Woman's Tragedy, The
To playwrights in Philip Henslowe's diary
- Fol. 47v (Greg 1.90)
Lent vnto Harey Cheattell the 14 of July 1598 } vpon a boocke called the playe of a womon } vli Tragedye the some of vli wch Robart shawe } willed me to delyuer hime J saye . . . . . . . . . . }
eather dd the playe or els to paye the money
wth in one forthnyght . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
There is every reason to assume that the play, if it was completed and staged, was performed by the Admiral's men at the Rose.
Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues
The generic title gives no clue to its narrative source.
References to the Play
- Malone calls this play "The Play of a Woman," excluding Henslowe's "Tragedye" from the title (p. 310). Collier, by capitalization, promotes "Tragedye" into the title of the play (p. 127). Fleay, BCED, without comment, calls the play A woman tragedy (1.68, #10). Greg II calls the play "The Play of a Woman" (#141, p. 194); he does not ignore Henslowe's word, "Tragedye," but does not comment on its role.
- Gurr omits this play from the appendix and index.
- Wiggins, Catalogue #1138 offers alternative titles, both "A Woman's Tragedy" and "The Play of a Woman."
For What It's Worth
- Perhaps because of the hefty payment of £5, theater historians have tended to consider Henslowe's entry sufficient proof that such a play existed.