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date: 19 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article focuses on Middleton's way with music. Middleton treats music consistently as a ‘thing indifferent’ – good or bad depending on use. This moral agnosticism allows him to concentrate on music's practical value in building (and sometimes disrupting) communities. In Middleton's plays, song performances and comments about music expose complex relationships between characters without pretending to disclose eternal truths. Thus, a singing academy can serve as a front for a brothel in one play, while in another, a prostitute can sing a lute song to show sincere repentance. Music making in Middleton brings people together for business, fighting, love, or sex because it is something that people do and enjoy, and consider important.

Keywords: Thomas Middleton, music, plays

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