chapter  2
26 Pages

Economies of Obligation in Eastward Ho

When the deceitful prodigals and spendthrifts of city comedy chart their scheming paths across the stage, scavenging the lives of unwitting dutiful characters, their dash and bravado often is attractive and compelling. Sometimes good and honest characters borrow behaviors from these wily prodigals. In Jonson, Chapman, and Marston’s Eastward Ho (1605), the honest, thrifty Golding uses models of ambition and self-interest not traditionally thought to be available to characters like him. Unpacking behavior like his and what it says about early modern representations of economic self-interest is this chapter’s subject.