Ben Jonson: The Complete Masques

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 1969 - Drama - 576 pages
The Renaissance court masque, traditionally an entertainment of music, dancing, pageantry, and spectacular scenic effects, was transformed by Ben Jonson into a serious mode of literary expression. By using its peculiar viability as a forum for his dramatic imagination, Jonson resolved and transcended the satiric vision that was in many ways the substance of Jonsonian drama. He instructed as well as applauded his courtly audience and, with the aid of the great theatrical designer Inigo Jones, brought unity to the diverse elements of the masque, infusing them with a moral and poetic life. This modernized version of Jonson’s masques is the most carefully edited and annotated text available; it is also the first one-volume edition to be published. It includes the faithful reprinting of Jonson’s own glosses and notes, translated and annotated, as well as explanatory notes which offer the most detailed critical commentary ever undertaken. In the Introduction, itself and important essay about the Renaissance stage, Mr. Orgel discusses Jonson’s development of the masque in relation to Inigo Jones’ development of the illusionistic stage. Mr. Orgel is associate professor of English at the University of California in Berkeley.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

A Note on the Text
41
The Masque of Beauty
61
Hymenaei
75
The Haddington Masque Io7
107
The Masque of Queens
122
Prince Henrys Barriers
142
Oberon
159
Love Freed from Ignorance and Folly
174
For the Honor of Wales
277
News from the New World Discovered in the Moon
292
Pans Anniversary
306
The Masque of Augurs
374
Time Vindicated to Himself and to His Honors
390
Neptunes Triumph for the Return of Albion
409
The Masque of Owls
425
Loves Triumph Through Callipolis
454

A Challenge at Tilt
198
Mercury Vindicated from the Alchemists at Court
213
Christmas His Masque
233
Lovers Made Men
256
Notes
473
Appendix
509
A Select Bibliography
555
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1969)

Born in 1572, Ben Jonson rejected his father's bricklaying trade and ran away from his apprenticeship to join the army. He returned to England in 1592, working as an actor and playwright. In 1598, he was tried for murder after killing another actor in a duel, and was briefly imprisoned. One of his first plays, Every Man Out of His Humor (1599) had fellow playwright William Shakespeare as a cast member. His success grew with such works as Volpone (1605) and The Alchemist (1610) and he was popular at court, frequently writing the Christmas masque. He is considered a very fine Elizabethan poet. In some anti-Stratfordian circles he is proposed as the true author of Shakespeare's plays, though this view is not widely accepted. Jonson was appointed London historian in 1628, but that same year, his life took a downward turn. He suffered a paralyzing stroke and lost favor at court after an argument with architect Inigo Jones and the death of King James I. Ben Jonson died on August 6, 1637.

Bibliographic information