Ben Jonson

Dramatist

Author: Anne Barton

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN:

Category: Drama

Page: 370

View: 147

Anne Barton gives a reading of the plays that re-evaluates Ben Jonson as a dramatist.

Ben Jonson

Author: James Loxley

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 240

View: 302

First published in 2001. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Ben Jonson

A Life

Author: Ian Donaldson

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN:

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 560

View: 163

Ben Jonson was the greatest of Shakespeare's contemporaries. In the century following his death he was seen by many as the finest of all English writers, living or dead. His fame rested not only on the numerous plays he had written for the theatre, but on his achievements over three decades as principal masque-writer to the early Stuart court, where he had worked in creative, and often stormy, collaboration with Inigo Jones. One of the most accomplished poets of the age, he had become - in fact if not in title - the first Poet Laureate in England. Jonson's life was full of drama. Serving in the Low Countries as a young man, he overcame a Spanish adversary in single combat in full view of both the armies. His early satirical play, The Isle of Dogs, landed him in prison, and brought all theatrical activity in London to a temporary — and very nearly to a permanent — standstill. He was 'almost at the gallows' for killing a fellow actor after a quarrel, and converted to Catholicism while awaiting execution. He supped with the Gunpowder conspirators on the eve of their planned coup at Westminster. After satirizing the Scots in Eastward Ho! he was imprisoned again; and throughout his career was repeatedly interrogated about plays and poems thought to contain seditious or slanderous material. In his middle years, twenty stone in weight, he walked to Scotland and back, seemingly partly to fulfil a wager, and partly to see the land of his forebears. He travelled in Europe as tutor to the mischievous son of Sir Walter Ralegh, who 'caused him to be drunken and dead drunk' and wheeled provocatively through the streets of Paris. During his later years he presided over a sociable club in the Apollo Room in Fleet Street, mixed with the most learned scholars of his day, and viewed with keen interest the political, religious, and scientific controversies of the day. Ian Donaldson's new biography draws on freshly discovered writings by and about Ben Jonson, and locates his work within the social and intellectual contexts of his time. Jonson emerges from this study as a more complex and volatile character than his own self-declarations (and much modern scholarship) would allow, and as a writer whose work strikingly foresees - and at times pre-emptively satirizes - the modern age.

Ben Jonson's 'Dotages'

A Reconsideration of the Late Plays

Author: Larry S. Champion

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 168

View: 632

Although there has been a general revival of interest in Ben Jonson's dramatic work in the past twenty years, little critical effort has been directed to his late plays -- dismissed by John Dryden as the "dotages" of an aging mind. Through a close reading of The Devil Is an Ass, The Staple of News, The New Inn, and The Magnetic Lady in light of Jonson's own theories of comedy, author Larry S. Champion demonstrates that they reveal the same precise construction and dramatic control found in his acclaimed masterpieces. Furthermore, these works reflect Jonson's continued emphasis upon realism and satiric attack, though they may not be equal in quality or dramatic effectiveness. The brief and undistinguished stage runs of the late plays are not an accurate gauge of their dramatic merit. Rather than indicating an enfeebled mind, these late plays reveal Jonson to be a continuing innovator -- adapting the forms of the pastoral, the romance, and the morality play to the purposes of comic satire. Previous critics have charged that Jonson was merely desirous of regaining public favor at the expense of his artistic integrity. The present study suggests, however, that Jonson in these plays was in reality burlesqueing the popular fad of exaggerated romantic comedy, which he considered a degradation of the dramatic art.

Ben Jonson

Author: David Riggs

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN:

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 413

View: 539

Ben Jonson’s contemporaries admired him above all other playwrights and poets of the English Renaissance. He was the “great refiner” who alchemized the bleakest aspects of everyday life into brilliant images of folly and deceit. He was also a celebrated reprobate and an ambitious entrepreneur. David Riggs illuminates every facet of this extraordinary career, giving us the first major biography of Jonson in over sixty years. The story of Jonson’s life provides a broad view of the literary procession in early modern England and the milieu in which Elizabethan drama was produced. Beginning as a journeyman actor, Jonson was soon a novice playwright; his first important play was staged in 1598, with Shakespeare in the cast. He was by turns the self-styled leader of a literary elite, a writer of court masques, the first dramatist to publish his own Works, a royal pensioner, and a genteel poet. As Jonson transformed himself from an artisan into a gentleman, his need to transcend his class origins led him to murder, to his notorious quarrels with Thomas Dekker, John Marston, and Inigo Jones, and to his lifelong rivalry with Shakespeare. Riggs traces the roots of Jonson’s aggressiveness back to the turmoil of his childhood and adolescence. He offers new and convincing accounts of Jonson’s latent hostility toward his bricklayer stepfather, his reckless marriage to Anne Lewis, and his conflicted relationships with his children. This vivid portrait synthesizes six decades of scholarship and new historical evidence. Sixty halftones beautifully illustrate the story and capture the spirit of the age. With Riggs’ original interpretations of Jonson’s masterpieces and lesser known works, Ben Jonson: A Life will prove the standard account of this complex man’s life and works for many years to come.

Ben Jonson

A Literary Life

Author: W. David Kay

Publisher: Springer

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 237

View: 390

This concise biography surveys Jonson's career and provides an introduction to his works in the context of Jacobean politics, court patronage and his many literary rivalries. Stressing his wit and inventiveness, it explores the strategies by which he attempted to maintain his independence from the conditions of theatrical production and from his patrons and introduces new evidence that, despite his vaunted classicism, he repeatedly appropriated the matter or forms of other English writers in order to demonstrate his own artistic superiority.

Gale Researcher Guide for: Ben Jonson's Literary Appetites

Author: Steven Hrdlicka

Publisher: Gale, Cengage Learning

ISBN:

Category: Study Aids

Page: 11

View: 949

Gale Researcher Guide for: Ben Jonson's Literary Appetites is selected from Gale's academic platform Gale Researcher. These study guides provide peer-reviewed articles that allow students early success in finding scholarly materials and to gain the confidence and vocabulary needed to pursue deeper research.

Ben Jonson and Theatre

Performance, Practice and Theory

Author: Richard Cave

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN:

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 240

View: 311

Ben Jonson and Theatre is an investigation and celebration of Jonson's plays from the point of view of the theatre practitioner as well as the teacher. Reflecting the increasing interest in the wider field of Renaissance drama, this book bridges the theory/practice divide by debating how Jonson's drama operates in performance. Ben Jonson and Theatre includes: * discussions with and between practitioners * essays on the staging of the plays * edited transcripts of interviews with contemporary practitioners The volume includes contributions from Joan Littlewood, Sam Mendes, John Nettles, Simon Russell Beale and Geoffrey Rush, Oscar-winning actor for Shine.