The Widow's Tears

The Widow's Tears

The Widow's Tears

The Widow's Tears

Excerpt

The Widow's Tears, probably the last of Chapman's comedies, was published with the following title page:

The/ Widdovves Teares/ A/ Comedie./ As it was often presented in the blacke/ and white Friers./ Written byGEOR. CHAP./ [ornament]/ LONDON,/ Printed for Iohn Browne, and are to be sold at his shop/ in Fleet-street in Saint Dunstanes Church-yard./ 1612.

As is so often the case in the early seventeenth century, the date of publication is considerably later than that of composition. Charles W. Wallace dates the play prior to September, 1602, but his evidence has been largely disproved. With the exception of Wallace, there is a general agreement among scholars that Chapman composed the play sometime in late 1605 or early 1606. And, during the past thirty years, 1605 has been accepted by all scholars without hesitation. The evidence usually set forth, while not conclusive, is worthy of serious consideration and certainly fixes The Widow's Tears as a Jacobean rather than an Elizabethan drama. There is a reference to "strange knights" (IV.i.28), probably a satiric allusion to the number of knighthoods purchased from James I, and similar to two passages (I.i.263 ff.; IV.ii.77) in Monsieur D'Olive (1604-1605). There may also be a touch of satire in calling Rebus and his followers "Whoreson . . .

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