The Case is Altered by Ben Jonson

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Benjamin Jonson (1572-1637) was a Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor, known best for his satirical plays and lyric poems. Jonson worked shortly as an actor in "The Admiral's Men", but soon moved on to writing original plays for the troupe. His works are particularly recognizable because of their consistencies in style, intricacy of plot, characterization and setting. One of his early comedies, "The Case is Altered," strays from the playwright's normal works in both structure and plot. These anomalies and the work's exclusion from Jonson's three folio collections lead to confusion among scholars regarding its authorship. The story borrows plots from two plays by Plautus, "Captivi" and "Aulularia," with its characters and events recreated and transported to Elizabethan England. This was Jonson's first attempt at a comedy of humors, to be followed by his more successful "Every Man in His Humour" and "Every Man Out of His Humour".

About Ben Jonson

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Ben Jonson was born in 1572, the posthumous son of a minister, and, thanks to an unknown patron, was educated at Westminster. After this he was for a brief time apprenticed to his stepfather as a bricklayer. He served as a soldier in the Low Countries and married sometime between 1592 and 1595. In 1597 he began to work for Henslowe's company as player and playwright and during the following two years the first truly Jonsonian comedies, Everyman in his Humour and Everyman out of his Humour, were produced. These were followed by Cynthia's Revels (1600) and The Poetaster (1601). Jonson's great run of comedies consist of Volpone (1606), The Silent Woman (1609), The Alchemist (1610) and Bartholomew Fair (1614). His two Roman tragedies, Sejanus his Fall (1603) and Catiline his Conspiracy (1611), were failures on the stage and his later comedies show a sad falling-off. From 1605 onwards he was constantly producing masques for the court, a form of entertainment that reached its highest elaboration in Jonson's hands. In 1616 he was granted a royal pension and made, in effect, Poet Laureate. He was also an honorary graduate of both Oxford and Cambridge. Between 1618 and 1619 Jonson walked to Edinburgh, where he was made an honorary burgess and lavishly entertained at a civic banquet. There he made a long stay with the poet William Drummond. His last years were unhappy: under King Charles I he lost favor and was replaced as masque writer after quarrelling with Inigo Jones, the designer of the masques. He also became paralyzed and was unable to publish the second volume of his Workes. Ben Jonson died on August 6, 1637.
Published October 22, 2011 by 82 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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