Ben Jonson: Four Plays ePub (Adobe DRM) download by Ben Jonson

Ben Jonson: Four Plays

Bloomsbury Methuen Drama
Publication date: July 2014
ISBN: 9781408179642
Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)

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Bringing together four of the most popular and widely studied of Ben Jonson¿s plays, this anthology focuses on the city comedies for which Jonson is best known today. Born in 1572, Jonson was a contemporary and rival of Shakespeare and enjoyed great success during his lifetime. Today his works are widely considered to be amongst the best produced by playwrights in this period. The new introduction by Robert N. Watson explores the plays in the context of early modern theatre, culture and politics, as well as providing a guide to the language, characters and themes. On-page commentary notes gloss the text in greater detail, making this the ideal edition for study and classroom use.

The Alchemist
's trio of con-artists fleece their various victims with brilliant resourcefulness and wildly inventive wit. In this play (edited by Elizabeth Cook) Jonson satirises the willing self-delusion of acquisitiveness.

Volpone (edited by Robert N. Watson) depicts selfishness thinly veiled by sanctimonious speeches, lust poorly disguised as love, and cynical legalism masquerading as justice, alongside snobbery, class warfare and greed.

In Bartholmew Fair (edited by G.R. Hibbard), Jonson uses the carnival energy of a fair held in a disreputable suburb of London to satirise and celebrate the needs, appetites, and comic frailties of the human body.

Epicoene or The Silent Woman (edited by Roger Holdsworth) asks not only 'what should a man do?', but how should men and women behave, both as fit examples of their sex, and to one another? The characters provide a range of wrong answers, enabling Jonson to create riotous entertainment out of loss and disharmony.
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