Women Beware Women is among the most powerful and adroitly plotted of Jacobean tragedies. Written by Thomas Middleton, a later contemporary of Shakespeare, the play deals with topics of enduring fascination such as sexual and financial greed, the sexual exploitation of women by a manipulative older woman, murderous revenge and the sexual predatoriness of a man in a position of power. The storyline is based on the most public of Medici scandals in late sixteenth-century Florence, with the Grand Duke Francesco seducing and then marrying a beautiful Venetian runaway, after arranging the murder of her Florentine lower-class husband. The tragedy ends with a spectacular masque involving misdirected poison, flaming gold, poisoned arrows, poisoned smoke, physical mishaps and numerous deaths.
This edition is designed for the classroom and for the reader interested in the best in Renaissance drama. -- .