Benjamin Jonson (1572-1637) was a Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor, known best for his satirical plays and lyric poems. His career began in 1597 when he held a fixed engagement in the "Admiral's Men", and although he was unsuccessful as an actor, his literary talent was apparent and he began writing original plays for the troupe. Jonson had a knack for absurdity and hypocrisy, a trait that made him immensely popular in the 17th century Renaissance period. However, his reputation diminished somewhat in the Romantic era, when he began to be unfairly compared to Shakespeare. "A Tale of a Tub" was the last of Jonson's plays to be staged during his lifetime. It is set on Valentine's Day, when the young Audrey Turfe is being chased by four different suitors. Audrey's father, the constable, is drawn into the disorder that ensues as each suitor attempts to sabotage the others' chances.
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Published October 21, 2011
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