The introduction states that the plays have "at their core questions about women's conduct and character." The plays within are: A Woman Killed With Kindness
, about a woman who has a sexual dalliance with a houseguest that leads to her death; The Tamer Tamed, in which a woman barricades herself in her bedroom with a company of other women to negotiate terms of her marriage with her husband; The Duchess of Malfi, where the Duchess marries against her family's wishes and suffers the consequences; and The Witch of Edmonton, who takes on the role of witch her community believes her to be.
The locations of Heywood's theatre were not exclusively urban, however, and Rowland deals with the Yorkshire setting of A Woman Killed With Kindness
and the unruly domestic interiors of other of his works with equal verve and expertise.
The chapters, in order, discuss marriage law in a variety of plays; adultery and Heywood's A Woman killed with Kindness
; law and religion in the anonymous A Warning for Fair Women; rhetoric and image making in Webster's The White Devil; spatial relations between the theater, the court, and the Inns of Court revealed in Lording Barry's Ram Alley; and, in the final chapter, women in law courts and women in dramas involving legal cases.
I therefore wish to explore how these three orifices were constructed as sites of female desire and how this construction is revealed through the character of Anne Frankford in Thomas Heywood's A Woman Killed with Kindness
"We're just being killed with kindness
from outside," sighed Kernan.
Because even in music you can be killed with kindness
as many who have listened to Aled can testify.
Ross in ER, they went to see Frankford in A Woman Killed With Kindness
. This recognition of comparability is, however, by no means meant to suggest that Viviana Comensoli takes a timeless view in "Household Business," although, in her Epilogue, she concludes: "there is much to recommend the earlier domestic play to the age in which we live" (151).
Comensoli's thesis would argue that King Lear or Hamlet are not domestic merely because they deal with family conflicts and are therefore not in the same category as Arden of Feversham or A Woman Killed With Kindness
which, although they also deal with family conflict, are more concerned with domestic matters.
In A Woman Killed with Kindness
(1603) Heywood anticipates Shakespeare's discovery in Timon of Athens (1607-08) that the old altruistic ideals of friendship and hospitality have succumbed to the ruthless sway of self-interest and acquisition.
A play which responds superbly to Orlin's approach via social relationships, domestic activities, and the material structure of the house itself is Thomas Heywood's A Woman Killed with Kindness
. Because the dialogue and stage directions provide a remarkably full visualization of Frankford's house, Orlin is able to guide the reader from the hall, to the dining chamber, to the parlour, to the yard, noting the implications of various forms of property and the functions of different servants.
John Dexter's description of her set for A Woman Killed with Kindness
at the Old Vic in 1971 - a platform on two levels with several walk-ons - as "a contained space in the middle of an open space" could be used to characterize many of Herbert's sets, from Arnold Wesker's The Kitchen and David Storey's Home (produced by the Court in 1959 and 1970, respectively) to Kurt Weill's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (Metropolitan Opera, 1979) and Timon of Athens (Haymarket Theatre, 1988).
Among the best are A Woman Killed with Kindness
, The Fair Maid of the West: Parts I and