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Thomas Dekker: The Shoemaker's Holiday George Chapman, Ben Jonson, John Marston: Eastward Ho! Ben Jonson: Every Man In His Humour Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker: The Roaring Girl Oxford English Drama offers plays from the sixteenth to the early twentieth centuries in selections that make available both rarely printed and canonical works. The texts are freshly edited using modern spelling. Critical introductions, wide-ranging annotation, and informative bibliographies illuminate the plays' cultural contexts and theatrical potential for reader and performer alike. 'The series should reshape the canon in a number of significant areas. A splendid and imaginative project.' Professor Anne Barton, Cambridge University ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
This edition brings together Jonson's four great comedies in one volume. Volpone, which was first performed in 1606, dramatizes the corrupting nature of greed in an exuberant satire set in contemporary Venice. The first production of Epicene marked the end of a year long closure of the theatres because of an epidemic of the plague in 1609; its comedy affirms the consolatory power of laughter at such a time. The Alchemist (1610) deploys the metaphors of alchemical transformation to emphasize the mutability of the characters and their relationships. In Bartholomew Fair (1614) Jonson embroils the visitors to the fair in its myriad tempations, exposing the materialistic impulses beneath the apparent godliness of Jacobean Puritans. Under the General Editorship of Michael Cordner of the University of York the texts of the plays have been newly edited and are presented with modernized spelling and punctuation. Stage directions hvae been added to facilitate the reconstruction of the plays' performance, and there is a scholarly introduction, detailed annotation, and a glossary. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
The five plays in this collection are Everyman in his Humour, the tragedy Sejanus, Volpone, The Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair. They represent the full range and complexity of Jonson's art as a playwright. The text is the modernized version of Herford and Simpson's edition (OUP 1925-52), with full annotation. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Jonson's comic masterpiece whichh illustrates the manipulations and schemes people concoct out of greed.
The Alchemist has long been admired as one of Ben Jonson's best dramas-Samuel Taylor Coleridge famously deemed it one of the most 'perfect' plots in literature. Its satiric cleverness and metatheatricality have delighted audiences from its first performance to the present day; readers and play-goers are swept up in the schemes of a fake alchemist and other determined fraudsters whose scams appear to offer easy wealth and immortality to their morally compromised victims. While no characters emerge unscathed by Jonson's satire, and while alchemy itself is revealed as most likely a sham, the play is nonetheless a tribute to the transformative - indeed, the alchemical-powers of the theater.This edition includes a helpful introduction to the play, including discussion of its performance history and background information on alchemy. Thorough annotations to the text are also provided, as are contextual materials, including a selection of Jonson's sources, further materials on alchemy, and an example of the 'rogue' or 'coney-catching' literature that informs Jonson's portrayal of the grifters in the play.
'The Alchemist' has been described as the greatest farce in the English language. It offers insights into London life in the early 17th century, and satirises and celebrates the confusions and anarchy of a fast-moving city world.
A great neglected comedy by the great Elizabethan/jacobean playwright.
A major season of rarely performed Tudor and Jacobean plays at the Royal Shakespeare Company's Swan Theatre in Stratford Teeming with energy and larger than life characters, Eastward Ho! sees Touchstone, a London goldsmith, preparing to marry off his two daughters. Touchstone's two apprentices lead the wooing until the rakish fop Sir Petronel Flash arrives on the scene. A comedy of true love and virtue triumphing over social-climbing, deception and trickery.
The sharpest, funniest comedy about money and morals in the 17th century is still the sharpest and funniest about those things in the 21st. The full play text is accompanied by incisive commentary notes which communicate the devastating comic energy of Volpone's satire. The introduction provides a firm grounding in the play's social and literary contexts, demonstrates how careful close-reading can expand your enjoyment of the comedy, shows the relevance of Jonson's critique to our modern economic systems, and provides a clear picture of how the main relationships in the play function on the page and stage. Supplemented by a plot summary and annotated bibliography, it is ideal for students of Jonson, city comedy and early modern drama.
In this series, a contemporary poet selects and introduces a poet of the past. By their selection of verses and by the personal and critical reactions they express in their introductions, the selectors offer a passionate and accessible introduction to some of the greatest poets in history. Ben Jonson (1572-1637) was born in London, and became a leading poet, playwright and essayist of the Elizabethan age. In 1598he killed an actor in a duel but escaped hanging by pleading benefit of the clergy, and by 1616 had re-established enough Court favour to be awarded a pension by James I - in effect making him the first Poet Laureate.
Ben Jonson is overshadowed as a dramatist by Shakespeare, his great contemporary. As a poet, however, he stands high. His polished urbanity, direct expression and classicism have been especially valued in modern times. T.S. Eliot says Jonson "incorporated his erudition into his sensibility", creatively assimilating Horace, Martial and Juvenal into his poetry and hence into English literature. Richard Dutton's introduction illuminates the structure and context of Jonson's "Epigrams" and "The Forest". Dutton shows them to be carefully structured poem sequences that display Jonson's command of poetic forms and involve the reader in evaluating a range of shifting perspectives. Jonson's recurrent theme, the nature of truth and virtue, is as pertinent to day as it was in his own time.
The Alchemist is set during a plague epidemic in the Liberty of Blackfriars in 1610 - and was first performed on tour in 1610 by the company whose London home at Blackfriars was temporarily closed due to a plague epidemic. The play is a sublimely accomplished satirical farce about people's diverse dreams of self-refinement: they all want to transform themselves into something nobler, richer, more powerful, more virile, just as base metal was supposed to be transformed into gold in the alchemical process. During their master's absence from the house, the con-artists Face, Subtle and Doll Common dupe a series of 'customers' whose greed leads them to believe in the existence of the fabled Philosopher's Stone. As their equipment boils over and blows up in the offstage kitchen, so their plot heats up and is exploded by the sceptical Surly and the arrival of their master - who quietly pockets their proceeds and marries the rich widow to boot. The lively introduction focuses on the play as a comedy about swindlers and characters on the margins of society. It highlights Jonson's cratft as a dramatist and his masterful use of language, building into the play all actors and directors need to know about its characters and action. With helpful on-page commentary notes, this student edition also discusses the play in its theatrical and historical context and traces its connections to modern theatre, bringing its farcical comedy vividly to life.
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