Ben Jonson, Renaissance Dramatist
This new guide to the English renaissance's most erudite and yet most street-wise dramatist strongly asserts the theatrical brilliance of his greatest plays in performance, then and now. The book integrates all of Jonson's major plays into the milieu of the turbulent years which produced them, and analyses the way each work examines the issues and challenges of those years: money, power, sex, crime, identity, gender, the theatre itself. It offers a lucid guide to the competing critical views of a playwright who is far more than the obverse of his friend and rival William Shakespeare, and it explains in detail how the undoubted power and energy of these plays in modern performance should be the touchstone of their quality to both critic and reader. The plays discussed include the early Comedies, the Roman Tragedies (Sejanus and Catiline), Volpone, Epicoene, The Alchemist, Bartholomew Fair and The Devil is an Ass.
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1 Life and Culture
2 The Early Comedies 15971601
3 The Roman Tragedies Sejanus 1603 and Catiline 1611
4 Volpone or The Fox 16056
5 Epicoene or The Silent Woman 1609
6 The Alchemist 1610
7 Bartholomew Fair 1614
action actor Adam Overdo aﬀected Alchemist Anne Barton argued Aristophanes Arruntius audi audience audience’s Barish Bartholomew Fair Ben Jonson Blackfriars Blackfriars Theatre Catiline Celia characters chorus classical comic conventional court critics Dauphine delight Devil diﬀerent diﬃcult dramatic early modern Edgworth eﬀect energy Epicoene Face ﬁgure ﬁnal scene ﬁnds ﬁrst Fitzdottrel Haynes human humanist Humour identiﬁed inﬂuence Jacobean Jensen John Nettles Jonson Jonson’s plays Jonsonian judgement King’s Lady language London Lovewit Magnetic Lady marriage masque meta-theatrical middle comedies moral Morose Mosca Noyes oﬀ oﬀered oﬀstage onstage Ostovich parody performance Peter Barnes Peter Womack play’s playwright plot poet political proﬁt Quarlous reﬂect representation reveals rhetoric Richard Cave Riggs role Roman Sanders satire seems Sejanus sense sexual Shakespeare signiﬁcant Silent Woman social soliloquy speciﬁc speech stage Subtle suggests Swan Theatre theatre theatrical Tiberius tion tragedy Truewit Volpone Volpone’s Winwife Wittipol woman women Woolland writing wrote