Economie reali ed economie simboliche nella city comedy giacomiana


This essay is focused on two samples of city comedy put on stage in the same year (1605), Eastward Ho!, written in collaboration by Ben Jonson, George Chapman,  and John Marston, and A Trick to Catch the Old One, by Thomas Middleton. According to my reading, these two plays, by calling in question the traditional moral of the genre, reflect the cultural crisis and the ideological turmoils following the rise of the new mercantile economy. In Eastward Ho!, the final symbolic order is still based on moral values, but these values have now become part of the market sphere. In Middleton’s play, on the contrary, the final symbolic order is amoral, entirely compromised with the acquisitive logic, which means the impossibility of distinguishing between the market’s virtuous rules and its transgressions.


Parole chiave

Jacobean city comedy, money, sex, marriage

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