Close Reading of Middleton and Rowley's The Changeling Essay

1598 Words7 Pages
Within Middleton and Rowley’s The Changeling the selective use of language accentuates various ideas and notions, demonstrating the capability words have in manipulating perceptions. It is the strategic placement of double-entendres on behalf of DeFlores that greatly affect consequences, as disguising his lustful intents as honesty aids in the damnation of himself and Beatrice. Although deceiving in nature only to Beatrice, through the insertion of asides, only the audience remains knowledgeable of these entendres, causing troublesome irony. Furthermore, it is the manipulation of language that really accentuates the effects of Beatrice’s ignorentia, causing her to descend the social order, and, incite her objectification. Hence, it is…show more content…
This misunderstanding later eventuates in a form of rhetorical irony, as Beatrice ignorance misled her into understanding ‘employed’ equated to DeFlores being after monetary reward, but it is revealed “[DeFlores] place[s] wealth after the heels of pleasure” (3.4.116) – which, unlike Beatrice, is a notion the audience is never deceived to misinterpret. The metaphor created by the word choice of ‘heels’ personifies the concept of pleasure as a bodily figure, dominating DeFlores’ hierarchy of needs, with wealth a lowly necessity – wealth figuratively dragging along the ground behind Pleasure’s heels, thus nullifying its value. This manipulative use of language is commented upon by Kistner and Kistner who notes that the multiple meanings and metaphorics are “organizational devices [for the] verbal structure, consisting of the repetition of words an concepts with various meaning to reflect and develop themes…repetition of blood, service, sweetness…cast shafts of light onto the meanings of the play…an indication of complexity of The Changeling’s verbal structures” (42) and are done so “through an elaborate system of double entendre” (42). This is definitely

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