First published in 1999, this volume examines how under the patronage of James I and then Charles I, Ben Jonson wrote no less than 28 court masques. Paying particular attention to the antimasque, Lesley Mickel discusses in detail those court entertainments which contributed significantly to the genre’s evolution and development. Her approach is innovative in that she examines these court entertainments in relation to Jonson’s poetry and dramatic works. This reveals some idea of the way in which Jonson perceived the relationship between satire and panegyric, as well as highlighting the related, if oppositional, views of state power which he expresses in the Roman plays and in the masques.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction. 2. ‘Free from servile flattery’: Panegyric and the Formation of the Antimasque. 3. Arthur and Augustus: masque and the historical myth. 4. Present Occasions and Removed Mysteries: the Topicality of the Antimasque. 5. Jonson’s Consuming Satire and the Carnivalesque Antimasque. 6. Heavenly Love and the Collapse of the Court Masque. 7. Postscript.