The first decade of the Jacobean age witnessed a sudden profusion of comedies satirizing city life; among these were comedies by Ben Jonson, John Marston and Thomas Middleton, as well as the bulk of the repertory of the newly-established children’s companies at Blackfriars and Paul’s. The playwrights self-consciously forged a new genre which attracted London audiences with its images of folly and vice in Court and City, and hack-writing dramatists were prompt to cash in on a new theatrical fashion.
This study, first published in 1980, examines ways in which the Jacobean city comedy reflect on the self-consciousness of audiences and the concern of the dramatists with Jacobean society. This title will be of interest of students of Renaissance Drama, English Literature and Performance.
Preface to the Second Edition; Acknowledgements; 1. City comedy as a genre 2. A fountain stirr’d: city comedy in relation to the social and economic background 3. The approaching equinox: politics and city comedy 4. To strip the ragged follies of the time 5. Marston and the Court: folly and corruption 6. Money makes the world go around: the city satirized 7. Conventional plays 1604-7 8. Middleton and Jonson 9. Bartholomew Fair and The Devil Is an Ass: city comedy at the zenith; 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.