Document Type



This article reconsiders and reevaluates Dekker and Middleton’s The Roaring Girl as an instance of literary realism. The article proposes that the play reveals the fundamental inadequacy and limitation of a social perception that reduces human life to quantifiable abstractions. Moll is real, the article claims, in the sense that she represents an elusive surplus of being, the idiosyncrasy of human life that, in its qualitative particularity and complexity, is irreducible to the commodity-form. This critical interrogation of London’s emerging commercial regime is possible as a result of the unique circumstances surrounding the play’s production and performance.