“If both my sons were on the gallows, i would sing": oppression of children in Beaumont‘s the knight of the burning pestle.”

Linda Andreson


Critics have described various objects of satire in Francis
Beaumont‘s The Knight of the Burning Pestle, cluding “boorish
behaviour and the demand that the playhouse serve private
preference”(with a “class bias”against the citizens, George and Nell); “chivalric romance;” “citizen success-stories;” “misunderstandings about art;” the “gallants”of the period; prodigal plays; and “a mercenary society.” Much less attention has been paid to another possible object of Beaumont‘s satire: the oppression of children and young adults by their elders, particulary their own parents. This oppression takes various forms throughout the play, including economic oppression, both bribery and deprivation of money. Although Philip J. Finkelpearl notes that “George‘s threats are the kind a burly would use on a helpless child” (25), it does not seem to have been noted that children are the object of
most of the threats of violence, as well as actual violence, in the play.


English Language; English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5007/%25x

Copyright (c) 1998 Linda Andreson

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