Piese de Ben Jonson

A Tale of a Tub
The plot, which unfolds on St. Valentine's Day, concerns the inept attempts of a variety of suitors to win the hand of Audrey Turfe, the daughter of a Middlesex constable. To break Audrey's engagement to John Clay the tilemaker, Squire Tub, a romantic rival, has the man falsely accused of theft. As Constable Turfe pursues the innocent man, yet another suitor, Justice Preamble, plays a comparable ruse against Squire Tub. All told, Audrey is chased after by four separate suitors, and apparently she has no particular preference among them. (She hesitates to accept Squire Tub, however, because of the social gap between them: "He's too fine for me, and has a Lady / Tub to his mother.") Amid the disorder, Pol-Marten, Lady Tub's usher, marries Audrey before the others realise it. Their marriage is celebrated with a wedding masque, also titled "A Tale of a Tub," which retells the story of the play.
Bartholomew Fair
The play begins with an extended bit of metadrama; the company's stage-keeper enters, criticising the play about to be performed because it lacks romantic and fabulous elements. He is then pushed from the stage by the book-keeper, who (serving as prologue) announces a contract between author and audience. The contract appears to itemise Jonson's discontentment with his audiences: Members are not to find political satire where none is intended; they are not to take as oaths such innocuous phrases as "God quit you"; they are not to "censure by contagion", but must exercise their own judgment; moreover, they are allowed to judge only in proportion to the price of their ticket. Perhaps most important, they agree not to expect a throwback to the sword-and-buckler age of Smithfield, for Jonson has given them a picture of the present and unromantic state of the fair.
Catiline His Conspiracy
The play recounts the story of Catiline, the Roman politician and conspirator of the 1st century B.C.
Dealt with the theme of Platonic love, a concept dear to the Queen's heart. Chloridia depends on rich imagery of nature, greenery, and the seasons, with figures like Zephyrus, Juno, and Iris, along with naiads and personifications of "Poesy, History, Architecture, and Sculpture."
Christmas, His Masque
The masque opens with the entrance of a personified Christmas and his attendants, one of whom leads the way in, beating a drum. Christmas is dressed in a doublet and hose and a "high-crowned hat;" he has a "long thin beard" and white shoes. Christmas is soon followed by his ten children, who are led in, on a string, by Cupid (who is dressed like a London apprentice, with his wings at his shoulders).
Cynthia's Revels
The play begins with three pages disputing over the black cloak usually worn by the actor who delivers the prologue. They draw lots for the cloak, and one of the losers, Anaides, starts telling the audience what happens in the play to come; the others try to suppress him, interrupting him and putting their hands over his mouth. Soon they are fighting over the cloak and criticizing the author and the spectators as well. In the play proper, the goddess Diana, also called Cynthia, has ordained a "solemn revels" in the valley of Gargaphie in Greece. The gods Cupid and Mercury appear, and they too start to argue. Mercury has awakened Echo, who weeps for Narcissus, and states that a drink from Narcissus's spring causes the drinkers to "Grow dotingly enamored of themselves." The courtiers and ladies assembled for the Cynthia's revels all drink from the spring.
David Garrick as Abel Drugger in Jonson's The Alchemist by Johann Zoffany The Alchemist
An outbreak of plague in London forces a gentleman, Lovewit, to flee temporarily to the country, leaving his house under the sole charge of his butler, Jeremy. Jeremy uses the opportunity given to him to use the house as the headquarters for fraudulent acts. He transforms himself into "Captain Face," and enlists the aid of Subtle, a fellow conman, and Dol Common, a prostitute.
Eastward Hoe
About Touchstone, a London goldsmith, and his two apprentices, Quicksilver and Golding. The play is highly satirical about social customs in early modern London, and its anti-Scottish satire resulted in a notorious scandal in which King James was offended and the play's authors were imprisoned.
Epicœne, or The Silent Woman
The play takes place in London, primarily in the home of Morose. Morose is a wealthy old man with an obsessive hatred of noise, going as far as to live on a street too narrow for carts to pass and make noise. He has made plans to disinherit his nephew Dauphine by marrying. This is due to the schemes and tricks Dauphine has played on him in the past. To combat this, Dauphine concocts a plan with Cutbeard, Morose's barber. Cutbeard presents Morose with a young (and supposedly) silent woman to marry. When Morose met Epicene, he tries to find out if she's really a silent woman, testing her obedience. He tells her not to succumb to the temptations of the court and tells her about the virtues of silence. Under the assumption that his fiancé, Epicœne, is an exceptionally quiet woman, Morose excitedly plans their marriage. Unbeknownst to him, Dauphine has arranged the whole match for purposes of his own.
Every Man in His Humour
In general outline, this play follows Latin models quite closely. In the main plot, a gentleman named Kno'well, concerned for his son's moral development, attempts to spy on his son, a typical city gallant; however, his espionage is continually subverted by the servant, Brainworm, whom he employs for this purpose. These types are clearly slightly Anglicized versions of ancient types of Greek New Comedy, namely the senex, the son, and the slave. In the subplot, a merchant named Kitely suffers intense jealousy, fearing that his wife is cuckolding him with some of the wastrels brought to his home by his brother-in-law, Wellbred. The characters of these two plots are surrounded by various "humorous" characters, all in familiar English types: the irascible soldier, country gull, pretentious pot-poets, surly water-bearer, and avuncular judge all make an appearance. The play works through a series of complications which culminate when the justice, Clement, hears and decides all of the characters' various grievances, exposing each of them as based in humour, misperception, or deceit.
The marriage celebrated by the masque had been arranged by King James I, perhaps at the suggestion of Robert Cecil the Lord Treasurer, as a means of settling the rivalry of the Devereux and Howard families. The groom was fourteen years old, the bride thirteen, and the two were separated for three years immediately after their marriage to allow them time to mature. Unsurprisingly, the marriage was not a success, and was annulled in 1613. Lady Frances went on to marry James's favorite Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset, and to play her part in the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury.
Love Freed from Ignorance and Folly
The masque featured a dozen primary masquers: Anne's ladies in waiting as Daughters of the Morn, with Anne herself as the Queen of the Orient. The anti-masque correspondingly featured twelve Follies or "she-fools." The masque begins with a long conversation between Cupid and a Sphinx; the conceit is that the Sphinx has captured "Love," who must in turn be liberated from this captivity — hence the title. (Cupid's nakedness was simulated with a flesh-colored satin costume.) Cupid is freed by the priests of the Muses, who clue the god to the correct answers to the Sphinx's riddles (which are "Britain" and "King James"). The Queen and Daughters of the Morn also must be released from the Sphinx's imprisonment. Once they are released they appear in a cloud in the sky above their former prison.
Love Restored
The masque is dominated by a long conversation among Robin Goodfellow and other mythical figures. "Masquerado," the presenter, apologizes for the lack of music and the generally meager values of the presentation. Plutus, the god of wealth, is pretending to be Cupid, and Robin exposes him and offers to lead Masquerado to the real god. Robin also narrates the difficulties he had in gaining entry to the masque — he had to "go through more than forty disguises" in his attempt to get in — a passage that has been taken to indicate the tactics that people actually employed to gain entry to masque performances in the era.
Love's Triumph Through Callipolis
Both of the 1631 masques deal with the theme of Platonic love, a concept dear to the heart of Henrietta Maria; she was at the center of a Court circle that favored the concept. Callipolis is an idealized Platonic city, dedicated to virtue and beauty.
Lovers Made Men
As the subtitle of the work indicates, Jonson set his masque on the shores of the river Lethe in the undeworld of ancient Greek mythology. As the masque begins, Charon the ferryman has just dropped off a group of human figures, "imagined ghosts," to be received by Mercury. The Fates, however, complain that these people are not actually dead; they have been deluded through the influence of Cupid to think that they have "drown'd in Love." By drinking the waters of Lethe, the deluded lovers paradoxically forget their Cupid-imposed delusions and return to mental health. Thus the lovers are "made men" once again.
Mercury Vindicated from the Alchemists
The masque portrays the god Mercury driving out a crew of alchemists that have abused his nature. The anti-masque, set in an alchemical laboratory, featured twelve alchemist figures, and twelve "imperfect creatures" wearing helmets shaped like alembics. After their dances, they were dispersed by the intervention of the god, and the scene changed to a "glorious bower," in which Mercury, along with Prometheus and a personification of Nature, ushered in the dance of the masquing courtiers, who were twelve "Sons of Nature."
Mortimer His Fall
About the overthrow of Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, who had become de facto ruler of England in 1327 with Isabella of France after deposing and murdering Isabella's husband Edward II of England.
Neptune's Triumph for the Return of Albion
The masque opens with a long conversation between a poet and a cook, who represent Jonson and Jones respectively. The cook and his cookery are Jonson's satire on Jones's artistry in masque design. After the anti-masque, Jones's set of the floating island of Delos was meant to be revealed, with Apollo and Mercury presenting the serious portion of the work, supported by the minor Greek sea gods Proteus, Portunus, and Saron. Songs and dances would have ensued, and an anti-masque of sailors.
News from the New World Discovered in the Moonjj
The masque refers to the discoveries of features on the Moon made by contemporaneous astronomers — Galileo Galilei most famous among them — using the earliest telescopes. Their observations of mountain ranges and other geographic and geological features on the Moon's surface was interpreted as equivalent to the discovery of a "new world".
Oberon, the Faery Prince
The masque saw Jones's introduction of two techniques of scenery construction to English stagecraft. "Sidewings" are pieces of painted canvas that stand along the sides of the stage, resembling partial backdrops; they can be deployed in multiple pairs arranged for perspective effects. "Shutters" are painted backcloths split down the center, that can be slid in or out from the wings. Shutters, like sidewings, can be deployed in multiple sets; their use allows varied changes of scenic backdrop.
Pan's Anniversary
The masque is set in Arcadia, in a classical pastoral setting, and opens with three nymphs and an elderly shepherd. They are quickly joined by a fencer, who engages the shepherd in a long discussion. The point of this dialogue is to portray the fencer, and the martial spirit he represents, as exaggerated and rather clownish, in keeping with the pacifistic orientation of King James I. The two anti-masques feature Boeotians and Thebans (Grecian Thebes was the capital of Boeotia), while the masque proper reveals the principal masquers clustered around a "fountain of light" before they descend to dance. The intended contrast was between the pastoral peace and simplicity of Arcadia and the warlike spirit of Thebes.
Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue
Jonson's text for the masque was dominated by the usual figures of classical mythology — in this case, Hercules faces a conflict between the competing demands of duty and pleasure; under the guidance of Mercury, a mean between the two is found in the person of Daedalus. The appearance of Comus, the Bacchus-like god of festivity and mockery, at the start of the masque may have later inspired John Milton to make the figure a central focus of his own masque Comus in 1634. Jones's set for the masque featured a large mountain meant to represent Mount Atlas; the mountain's peak was shaped like a human head that moved its eyes and changed expression. The anti-masque featured a dozen followers of Comus, men dressed in barrels, and a dozen boys costumed as frogs. A second anti-masque featured a dance of pygmies.
Rollo Duke of Normandy
Rollo, Duke of Normandy, is locked in a struggle for power with his brother Otto. Urged on by the sycophantic LaTorch, Rollo eventually murders Otto. After he commits a number of other bloodthirsty deeds, Rollo is lured into a private meeting with the beautiful Edith, daughter of one of his victims, who plots to murder him. As Edith hesitates, Hamond, captain of the guard and brother of another of Rollo's victims, breaks in and murders Rollo. Hamond is himself killed in the process. Aubrey, Rollo's cousin, succeeds to the dukedom; he has Edith cloistered and LaTorch whipped and hanged.
Sejanus His Fall
About Lucius Aelius Sejanus, the favourite of the Roman emperor Tiberius.
The Alchemist
An outbreak of plague in London forces a gentleman, Lovewit, to flee temporarily to the country, leaving his house under the sole charge of his butler, Jeremy. Jeremy uses the opportunity given to him to use the house as the headquarters for fraudulent acts. He transforms himself into "Captain Face," and enlists the aid of Subtle, a fellow conman, and Dol Common, a prostitute.
The Case is Altered
The play presents a range of problems for scholars attempting to understand its place in Jonson's canon of works.
The Coronation Triumph
Jonson's text is dominated by a range of mythological figures (Euphrosyne; Plutus; others) and personifications (Agape; Eudaimonia; Eleutheria; Theosophia; Tamesis, for the River Thames; others) reciting the praises of the new monarch. It was performed while James's coronation procession passed through a series of triumphal arches.
The Devil Is an Ass
The play opens in Hell, with Satan and an inferior devil called Pug. Pug wants to be sent to Earth to do the Devil's work of tempting men to evil – but Satan thinks he isn't up to the job; the world has grown so sophisticated in its vices, especially in the moral cesspool of London, that a simple devil like Pug will be severely out of his depth. Pug pleads his case, however, and Satan sends him into the world, specifically to plague an eccentric and foolish gentleman named Fabian Fitzdottrel.
The Fortunate Isles and Their Union
The masque had, as its theme, the vision of a unified British kingdom under the guidance of a wise king. "It reflected perfectly the image that he [James] had tried, in his rough-hewn way, to cultivate — even if history, in alloting him part of the blame for the catastrophe that was to befall his son, would be less generous to his reputation."
The Golden Age Restored
return of Astraea, goddess of Justice, and the restoration of the Golden Age. A major theme of Jonson's text was the reform of a corrupt court — relevant at the time because the Stuart Court was suffering the aftermath of the scandal over the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury. King James's favorite, Robert Carr, 1st Earl of Somerset, was still awaiting trial for his role in the murder when the masque was presented, and his successor as royal favorite, George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, was moving into prominence as Carr's replacement.
The Gypsies Metamorphosed
The masque was a bold and fresh departure from what was normal for the masque form, in that it featured none of the classical gods and goddesses, the mythological figures, or the personifications of abstract qualities that were standard in masques. Instead, the characters are, as the title indicates, gypsies, who behave for the most part in stereotypical gypsy fashion: they sing and dance frequently, they tell fortunes, and they pick the pockets of the common people who fall in among them. In the masque, the gypsies' metamorphosis" is that their complexions change from "Ethiop" darkness to English white, under the beneficent royal influence of James. Thereupon they return all the stolen goods to their proper owners.
The Hue and Cry After Cupid
The principal masquers, nobles and gentlemen of the Court, appeared in the guise of the twelve signs of the Zodiac; the men, five English and seven Scottish courtiers, were The Duke of Lennox, the Earls of Arundel, Montgomery, and Pembroke, the Lords D'Aubigny, De Walden, Hay, and Sanquhar, the Master of Mar, Sir John Kennedy, Sir Robert Rich, and a Mr. Erskine.[4] Their Zodiac was supported by a cast of mythical figures that included Venus, Cupid, the Graces, Hymen, and Vulcan, among others. The musicians were priests of Hymen, while Cyclops beat time with their hammers.
The Isle of Dogs
The Isle of Dogs is a location in London on the opposite bank of the Thames to Greenwich, home of a royal palace, Placentia, where indeed the Privy Council met. It was also believed to be where the queen kennelled her dogs, hence the name. David Riggs suggests that the satire might have been related to portrayal of the queen's councillors as lapdogs.[1] However, the title alone does not indicate the play's content, since this area was also known as an unhealthy swamp where river sewage would accumulate. The Isle is also mentioned in Eastward Hoe (1605), another play for which Jonson was arrested.
The King's Entertainment at Welbeck
The show opened with a scene portraying the Passions, Love and Doubt, and the Affections, "Joy, Delight, &c.," who sing with a chorus in support. After dinner, the show resumed with a dialogue between Accidence, a schoolmaster, and Fitz-Ale, a herald. The dialogue was followed by six hooded figures who give a display at the quintain, comparable to a display of jousting or "barriers."
The Magnetic Lady
As the subtitle indicates, The Magnetic Lady is a humors comedy, a form that Jonson had begun exploring three decades earlier and the last of the type that Jonson would write. The play is supplied with an Induction and a set of entr'actes that Jonson calls "Intermeans," through which the characters Probee and the ignorant Damplay have the play explained to them as it proceeds, by the Boy who's been left in charge of the "Poetique Shop." The focus of the play lies in the wealthy Lady Loadstone and her young, attractive, "marriageable" niece Placentia Steel. Placentia is the target of the amorous ambitions of a set of gulls and fools and hangers-on — Parson Palate, Doctor Rut, Bias, Practice the lawyer, and Sir Diaphanous Silkworm. Lady Loadstone's brother, Sir Moth Interest, is Placentia's financial trustee, and cares about little but maintaining control of her money. This crew is counterbalanced by two Jonsonian men of worth: Compass, Lady Loadstone's faithful steward, and his friend Captain Ironside.
The Masque of Augurs
The masque opens with an anti-masque, a comic scene involving characters from the "court buttery-hatch," including a Lady Alwife, a brewer's clerk, and a "rare artist" named Vangoose, among others. A bearmaster named Urson introduces two dancing bears; the second anti-masque is "a perplexed dance of straying and deformed pilgrims," which is disrupted by the descent from the clouds of Apollo, the god of prophecy, who introduces the serious portion of the masque. Apollo brings with him a group of other figures from Greek mythology, including Orpheus, Linus, Idmon, and others; a dance of torchbearers and the main dance precede the concluding appearance of Jove.
The Masque of Beauty
In The Masque of Beauty, the "daughters of Niger" of the earlier piece were shown cleansed of the black pigment they had worn on the prior occasion.
The Masque of Blackness
The text begins with Niger talking to his father Oceanus. Oceanus asks him why he has left his usual eastward course and flowed westward, into the Atlantic. Niger tells him that he has come to request help. Niger's daughters are upset because they thought of themselves to be the most beautiful goddesses in the world, but they found out that paleness is more attractive and no longer feel beautiful. The moon goddess, Aethiopia, tells the daughters to find a country that ends in "tannia" and they will be beautiful once more. The daughters desperately tried finding the country and even went to Mauritania (North Africa), Lusitania (Portugal), and Aquitania (France). They prayed once more to Aethiopia and she told them the country is Britannia. She told them that the king was sun-like and he would be able to bleach the black away. Aethiopia stated that once a month for the next year, the daughters should bathe in sea-dew and at the same time next year, they will appear before the king again, and his light will make them beautiful and white.
The Masque of Queens
It marks a notable development in the masque form, in that Jonson defines and elaborates the anti-masque for the first time in its pages.
The New Inn
The New Inn is set in an inn-house in Barnett called the "Light Heart", whose host is Goodstock. Lady Frances Frampul invites some lords and gentlemen to wait on her at the inn. A melancholy gentlemen, Lord Lovel, has been lodged there some days before. In the third act, he is demanded by Lady Frampul what love is and describes so vividly the effects of love that she becomes enamoured of him. Lady Frampul's chambermaid, Prudence, dresses up as queen for the day and presides over a mock "court of love". As part of their theatrical project, Prudence and Lady Frampul decide to dress up the Host's adopted son Franck in a cross-gender attire as Laetitia, a waiting-woman. Lord Beaufort, guest to Lady Frampul, falls in love with Laetitia and marries her in secret, only to be denounced for marrying a boy. But in the end, in a series of far-fetched revelations, Frank turns out to be a woman, Lady Frampul's long-lost sister. The Host proves to be their father, Lord Frampul, in disguise, and Lae
The Poetaster
The principal character in the play is Ovid. The play is more than a mere venting of personal spleen against two rivals; rather, Jonson attempted in Poetaster to express his views on "the poet's moral duties in society." It has been considered "an attempt to combine undramatic, philosophical material on good poets with satire on bad poets.
The Speeches at Prince Henry's Barriers
Barriers ceremonies were often lushly decorated and costumed. As with Jonson's other masques for the Court, the sets and costumes for Prince Henry's Barriers were designed by Inigo Jones. Jonson's text for the speeches that preceded the combat involve figures of Arthurian legend. The Lady of the Lake inaugurates the work, at the site of the tomb of Merlin the Magician. Arthur participates in the form of a star above the scene.
The Staple of News
The play begins with the entrance of the actor who speaks the Prologue — quickly followed by four audience members seeking seating on the stage. (The practice of selling seats on the periphery of the stages in the private theatres of the era is exploited for commentary and comedy in a variety of plays, from Beaumont's The Knight of the Burning Pestle (1607) to Jonson's Magnetic Lady.) In this case the four are the Gossips Mirth, Tattle, Expectation, and Censure. They interrupt the Prologue with their comments, and continue this through the four entr'actes that Jonson calls "Intermeans" — a structure he would employ again in The Magnetic Lady. The gossips have a number of criticisms of the play as it proceeds (mainly that it contains neither a devil nor a fool).
The Vision of Delight
A prototypical or quintessential example of the masque; it features the mythological figures and personifications of abstractions that are standard for the form. The work opens with personifications of Delight, Harmony, Grace, Love, Laughter, Revel, Sport, and Wonder; they are later joined by the ancient Greek deities Zephyrus and Aurora.
Time Vindicated to Himself and to His Honours
Jonson's text has an unusual cast, even by the standards of the masque form. It opens with the entrance of a personified Fame, accompanied by "the Curious" — who are three, "the Eyed, the Eared, and the Nosed." These three personifications of the sense organs were apparently costumed with multiple iterations of their specific parts; in one of his speeches, the Eyed refers to his four eyes. Their conversation on the nature of Fame and Time is broken in upon by Chronomastix, a satyr with a whip or scourge. The main topic of this scene is the climate of political scandalmongering, satire, and libel that was considered epidemic at the time.
Volpone is a Venetian gentleman who pretends to be on his deathbed after a long illness in order to dupe Voltore, Corbaccio and Corvino, three men who aspire to inherit his fortune. In their turns, each man arrives to Volpone’s house bearing a luxurious gift, intenting upon having his name inscribed to the will of Volpone, as his heir. Mosca, Volpone’s parasite servant, encourages each man, Voltore, Corbaccio, and Corvino, to believe that he has been named heir to Volpone’s fortune; in the course of which, Mosca persuades Corbaccio to disinherit his own son in favour of Volpone.To Volpone, Mosca mentions that Corvino has a beautiful wife, Celia. Disguised as Scoto the Mountebank, Volpone goes to see Celia. Corvino drives away "Scoto", who then becomes insistent that he must possess Celia as his own. Mosca deceives Corvino into believing that the moribund Volpone will be cured of his illness if he lies in bed beside a young woman. Believing that Volpone has been rendered impotent by his illness, Corvino offers his wife in order that, when he is revived, Volpone will recognise Corvino as his sole heir.

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Biografie Ben Jonson 

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Ben Jonson

Ben Jonson s-a nascut la data de 11 iunie 1572 in , Marea Britanie.

Actor, dramaturg si poet, Ben Jonson a fost contemporanul si rivalul lui William Shakespeare.

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