Home » Ben Jonsons Dotages: A Reconsideration of the Late Plays by Larry S Champion
Ben Jonsons Dotages: A Reconsideration of the Late Plays Larry S Champion

Ben Jonsons Dotages: A Reconsideration of the Late Plays

Larry S Champion

Published July 7th 2014
ISBN : 9780813151656
Paperback
168 pages
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 About the Book 

Although there has been a general revival of interest in Ben Jonsons dramatic work in the past twenty years, little critical effort has been directed to his late plays -- dismissed by John Dryden as the dotages of an aging mind. Through a closeMoreAlthough there has been a general revival of interest in Ben Jonsons dramatic work in the past twenty years, little critical effort has been directed to his late plays -- dismissed by John Dryden as the dotages of an aging mind. Through a close reading of The Devil Is an Ass, The Staple of News, The New Inn, and The Magnetic Lady in light of Jonsons own theories of comedy, author Larry S. Champion demonstrates that they reveal the same precise construction and dramatic control found in his acclaimed masterpieces. Furthermore, these works reflect Jonsons continued emphasis upon realism and satiric attack, though they may not be equal in quality or dramatic effectiveness.The brief and undistinguished stage runs of the late plays are not an accurate gauge of their dramatic merit. Rather than indicating an enfeebled mind, these late plays reveal Jonson to be a continuing innovator -- adapting the forms of the pastoral, the romance, and the morality play to the purposes of comic satire. Previous critics have charged that Jonson was merely desirous of regaining public favor at the expense of his artistic integrity. The present study suggests, however, that Jonson in these plays was in reality burlesqueing the popular fad of exaggerated romantic comedy, which he considered a degradation of the dramatic art.