Jonson, Shakespeare, and Aristotle on Comedy: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Jonson, Shakespeare, and Aristotle on Comedy

1st Edition

By Jonathan Goossen

Routledge

208 pages

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pub: 2017-12-13
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Description

Jonson, Shakespeare, and Aristotle on Comedy relates new understandings of Aristotle’s dramatic theory to the comedy of Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare. Typically, scholars of Renaissance drama have treated Aristotle’s theory only as a possible historical influence on Jonson’s and Shakespeare’s drama, focusing primarily on their tragedies. Yet recent classical scholarship has undone important misconceptions about Aristotle’s Poetics held by early modern commentators and fleshed out the theory of comedy latent within it. By first synthesizing these developments and then treating them as an interpretive theory, rather than simply an historical influence, this book demonstrates a remarkable consonance between Aristotelian principles of plot and its emotional effect, on the one hand, and the comedy of Shakespeare and Jonson, on the other. In doing so, it also reveals surprising similarities between these seemingly divergent dramatists.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Aristotle, Jonson, Shakespeare

Chapter 1: The Poetics and comedy

Part I

Chapter 2: Comic error and the hoax

Chapter 3: "Laid flat" in the "flame and height of their humours": Exposure in Jonson

Chapter 4: Shakespeare’s exposure of "seeming"

Part II

Chapter 5: Indignation Chapter 6: Jonson’s shifting "furor poeticus"

Chapter 7: "Kill Claudio": Indignation and pity in Shakespeare

Part III

Chapter 8: Catharsis

Chapter 9: "Checked by strength and clearness": Jonson’s comic catharsis

Chapter 10: The "strange course" of Shakespeare’s comic catharsis

Conclusion

Bibliography

About the Author

Jonathan Goossen is Associate Professor in the Department of English at Ambrose University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Shakespeare

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Considering Shakespeare alongside topics such as religion, politics, gender, race, ecology, popular culture, and history, titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
DRA010000
DRAMA / Shakespeare
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General
LIT015000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Shakespeare
LIT019000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Renaissance
PER015000
PERFORMING ARTS / Comedy