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  1. Ben Jonson. T.S. Eliot. The Sacred Wood; Essays on Poetry and Criticism
  2. Ben Jonson
  3. On My First Sonne
  4. The Poems: Textual Essay

The man who wrote, in Volpone:.

See, a carbuncle. It appears to us, in fact, forced and flagitious bombast. For the consistent maintenance of this manner conveys in the end an effect not of verbosity, but of bold, even shocking and terrifying directness. We have difficulty in saying exactly what produces this simple and single effect. It is not in any ordinary way due to management of intrigue.

Jonson employs immense dramatic constructive skill: it is not so much skill in plot as skill in doing without a plot. He never manipulates as complicated a plot as that of The Merchant of Venice; he has in his best plays nothing like the intrigue of Restoration comedy. In Bartholomew Fair it is hardly a plot at all; the marvel of the play is the bewildering rapid chaotic action of the fair; it is the fair itself, not anything that happens to take place in the fair. The plot does not hold the play together; what holds the play together is a unity of inspiration that radiates into plot and personages alike.

Their words have often a network of tentacular roots reaching down to the deepest terrors and desires. A writer of power and intelligence, Jonson endeavoured to promulgate, as a formula and programme of reform, what he chose to do himself; and he not unnaturally laid down in abstract theory what is in reality a personal point of view. Jonson behaved as the great creative mind that he was: he created his own world, a world from which his followers, as well as the dramatists who were trying to do something wholly different, are excluded.

Remembering this, we turn to Mr. The objection implies that the characters are purely the work of intellect, or the result of superficial observation of a world which is faded or mildewed.

Ben Jonson. T.S. Eliot. The Sacred Wood; Essays on Poetry and Criticism

It implies that the characters are lifeless. It is not merely Humours: for neither Volpone nor Mosca is a humour. We want to know at what point the comedy of humours passes into a work of art, and why Jonson is not Brome. The creation of a work of art, we will say the creation of a character in a drama, consists in the process of transfusion of the personality, or, in a deeper sense, the life, of the author into the character. The ways in which the passions and desires of the creator may be satisfied in the work of art are complex and devious.

Ben Jonson

In a painter they may take the form of a predilection for certain colours, tones, or lightings; in a writer the original impulse may be even more strangely transmuted. Now, we may say with Mr. He was perhaps the satisfaction of more, and of more complicated feelings; and perhaps he was, as the great tragic characters must have been, the offspring of deeper, less apprehensible feelings: deeper, but not necessarily stronger or more intense, than those of Jonson.

It is obvious that the spring of the difference is not the difference between feeling and thought, or superior insight, superior perception, on the part of Shakespeare, but his susceptibility to a greater range of emotion, and emotion deeper and more obscure. The world they live in is a larger one.

But small worlds—the worlds which artists create—do not differ only in magnitude; if they are complete worlds, drawn to scale in every part, they differ in kind also. His type of personality found its relief in something falling under the category of burlesque or farce—though when you are dealing with a unique world, like his, these terms fail to appease the desire for definition.

In Every Man in his Humour there is a neat, a very neat, comedy of humours. In discovering and proclaiming in this play the new genre Jonson was simply recognizing, unconsciously, the route which opened out in the proper direction for his instincts.

On My First Sonne

That is a very superficial account of it. The simplification consists largely in reduction of detail, in the seizing of aspects relevant to the relief of an emotional impulse which remains the same for that character, in making the character conform to a particular setting. It is a great caricature, which is beautiful; and a great humour, which is serious. He did not get the third dimension, but he was not trying to get it.

We can even apply him, be aware of him as a part of our literary inheritance craving further expression. Of all the dramatists of his time, Jonson is probably the one whom the present age would find the most sympathetic, if it knew him. There is a brutality, a lack of sentiment, a polished surface, a handling of large bold designs in brilliant colours, which ought to attract about three thousand people in London and elsewhere. Englished by Ben: Jonson. With other Workes of the Author…Printed by J. Okes, for John Benson London, Andrew J.

Sabol Providence, Rhode Island, There are many manuscript texts of works by Jonson, his poems especially, including a number of autograph manuscripts. A further brief series of autograph items is Jonson's inscriptions in various of his own printed works. William St.

The Poems: Textual Essay

Ben: Jonsons guift. One of the presentation exempla of the Folio possibly already recorded, with an autograph inscription, appears with illustration in Henry Sotheran's sale catalogue Bibliotheca Pretiosa , item A new, up-to-date catalogue, compiled by Henry Woudhuysen, is forthcoming in the online version of the new Cambridge Edition of Ben Jonson's Works. One or two additional examples of Jonson's hand may be mentioned. Another kind of inscription, Jonson's epitaph on Robert Jermyn of Rushbrooke , was carved on a monument in St Margaret's, Lothbury, but this church was largely destroyed in the Fire of London Two early copies of it survive JnB , JnB There are other documents, of an official, financial or legal nature, that are known to have been signed by Jonson.

These documents are recorded in N. Some further items, not all given separate entries below, may be mentioned briefly. Clearly the most informative contemporary account of Jonson is Drummond's conversations with Jonson DrW MS , f. It was reproduced in facsimile in Sotheby's sale catalogue The Trumbull Papers , 14 December , lot 22,. The irony of this letter becomes evident in the light of Beaulieu's confidential letter a few days later, on 11 March MS, f. After the principal autograph manuscripts by Jonson, the most important manuscripts of his works are contemporary scribal copies of the complete text of various masques and entertainments.

What would have been a scribal copy of comparable authority of another entertainment, the Panegyre on the King's Opening of Parliament , which Jonson presented to King James, is no longer to be found among the Royal MSS except for the detached title-leaf JnB Browne XII. To the Reader XV. William Shakespeare XVI. Ballad CIII. Proludium CX. Ben Jonson in His Journey, by Mr. Paperback —. Add to Cart. About The Complete Poems His adoption of classical ideals was combined with a vigorous interest in contemporary life and a strong faith in native idiom.

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