Spring 1957 • Vol. XIX No. 2 NonfictionApril 1, 1957 |

Satire and Identification: An Introduction to Ben Jonson

H. R. Hays SATIRE AND IDENTIFICATION: AN INTRODUCTION TO BEN JONSON' () NE of my perpetual complaints is that Jonson's plays are not often enough produced. Four or five years ago a visiting English company did Volpone. Some years before that the Alchemist was produced at City Center by Jos6 Ferrer. As a result, outside of purely academic courses, there is no cnrtical dis- cussion of Jonson. He is relegated to the role of just another minor Elizabethan. I think the first response to all this is likely to be an unfavor- able comparison with Shakespeare. This is unfair to poor Jonson. The cult of Shakespeare in our culture is touched with myth. People subscribe to it who, I am sure, have little right to an opinion. The accident of history placed Jonson in the same period as Shakespeare through no fault of his own. His qualities are very different and he can stand on his own feet. I must go so far as to say that some qualities were his that Shakespeare did not possess. And why is he neg

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London Letter

By Wayland Young

H. R. Hays SATIRE AND IDENTIFICATION: AN INTRODUCTION TO BEN JONSON' () NE of my perpetual complaints is that Jonson's plays are not often enough produced. Four or five years […]

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