. (1981). Ed Robert Latham. Pepys’ Diary. Guild Publishing, Bury. Strype, J. (2007). A Survey of the City of London. hriOnline, 2007. http:// www.The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The university of Sheffield, Sheffield. Stripe, Survey of London (1720), [online](hriOnline, Sheffield).Available from;/stripe/tranformservlet?book 3-001[Accessed06/12/10]. Stow, J. (2005). A Survey of London. Sutton Publishing Limited, Stroud.
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