Ballads and Performance: The Multimodal Stage in Early Modern England

"'Hear for your love, and buy for your money': Ballads and Theater as Experiential Commodities"

Thomas Heywood draws attention to similar uses of ballads in A Woman Killed with Kindness (1603). During a wedding scene, characters call for the musicians to play the “shaking of the sheets.” Another character points out the inappropriateness of this request, for the source of the line is the ballad “The doleful Dance, and Song of Death” (c.1624-1680. Pepys 2.62, EBBA 20686). By removing the line “shaking of the sheets” from its context, the characters are able to make ribald jokes (1.1-5). At the same time, Heywood is able to employ the reference to the ballad as foreshadowing, for the consequence of John and Anne Frankford’s wedding will be the bride’s death.

This page is referenced by: