Though he is one of the undisputed giants of English literature, Ben Jonson is known to most people only as the author of one or two masterly plays which regularly appear in the drama repertory. He is much less well-known for his whole oeuvre, which encompasses poetry, criticism, masque-making, and a lifetime of linguistic and lexicographical study.
In this book, first published in 1990, the author presents a comprehensive critical study of the whole of Jonson’s output from his earliest beginnings through to the final achievement. Looking at every word he ever wrote, in drama, masque, poetry, philosophy and literary criticism, the author reveals an interesting and varied picture of Jonson. This title will be of interest to students of English literature and Renaissance drama.
Preface; List of dates; 1. A mere empiric 2. Beginning his studies in this kind 3. To speak the vice 4. Sung high and aloof 5. Royal and magnificent entertainment 6. Quick comedy refined 7. To come forth worth the ivy, or the bays 8. The poet 9. All thy figures are allowed 10. Shows! Shows! Mighty Shows! 11. He prays you’ll not prejudge his play for ill 12. Near the close or shutting up of his circle; Epilogue; Appendix; Notes; Select bibliography; Index
Reissuing 15 works originally published between 1934 and 1991, this diverse set offers an outstanding collection of scholarship devoted to Renaissance Drama. Routledge Library Editions: Renaissance Drama provides an extensive study of performance history and criticism of Elizabethan and Jacobean theatre, as well as volumes dedicated to the playwrights Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare. These volumes present together a lively picture of the development of British theatre and will be of interest to students of literature, drama and performance.