The Social Relations of Jonson's Theater

Overview

Jonathan Haynes's The Social Relations of Jonson's Theater is about the Elizabethan playwright Ben Jonson as a realist, and as an astute observer of the transition from feudalism to capitalism. Many of the forms and purposes of his realism spring from the social dynamics of the theaters in which he worked. Jonson's art arose in circumstances fraught with social pressures, and although his plays cannot be reduced to these pressures neither can his art be understood apart from them. This is a study of the social ...
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Overview

Jonathan Haynes's The Social Relations of Jonson's Theater is about the Elizabethan playwright Ben Jonson as a realist, and as an astute observer of the transition from feudalism to capitalism. Many of the forms and purposes of his realism spring from the social dynamics of the theaters in which he worked. Jonson's art arose in circumstances fraught with social pressures, and although his plays cannot be reduced to these pressures neither can his art be understood apart from them. This is a study of the social relations represented in Jonson's plays, but it is also about the social relations of the plays themselves, of what happened between Jonson and his audience in the theater. Haynes makes a detailed literary historical argument about the sources and consequences of Jonson's realism. The book polemicizes against the moral and formal preoccupations of the last two generations of Jonson criticism; it is informed by the new social history and by the sociology of Pierre Bordieu and Norbert Elias.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521152716
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/12/2010
  • Pages: 158
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: Jonson's Realism 1
"A meere Empyrick" 1
Jonson's Realism 6
2 The Origins of Jonson's Realism 13
The Morality Play 13
Comedy 24
1597 26
3 "Thus neere, and familiarly allied to the time" 34
Every Man in his Humour 34
Comical Satire 43
Fashion 51
The Audience on Stage 68
The War of the Theaters 76
Epicoene 90
4 Representing the Underworld: The Alchemist 99
Representing the Underworld 99
The Alchemist 109
5 Festivity and the Dramatic Economy of Bartholomew Fair 119
Index 139
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