Talk:The Alchemist (play)

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First appearance of "Dildo"[edit]

Is there a source for this? I know the word appears in Nashe, who was certainly writing earlier than The Alchemist, and also in the Elegies of John Donne, which were probably written before the Alchemist, if not, perhaps, printed before it. I seem to recall that my edition of either Nashe or Donne made a point of pointing out that the word appears much earlier than is commonly claimed, and then is given in most dictionaries. (Eeesh 11:32, 23 February 2007 (UTC))


  • The entry for Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale says this, with a citation -- seems to me that the text could go back in:


==== Dildos ====
One comic moment in the play deals with a servant not realising that poetry featuring references to dildos is vulgar, presumably from not knowing what the word means. This play and Ben Jonson's play The Alchemist (1610) are typically cited as the first usage of the word in publication.[1] The Alchemist was printed first, but the debate about the date of the play's composition makes it unclear which was the first scripted use of the word, which is much older.[2]

Puritans & Theatre[edit]

I added a /fact/ tag to the claim in the "analysis" section that Puritans categorically wanted to close the theatres. While this "fact" is widely known, its actually based on partisan histories and evidence suggests that opposition to theatre and membership in dissenting Protestant movements had no actual correlation. Martin Butler's Theatre and Crisis 1632-1642 and Margot Heinemann's Puritanism and Theatre both unpack the complexity of the relationship between Puritanism and theatre. Furthermore, the way that the article uses the term "Puritans" in this context is sketchy in itself, in that it suggests a unified religious movement with agreement in opinion, something that simply didn't exist in such a form. -neal (talk) 00:14, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Doll vs Dol[edit]

The article seems to inconsistently use Doll and Dol. Which spelling is her actual name? Apparently it varies based on version, but I think the article should either note the inconsistency or confine itself to one spelling. Kuilin (talk) 04:03, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ See, for instance, "[[Oxford English Dictionary|OED Online]]" (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 1989. Retrieved 21 April 2009.  |contribution= ignored (help); URL–wikilink conflict (help), which cites Jonson's 1610 edition of The Alchemist ("Here I find ... The seeling fill'd with poesies of the candle: And Madame, with a Dildo, writ o' the walls.": Act V, scene iii) and Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale (dated 1611, "He has the prettiest Loue-songs for Maids ... with such delicate burthens of Dildo's and Fadings.": Act IV, scene iv).
  2. ^ The first reference in the Oxford English Dictionary is Thomas Nashe's Choise of Valentines or the Merie Ballad of Nash his Dildo (c. 1593); in the 1899 edition, the following sentence appears: "Curse Eunuke dilldo, senceless counterfet."