Epicoene: Or the Silent Woman

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U of Nebraska Press, Jan 1, 1966 - Literary Criticism - 184 pages
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Ben Jonson (1572?1637), actor, playwright, satirist, and lyric poet, studied under William Camden at Westminster, worked as a bricklayer, served in the army, and was imprisoned twice--once for sedition and once for murder. Epicoene: or, The Silent Woman (1609) is considered one of his greatest comedies, upon which, along with Volpone (1607), The Alchemist (1610), and Bartholomew Fair (1614), his reputation rests. At his death, he was regarded as the leading man of letters in England, and was a major influence on the Cavalier poets, including Robert Herrick, Sir John Suckling, Thomas Carew, and Richard Lovelace. Lester A. Beaurline was professor of English at the University of Virginia. He was an editor of Studies in Bibliography, the works of John Suckling, and (with Fredson Bowers) the plays of Ben Jonson.
 

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About the author (1966)

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.

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