A Short Note on Jacobean Drama

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  • Topic: Ben Jonson, Comedy, Drama
  • Pages : 1 (402 words )
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  • Published : January 7, 2011
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In the Jacobean period drama became decadent. There was an exhaustion of the creative spirit. Tragedy degenerated into melodrama and comedy into farce. The audience comprisingly mostly of courtiers went to the theatre only to be amused. Their tastes had become deprived and the playwrights catered to their depraved taste. Sensationalism is a morbid preoccupation of crude physical horrors, and unnatural themes, such incest; and growing obscurity and immorality of plays are all symptoms of this decadence. Ben Jonson , a contemporary of Shakespeare is not a decadent dramatist in any sense of term. He popularized a new kind of drama known as “Comedy of Humour” in which the emphasis was an realism and on the presentation of the common lapses of human beings. His comedies include “Every Man in his Humour”, “Every Man out of his Humour”, “the Alchemist”, “the Silent Woman”. His two tragedies are “Sejanus his Fall”, and “Catiline his Conspiracy”. Jonson in his drama retailed on realism instead of imagination and on classical form of rather on classical spirit. In his comedies he spotted with human follies not with crime. Each of his character in his drama represented as under certain influencehe of humour or peculiar habit, passion, affection by which he is immediately distinguished from the rest. The plays of Jonson has a moral basis. No one in his time has mirrored London with so much detailed descriptions as Jonson did. Beaumont and Fletcher collaborated to write tragy-comedy. Their two best known plays are “Philaster”, and “the Maid’s Tragedy”. Philip Massinger wrote “A New Way to Pay Old Debts”, “the Virgin Martyr” and “the Maid of Honour”. Thomas Dekker popularized the citizen comedy. “the Shoemaker’s Holiday” is a humorous study of plain working people. John Ford was a fatalist morbid and disdainful of morality. His two remarkable plays are “Tis Pity She’s A Whore”, and “the Broken Heart”. John Webster is one of the greatest personality in Jacobean drama. His two...
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