Epicene, or the Silent Woman

ISBN-10: 0719078385

ISBN-13: 9780719078385

Edition: 2008

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Description:

Epicene is now one of the most widely-studied of Johnson's plays. Brilliantly exploiting the Jacobean convention whereby boys played female roles, it satirises the newly fashionable and sexually ambiguous world of the West End of London, where courtly wit rubs shoulders with commercial values. This authoritative new edition is based on a thorough re-examination of the earliest texts. The introduction analyses the play as originally written for the newly formed Children of the Queen's Revels, and performed at the little-known Whitefriars Theatre. Dutton discusses the composition of the play, which took place during a critical period in Jonson's life and career, when he was established as the principal writer of entertainments at the court. His relationships at the time with ambitious wits such as John Donne, Sir Edward Herbert and the actor Nathan Field are examined as models for the principal characters. Dutton also considers the play in relation to the religious tensions of the era, as well as the masques which Jonson had recently written for Queen Anna and her ladies, and the newly-recovered 'Entertainment at Britain's Burse' (reproduced here as an appendix), which had been staged earlier in 1609. This challengingly historicised text of Epicene will be essential reading for all serious students of early modern drama.
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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publication date: 9/1/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 360
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

Born in 1572, Ben Jonson rejected his father's bricklaying trade and ran away from his apprenticeship to join the army. He returned to England in 1592, working as an actor and playwright. In 1598, he was tried for murder after killing another actor in a duel, and was briefly imprisoned. One of his first plays, Every Man Out of His Humor (1599) had fellow playwright William Shakespeare as a cast member. His success grew with such works as Volpone (1605) and The Alchemist (1610) and he was popular at court, frequently writing the Christmas masque. He is considered a very fine Elizabethan poet. In some anti-Stratfordian circles he is proposed as the true author of Shakespeare's plays, though this view is not widely accepted. Jonson was appointed London historian in 1628, but that same year, his life took a downward turn. He suffered a paralyzing stroke and lost favor at court after an argument with architect Inigo Jones and the death of King James I. Ben Jonson died on August 6, 1637.

General Editors' Preface
Acknowledgements
References and abbreviations
Introduction
Dating
The Children of the Whitefriars/Of Majesty���s Revels
The �Ǡmoment��� of Epicene, 1609
Pseudo—martyrdom
Literary sources
The text
The Whitefriars Theatre and the original staging
Farce and wit
Reception
Gender
Epicene, or the Silent Woman
Appendices
Related documents (inc. The Key Keeper)
Classical sources
1616 folio collation: arranged by formes
Glossarial Index
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