By Michelle O'Callaghan
Thomas Middleton is a major English Renaissance dramatist, in league with Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson. Known for his dark humor and wry treatment of sexuality, morality, and politics, Middleton is a consummate professional dramatist, combining the visual and the verbal to shocking effect. Michelle O'Callaghan studies the stagecraft of Middleton's major plays. The playwright experimented with a range of genres-city comedy, tragicomedy, romance, and revenge tragedy. O'Callaghan figures how these plays work in terms of the early modern theater and dramatic genres, and she elucidates the broader cultural issues shaping the plays. She also introduces the critical readings of Middleton's plays and their modern performances, mapping how modern critics, producers, dramatists, and filmmakers treat Middleton's dark and challenging works in our time.