Ben Jonson, Renaissance Dramatist

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Edinburgh University Press, Apr 17, 2008 - Literary Criticism - 192 pages
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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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Life and Culture
3
2 The Early Comedies 15971601
18
3 The Roman Tragedies Sejanus 1603 and Catiline 1611
32
4 Volpone or The Fox 16056
52
5 Epicoene or The Silent Woman 1609
76
6 The Alchemist 1610
96
7 Bartholomew Fair 1614
119
8 The Devil is an Ass 1616
141
9 The Late Plays 162634
151
Further Reading
161
Bibliography
163
Index
174
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Sean McEvoy is English and Drama Teacher at the Vardean College, Brighton

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