• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Themes in Ben Johnsons Plays

Extracts from this document...


Themes in Ben Johnson's Play Quazi Mohammad Faisal Biography: Benjamin Johnson, more known as Ben Johnson, was an English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor. He was a contemporary of William Shakespeare and was one of the most learned men in Elizabethan times. He was born in London in 1572 and lost his father just a month before his birth. He was no stranger to strategy as soon after his father's death, her mother was forced to marry a bricklayer. But interestingly, despite his tragic beginning of life, it was for his humor and comedy that he would be known ("Ben Johnson", n.d.). Johnson was educated in the Westminster school and contemporary great classical scholar William Camden was his mentor. Camden recognized Jonson's exceptional literary gifts and took the young man under his tutelage. Later, Camden proved to be right about Johnson as he received several honorary degrees from London universities, despite he never received any university education (Baskerville, 1934, pp. 827-830). Johnson's reputation was established as a writer of comedy. ...read more.


The play is set in London on a wealthy old man named Morose who has obsessive hatred of noise. He is childless and his nephew is his inheritor. But he doesn't like the idea of his nephew inheriting wealth and decide to disinherit him by marrying. But the marriage backfires and he is actually trapped as the whole marriage is a setup. He files a divorce but ended up with being dismissed as his wife turns out to be a male. The Alchemist has a relatively different plot where a Spanish shepherd named Santiago starts his journey for Egypt after he is directed by some strange dreams. His journey has its ups and downs. He gets rich but then everything is taken away from him. Then he gets to meet with an alchemist, someone with supernatural power who helps him to reach the pyramids of Egypt. But eventually he finds there is nothing. He meets a stranger who tells him about one of his that is similar to Santiago's one but the place to find the treasure is Spain, not Egypt. ...read more.


So, in all three cases justice finally triumphs and all the characters meet the end what they deserve (Sanchez, 2006). Finally, in Johnson's above mentioned plays, he tried to show the standing of woman in the society. He showed how they were pressed down and was seen more as merchandise than as human. Like in Volpone, Corvino used her beautiful wife to get the wealth of Volpone. Similarly, in Epicoene an imaginary lady is used to earn financial benefit from the old Morose. Johnson also depicts the female characters with strong characteristic like faithfulness. In Volpone and The Alchemist, both Celia and Fatima are devoted for their husbands and have been very loyal too. Conclusion: Johnson used satire to expose the follies and vices of his age, attacking greed, charlatanism, and religious hypocrisy as well as mocking the fools who fall victim to them. After Shakespeare, he was regarded as the best playwright of the Elizabethan era. Johnson died in 1637 and is buried at Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey. Just like the way he used to write comedies, epitaph in his grave has the insightful inscription "O Rare Ben Johnson. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Literary Criticism section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Literary Criticism essays

  1. Gulliver's Travels. Write a satirical critique on European Politics of Book 1 in ...

    the world shall deserve them, or rather when a printer shall be found brave enough to venture his ears." This reference to the printer's ears highlights as C.H. Firth says, "the book contained political allusions which might bring the publisher to the pillory, and draw upon him the fate which befell Defoe."

  2. The purpose of the writers incorporating the technique of using sexual desire as a ...

    Harding refers to sex as being a man's only weapon against a female, when he says "man has but one truly effective weapon against the juggernaut of modern matriarchy, but it certainly is not laughter". Ken Kesey portrays an arguably misogynistic message through Nurse Ratched's use of this knowledge of

  1. Using Evelyn Waughs, A Handful of Dust and Isabel Allendes Daughters of Fortune, as ...

    se?ls up every oth?r bl?nk spot in her mor?lly corrupt mind. In th? novel? ?s well ?s th? film production? Brend? "w?nts to sleep with Be?ver? ?nd she does. She decides to m?rry him? ?nd expects to support th?m both on ?limony from her husb?nd - even if th?t forces him to sell his beloved Hetton ?bbey" (Ebert).

  2. English Preromanticism: William Blake

    William Blake was a social critic of the time yet his criticism also reflects society of our own time as well. Literature survey. Many poets of this period felt restricted by the precedents established by classic works of the past and the previous attitude that the greatest literature had already been written.

  1. Specters of Totalitarianism: Representations of Power and Control in Twentieth Century Dystopian Fiction ...

    This is seen by the way that John ?The Savage? wants to experience the commodities that would constitute ?high art? (p.210), such as literature, music and philosophy. John expresses his wishes to Mustapha Mond during his trial that ?I want God. I want poetry. I want love. I want freedom.

  2. What and when was the Harlem Renaissance? The Harlem Renaissance was more than ...

    Countee Cullen also included three of her poems, "I Sit and I Sew," "Snow in October," and "Sonnet," in his collection, Caroling Dusk (1927). In 1920, Dunbar-Nelson edited and published The Dunbar Speaker and Entertainer, a literary and news magazine directed toward a black audience.

  1. Lecture X: Symbolism in Dreams. Through a psychoanalytic framework, analyse any one of Freud's ...

    symbol, for the symbol appeals to both the ancient, the established ?ideals?, and the popular (and at least more recent) interpretation of dreams. The narration?s view of symbols in dreams however, is neither the aforementioned ?ancient?, or the ?popular?, and entertains and entirely different outlook which is ?departed widely? (line 76)

  2. Under the influence of the Renaissance English poetry awoke as from a long sleep ...

    It consists of twelve pastoral poems or eclogues, one for each month of the year. In this poem he sets himself to reform the English poetry in its kind, metre and action. His ?The Shepheards Calender? is the first English pastoral, the beginning of a long series of English pastoral

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work