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The way of Ben Jonson's dramatic world Fredeman, Pat H. 1963

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i  THE WAY OF BEN JONSON'S DRAMATIC  WORLD  by  PAT H. FREDEMAN B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of Oklahoma, 1956  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS  i n the Department of English  .We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming r e q u i r e d standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1963  to the  In the  r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an  British  mission  for reference  for extensive  p u r p o s e s may  be  advanced  of  w i t h o u t my  written  Department  of  by  study.  the  the  Library  fulfilment  of  University  of  s h a l l make i t f r e e l y  I further  agree  this thesis for  Head o f my  i s understood  permission.  Columbia,.  that  or  c o p y i n g , or  shall  per-  scholarly  Department  that  for f i n a n c i a l gain  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h V a n c o u v e r 8, Canada. Date  in partial  degree at  the  copying of  It  this thesis  that  and  granted  representatives.,  cation  this thesis  Columbia, I agree  available  his  presenting  not  be  by publi-  allowed  ii  ABSTRACT  The  Way  of Ben  Jonson's  Dramatic World  T h i s t h e s i s i s a study of Ben determine t h a t p o i n t of view by t h a t of the humours and  Jonson's p o i n t of view.  evaluating  two  of h i s c r i t i c a l  c l a s s i c a l u n i t y of a c t i o n , and  r e l a t i o n s h i p to a s e l e c t e d number of h i s p l a y s - The Alchemist.  Every Man  In His Humour. Every Man  J u s t as h i s p l a y s are these two  critical  the  theory  age.  order  The  i n the  of u n i t y and  universe  are a r e f l e c t i o n of the  and  coherence.  World P i c t u r e ' or the  Out  i n man, No  and  theories,  by examining  their  Case Is A l t e r e d .  Of H i s Humour, and  The Volpone.  times through h i s eyes, so  t h e o r i e s h i s r e f l e c t i o n of g e n e r a l  of humours d e r i v e s  I t attempts to  ideas  from an E l i z a b e t h a n  current  in '  concept of  u n i t y of a c t i o n from a c l a s s i c a l  attempt i s made to re-examine the  c l a s s i c a l world view e x c e p t . i n  too  idea  'Elizabethan  so f a r as they r e l a t e  to Jonson's p a r t i c u l a r views. Chapter I, " H i s t o r i c a l  and  Philosophical P e r s p e c t i v e d e a l s  with  some of the main i n f l u e n c e s of Jonson's own  time which appear most  to h i s p o i n t of view.  relevant, l i t e r a r y  Chapter I I d i s c u s s e s  t h e o r i e s , both E l i z a b e t h a n tive  connection  and  classical.  made by Jonson between the  a c t i o n j a l s o i t attempts to show how recreate  interdependent character  and  and  Chapter I I I e x p l o r e s theory  of humours and  t h i s connection  pertinent critical  the  imagina-  unity  enables Jortson to  a c t i o n i n s p i t e of a l o s s to  the  of  iii  i m a g i n a t i o n of a s p i r i t u a l l y the humour theory  unified  cosmos.  The remaining  to examine Jonson's c h a r a c t e r s as i l l u s t r a t i v e  p o i n t of view and c o n s i d e r s u n i t y of a c t i o n as a guide technique. Alchemist,  chapters use  Although  Jonson a c h i e v e s  of h i s  to h i s d e v e l o p i n g  f i n e s t t e c h n i c a l expression  i n The  i t i s i n Volpone t h a t one f i n d s the f u l l e s t r e a l i z a t i o n of h i s  p o i n t of view, and f o r t h i s reason Volpone i s the p l a y most c l o s e l y  studied.  ACKNOWLEDGMENT  I wish t o express my thanks t o Dr. R. W. Ingram, my d i r e c t o r , f o r h i s p a t i e n t and c a r e f u l r e a d i n g of t h i s t h e s i s , t o Dr. W. R. Robbins f o r h i s w i l l i n g  assistance  as Head of the Graduate Committee, and to o t h e r s who may have aided me without my knowledge.  Deepest g r a t i t u d e  I owe to Dr. Roger L . Clubb,  whose u n t i m e l y death prevented the completion of t h i s work under h i s s u p e r v i s i o n , and whose unwearied kindness would "teach us a l l t o have a s p i r i n g minds."  iv  C O N T E N T S  Introduction  Chapter I  Historical  and P h i l o s o p h i c a l P e r s p e c t i v e  Page . 1  4  II  Literary Perspective  18  III  The Marriage of Two L i t e r a r y T h e o r i e s : the Theory of Humours and C l a s s i c a l U n i t y of A c t i o n  36  IV  The Case Is A l t e r e d and The A l c h e m i s t  47  V  Every Man In H i s Humour  59  VI  Every Man Out Of H i s Humour  76  VII  Volpone  93  A Selected Bibliography  114  INTRODUCTION  T h i s t h e s i s i s a study of how a r t form:  Jonson's p o i n t of view i n f l u e n c e s h i s  i n p a r t i c u l a r i t t r i e s to understand t h i s p o i n t of view by  examining h i s idea of u n i t y of a c t i o n and e f f e c t on Man  c e r t a i n of h i s p l a y s - The  In His Humour. Every Man  d e f i n i t i o n of these two ideas  current  i n the  Out  critical  age.  the  Alchemist.  Every  Jonson's  t h e o r i e s are  from  ' E l i z a b e t h a n World P i c t u r e ' i t s e l f w i l l  i n turn derived  ideas An  to these g e n e r a l  and  their  Of H i s Humour, and Volpone.  phrase, 'the E l i z a b e t h a n world p i c t u r e ' .  Chapter I, " H i s t o r i c a l  of humours and  Case Is A l t e r e d , The  These g e n e r a l  Jonson's p a r t i c u l a r ideas  theory  are those summed up  effort  general i n the  i s made to r e l a t e  ones, but  the  concept of  the  not be re-examined h e r e .  P h i l o s o p h i c a l Perspective", deals  with  some of the main i n f l u e n c e s of Jonson's time which appear most r e l e v a n t to h i s p o i n t  of view.  In Chapter I I p e r t i n e n t l i t e r a r y  f l u e n c e s , both E l i z a b e t h a n  and  classical,  attempts to examine more c l o s e l y the  are d i s c u s s e d .  imaginative  u n i t y of a c t i o n and  of humours and  concerning  the p l a y s themselves, the humour theory  h i s developing  technique.  it  Chapter I I I  i n the  following  chapters,  i s suggested as  the  p o i n t of view, u n i t y of a c t i o n as the guide to As Jonson's a r t t r a n s c e n d s h i s t h e o r i e s , i t  becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y d i f f i c u l t Although the  critical-in-  l i n k made by Jonson between  the theory  barometer of h i s d e v e l o p i n g  and  s h a r p l y to d i s t i n g u i s h these two  f u l l e s t t e c h n i c a l expression  i s i n Volpone. t h a t the u l t i m a t e  and  i s achieved  i n The  theories.  Alchemist,  l o g i c a l r e a l i z a t i o n of the  world  2 which he reason  chooses as h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of r e a l i t y  t h a t p l a y i s most c l o s e l y  Every these  age has  support  of the  seeks r e a l i z a t i o n - t h r o u g h p o e t r y .  being.  and  considered  beliefs  isolated.  still  stands.  through the  b i r t h again.  so' too and  But  these  critical  age.  d e f i n i t e and  assured  humour theory  and  his portion  was  i s Jonson's view of man's  i t i s a small p l o t of e a r t h upon which  Man's p o r t i o n had  always been l e s s than  c y c l e of human e x i s t e n c e  the humour c h a r a c t e r  stands  the  cultivated  His c h a r a c t e r  t h i s meaning of c h a r a c t e r r e l a t e d him full  so,  Jonson's ideas must be  c u l t i v a t i n g the world's garden.  h i s d e s t i n y , and  will  I t i s p o s s i b l e to do  not been d i s s o c i a t e d from the whole, and when he  garden he was  c a r r i e d him to  i t had  The  of the  of the w o r l d , but  the humour c h a r a c t e r  own  beliefs.  are ways of l o o k i n g . a t the u n i v e r s e ,  i n r e l a t i o n to those  p o r t i o n or share  his  they  of the u n i t y of a c t i o n theory  of a p o i n t of view about the w o r l d .  small nor  whole, but  these  to c h a r a c t e r s w i t h i n the p l a y s ,  of these  In the age man's p l a c e was neither  universe;  i m p l i c a t i o n s of  the t h e o r i e s which h e l p to form them are i m a g i n a t i v e  expressions  his  s e l f , t h a t s e l f which o f t e n  Although the f u l l  t h e i r a c t i o n s as e x p r e s s i o n s  j u s t as these  p l a y s and  and  c h a r a c t e r s as embodiments of the humour  h e l p to demonstrate the nature for  of man  e x i s t as a penumbra w i t h i n which the p l a y as a whole has i t s  An examination of the  theory  spiritual  are to v a r y i n g degrees denied  nevertheless  for this  studied.  c e r t a i n b e l i e f s about the nature  b e l i e f s are the  beliefs  i s found, and  was  to the gods  and  from b i r t h to death  isolated  and d i s s o c i a t e d ,  3 not  only  well.  from the  I n v i s i b l e world of the  Often i t seems that he  and when he  a c t s he  Jonson's age  was  deciding  r e j e c t u n i v e r s a l s or the however, comes to e x i s t  wavers b e f o r e  The  own  i t should  from h i s f e l l o w man  or respond w i t h any  discover  "mystery of t h i n g s " .  the  quantitative  universe  Jonson h i m s e l f  longer  does not  mystery,  an a b s t r a c t i o n d i s c o n n e c t e d  sense of a s p i r i t u a l r e a l i t y enveloping image of r a t i o n a l i s m .  the  from  universe  Jonson attempts to  retain  cannot a l l o w i t to c o n s t i t u t e the major theme of h i s  world view: i n s t e a d i t i s heard as a. t r o u b l e d , r e c u r r i n g echo,  a harmony no  feeling  f a c t s ; i n so  "mystery of t h i n g s " ; the  as an i d e a o n l y ,  as  being.  over to a p u r e l y  i d e a of the  the d e v e l o p i n g  t h i s r e a l i t y , y e t he  that  itself  to l o s e i t s sense of the  intuitive roots.  to s t i m u l a t e  does so as a p a r t i a l human  d e c i d i n g , i t began to g i v e and  fails  s p i r i t but  fully  realized.  suggesting  4  CHAPTER I Historical  Una of any  and  E l l i s - F e r m o r i n The  stature  thoughts.  Philosophical  Perspective  Jacobean Drama p o i n t s out t h a t most  dramatists  succeed i n making f o r themselves a form which m i r r o r s  With some r e s e r v a t i o n s , Miss E l l i s - F e r m o r g r a n t s  accomplishment,"'' as does T. S. E l i o t when he  says "...  Jonson  he not  their  this  unnaturally 2  laid  down i n a b s t r a c t theory  what i s i n r e a l i t y  a personal  p o i n t of view."  For Jonson, however, c e r t a i n important elements of thought remain always i n the r e a l m of a b s t r a c t t h e o r y life  of h i s The  dramatist's  fully  i n t o the  imaginative  p o i n t of view i s important i n d e t e r m i n i n g the  nature of r e a l i t y .  to c e r t a i n i d e a l s and  c r e a t e s , and One  boundaries  t h i s world r e v e a l s h i s commitments to  f e e l s t h a t Johnson, i n making h i s commitment  i d e o l o g i e s , has  ment, h i s more s u s c e p t i b l e The  never e n t e r  plays.  of the world which he the  and  left  one  p a r t of h i s emotional -equip-  f e e l i n g s , s a f e l y encased i n t r a d i t i o n ' s tomb.-  remainer, a l t h o u g h concerned only with man  the  social  creature,  are  ^Una E l l i s - F e r m o r , The Jacobean Drama. An I n t e r p r e t a t i o n . 4th ed. (London: Methuen &. Co. L t d . , 1958), p. 117. Her assessment i s t h a t Jonson p r o b a b l y c r i p p l e s h i m s e l f as an a r t i s t by h i s moral i m p o s i t i o n . "Certainly," she says, "one of the r e s u l t s i s a deeply d i v i d e d mind; though i t i s h a l f concealed by the u n i f i e d s u r f a c e of purpose t h a t he p r e s e n t s to us, i t i s t h i s fundamental d i v i s i o n t h a t i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r our i n a b i l i t y to conceive of h i s work as a whole." 2 T. S. E l i o t , The (London: Methuen & Co.  Sacred Wood. E s s a y s on Poetry and C r i t i c i s m . L t d . , 1920), p. 107.  5 still  powerful  restricted  despite c e r t a i n l i m i t a t i o n s .  i n t h e i r natures;  C e r t a i n l y , h i s c h a r a c t e r s are  n e v e r t h e l e s s , they  are a r t i s t i c a l l y  conceived.  Jonson d e l i b e r a t e l y chooses t o harness h i s i n s p i r a t i o n t o e x p r e s s i n g only t h a t t o which he can g i v e p e r f e c t t e c h n i c a l e x p r e s s i o n . a r t i s t r y r e c a l l s the c o n t r o l l e d and e x c l u s i v e tone achieved c l a s s i c a l dramatists  of a n t i q u i t y .  t e r i o u s f o r c e s of l i f e cally  interdependent  artist  t o t e a r away the v e i l  by the  U s u a l l y , he does not pursue the mys-  and not u n t i l  realities.  His conscious  Volpone does he c r e a t e a world.of magi-  In g e n e r a l  i t i s the b u s i n e s s  of the  t h a t h i d e s the essence o f t h i n g s ; Jonson t e a r s  away one of the f a l s e f a c e s which h i d e man from a knowledge o f h i m s e l f . His a r t i s t i c  endeavor i s one of i n t e g r i t y ; i t i s not a f a c i l e use of  r o o t l e s s emotions, but a s t r o n g , t o u g h - f i b e r e d  growth, r o o t e d  i n the r i c h  e a r t h of E l i z a b e t h a n and c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n , and f i r m l y c o n t r o l l e d by an unwavering i n t e l l e c t . freely  compensates f o r h i s i n a b i l i t y t o move  i n two worlds at once, h i s f a i l u r e t o r e c o n c i l e the world  s p i r i t with The and  This i n t e l l e c t  of the  t h a t of the e x t e r n a l and the m a t e r i a l .  drama o f the E l i z a b e t h a n age proper,  of Kyd, P e e l e , Marlowe, Greene,  the e a r l y Shakespeare, i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by i t s f a i t h  i n the g l o r i o u s  p o t e n t i a l i t i e s of man, i n the s e c u r i t y of h i s p o s i t i o n i n the u n i v e r s e , and  i n the r i c h n e s s and r i g h t n e s s of h i s prosperous,  There i s no s p i r i t u a l u n c e r t a i n t y , and the d r a m a t i s t s f i d e n c e and with  expanding s o c i e t y . encompass w i t h  con-  e x h i l a r a t i o n the b l o o d s h e d , murder and m u t i l a t i o n of war  on the one hand, and, on the o t h e r , the romantic l a n d o f f a i r y t a l e  adventure,  .6 of myth, of legend, and  of l o v e .  And  i t i s not j u s t a l i t e r a t u r e of  escape; i t i s a l i t e r a t u r e which demonstrates a s i n c e r e v i t a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h i n g s intimate actual  c o n n e c t i o n between s p i r i t u a l  f a c t and  end  of E l i z a b e t h ' s  begins to change, and i t s universe shrinks* t a k e s the  prevails.  The  Muses s t i l l  the  the  social, sophisticated,  c e n t e r of the  Elizabethan  age  s t a g e , and  the  proper i s p a s s i n g , an  the  Polity. retention  But  and  a s p i r a t i o n s of mankind than  self  assessment were  w i t h one  Renaissance by  t h i s u n i t y was  t i a n i t y , the  society. political  wherein  of q u e s t i o n i n g  and  b e g i n n i n g to d i s a p p e a r , and  In a d d i t i o n t o the future  the  disby perhaps  Hooker's Laws of E c c l e s i a s t i c a l despite  f o r a time of i t s cosmic e t h i c a l w e a l t h , i t was  of  temper  when " a l l the  A r i s t o t e l i a n thought was  t h e r e appeared a r e l i a n c e on r a t i o n a l i s m and ordering  age  of medieval C h r i s t i a n i t y made p o s s i b l e  Aquinas' r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of P l a t o n i c best expressed f o r the  non-spiritual  follow.  world i t r e f l e c t s i s a l s o undergoing a p e r i o d unity  s i z e of  which r e f l e c t s i n i t s e x t e r n a l  reached a stage where c r i t i c i s m and  The  The  age  critical, satirical  almost i n e v i t a b l e ; t h i s s t a t e , however, c o i n c i d e s  illusionment.  the  of  mood of the  drama soon r e f l e c t s t h i s change.  man  which i s to  Drama had  the world  r e i g n , however, the  were i n t h e i r prime," an age  age  unseen, a b e l i e f i n  s i g n i f i c a n c e and  world of everyday o c c u r r e n c e more n e a r l y does the  things  the  event.  Towards the  creature  seen and  belief in  not  e m p i r i c i s m and  the  long  an  absolutist  d i s s o l u t i o n of medieval  of England i n the  n i n e t i e s was  before  Chris-  another  7 source of f e a r and u n c e r t a i n t y . D e s p i t e the successes o f E l i z a b e t h ' s r e i g n , such as the v i c t o r y  over the Armada i n 1588, the order dependent  on h e r person was endangered throne. led  by the absence  of a d e f i n i t e h e i r t o the  There was the ever p r e s e n t t h r e a t of u p r i s i n g s , such as t h a t  by Essex i n 1601, and a crowd of c l a i m a n t s t o the throne  civil  war on h e r d e a t h .  succeeded  quietly.  foreshadowed  Y e t when she d i d d i e i n 1603, James VI of S c o t l a n d  A p e r i o d of r e l i e f  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and clumsy  f o l l o w e d , but James' p e r s o n a l  p o l i t i c a l machinations  soon d i s p l e a s e d .  His  e f f o r t s t o reduce the Spanish t h r e a t were o f t e n construed as a merely dangerous p l a c a t i o n of the S p a n i a r d s .  Indeed h i s a t t i t u d e  towards  C a t h o l i c i s m and r e l i g i o u s matters g e n e r a l l y was ambiguous and managed to  o f f e n d both r e l i g i o u s groups.  H i s i n s i s t e n c e upon d i v i n e r i g h t  received  some support, but t h i s i n s i s t e n c e c o n t r i b u t e d t o the i d e a l of o r d e r no l o n g e r being i n v e s t e d Tudors had f i t t e d  so completely i n the r u l i n g monarch.  q u i t e e a s i l y i n t o the medieval  the a u t h o r i t a r i a n r e i g n of James hastened concept.  Somehow the•  concept o f o r d e r , but  a d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t with  this  The i d e a o f the r u l e r as d i v i n e d e l e g a t e continued t o l o s e  N a t u r a l law ceased t o be c l o s e l y  a l l i e d w i t h d i v i n e law and became  p r i m a r i l y a t r u t h of s c i e n c e made knowable by the r e a s o n . r e v e l a t i o n and i n t u i t i o n were disengaged the time of John Locke purely r a t i o n a l  i n the l a t e  concepts; and l a t e r  became the r u l e r o f r e a l i t y .  force.  In Bacon  from the f a b r i c of n a t u r e ; by  seventeenth c e n t u r y , they had become i n the e i g h t e e n t h century reason  8 Jonson c o u l d not, of course, these m a t t e r s .  live  i n London and remain u n a f f e c t e d by  Nor c o u l d h i s temperament and p o s i t i o n a l l o w him t o be u n i n -  volved.  He served  i n the army f o r a time and i n matters of r e l i g i o n he  accepted  "on t r u s t " i n 1598 Roman C a t h o l i c i s m , only t o abjure  i t twelve 3  years l a t e r Providing  "on c o n v i c t i o n " .  c o u r t l y entertainments,  court c i r c l e s As  G e n e r a l l y he moved i n l o y a l i s t  c h i e f l y masques, drew him ever  and earned him the o f f e r o f a knighthood,  a leading playwright,  critic,  the c e n t e r o f i n t e l l e c t u a l  circles. closer into  which he d e c l i n e d .  and c o n t r o v e r s i a l i s t i n London he was a t  a c t i v i t i e s , h o l d i n g h i s own h i g h court in- the  A p o l l o Room of the D e v i l Tavern.  He l i v e d  life  f u l l y , remaining  mentally  a l e r t even d u r i n g h i s l a s t years when p a r a l y s i s c o n f i n e d him t o h i s bed. T i l l y a r d judges the eminence of E l i z a b e t h a n w r i t e r s by the p a s s i o n with  "which they  surveyed  the range of the u n i v e r s e . "  eminent t o be Spenser, Sidney, and  f i n d s t h a t " a l l these  and  assurance  He judges the most  R a l e i g h , Hooker, Shakespeare, and Jonson,  are u n i t e d i n h o l d i n g with e a r n e s t n e s s ,  passion 4  t o the main o u t l i n e s of the medieval world p i c t u r e  Jonson does h o l d t o the main o u t l i n e s of the medieval world  p i c t u r e but  w i t h dogmatic t e n a c i t y r a t h e r than p a s s i o n and assurance.  F o r him i t  3  A r t h u r T. S h i l l i n g l a w , "New L i g h t on Ben Jonson's D i s c o v e r i e s , " E n g l i s h c h e S t u d i e n / L X X l ( l 9 3 7 ) , 356-359.  4 E . M. W. T i l l y a r d , The E l i z a b e t h a n World P i c t u r e (London? & Windus, 1943), p. 100.  Chatto  9 no l o n g e r a f f o r d s a body of s p i r i t u a l is  c l o s e r to the a u t h o r i t a r i a n one  and  imaginative t r u t h .  His  attitude  assumed by James f o r h i s p r o t e c t i o n when  he d i s c o v e r s the a u t h o r i t y i s no l o n g e r t h e r e . Jonson d i s c o v e r s t h i s l o s s of a s p i r i t u a l of s o c i e t y . But, And Nay, That  In Every Man  i m p e r a t i v e i n other  In His Humour Knowell  complains  levels  to Brainworm:  now we a l l are f a l l ' n ; youth, from t h e i r f e a r e : age, from t h a t , which bred i t , good example. would our s e l u e s were not the f i r s t , eueh p a r e n t s , d i d d e s t r o y the hopes, i n our owne c h i l d r e n *  When i t v i c e i s gone i n t o the bone a l r e a d i e . No, no: T h i s d i e goes deeper then the coate, Or s h i r t , or s k i n . I t s t a i n e s , vnto the l i u e r , And h e a r t , i n some. ( I I , v, 12-15; 28-31) In Every Man  Out  Of H i s Humour, the r e a l i z a t i o n of man's l o s s of d i v i n i t y  and h i s ' i n e v i t a b l e d e g r a d a t i o n i s a b i t t e r l y objectively addresses  set f o r t h than Knowell's  i m a g i n a t i v e one,  complaint  t o Brainworm.  far less • Carlo  Macilente: Now  nothing i n  f l e s h , and e n t r a i l e s , a s s i m u l a t e s or resembles then a hog, or swine —  man  more,  Mary, I say, nothing resembling man more then a swine, i t f o l l o w e s , nothing can be more n o u r i s h i n g : f o r indeed (but t h a t i t abhorres from our n i c e nature) i f we f e d one vpon another, we should shoot vp a g r e a t deale f a s t e r , and t h r i u e much b e t t e r : I r e f e r r e mee to your vsurous C a n n i b a l s , or such l i k e . : but s i n c e i t i s so c o n t r a r y , porke, porke, i s your only f e e d .  Buffone  10 Macilente  makes the f a l l  I take  complete and  p o i n t s the morals  i t , your d e u i l l be of the  would ne're ha'  same d i e t ; ' h e  d e s i r ' d to beene i n c o r p o r a t e d  i n t o swine e l s e .  (V, v, 62-64; 69-77). Jonson stands times deeply the  a monument to h i s age  - the  s p i r i t u a l ravages of  engraved on h i s morosely i m p r e s s i v e  s t r e n g t h of t h i s  resolute  concern w i t h  troubled  still  intellect, the  the  intellect  art.  f i r m r e a l i s m of h i s a r t , and  immediate, h i s r e f l e c t i n g  by the unseen world  and  of the  spirit.  critical One  the Despite  his  eye  is  can speak of h i s  moral s e r i o u s n e s s , h i s o b j e c t i v i t y , h i s s c i e n t i f i c r e a l i s m , but what of the  emotional  c o n v i c t i o n s of the man  himself?  seriousness,  so o f t e n a l l u d e d t o , l i e s  h i s God,  s t r e n g t h of h i s c h a r a c t e r , the  the  expounded c e r t a i n i d e a l s , but world  which he  not  age  In the  i n the brooding  theory  i n a l l the r e s t h i s conscious The itself.  before  firmness w i t h which he h e l d  can only t e n t a t i v e l y e x p l o r e .  i n general.  importance of h i s moral  so much i n h i s h u m i l i t y  moral dictum can d i s g u i s e h i s i m a g i n a t i o n ' s the  The  and  t r a g i c awareness of a  No  c l a s s i c a l d o c t r i n e , no  grasp of h i s f e l l o w men  of humours i s h i s i n t u i t i v e  and  and  of  assessment,  art.  humour i n Jonson's work i s not  a f l a w i n c h a r a c t e r but  I t i s the i n n e r s t r u c t u r e of man  and  not  character  something which r a i n s down  upon h i s head from the heavens, as i t does upon the humorous c h a r a c t e r s i n Chapman's p l a y s . still  i n the  Jonson's humorous man  form and  shape of a man,  i s a negative  or what man  creature s t r u g g l i n g  i n the past has  conceived  .11 h i m s e l f t o be - and what Jonson's moral s e r i o u s n e s s demands but w i l l a l l o w t h a t he be. E l i z a b e t h a n world  Now h i s i s the emptiness which the c o l l a p s e of the p i c t u r e has l e f t as man's s p i r i t u a l h e r i t a g e .  As man's s p i r i t u a l world becomes l i m i t e d  not -  s h r i n k s , he s h r i n k s , and h i s emotional  to what he can see d i r e c t l y b e f o r e him.  range  F o r a w h i l e he holds  w i t h i n t e l l e c t u a l t e n a c i t y t o a code which has had a s p i r i t u a l b i r t h , and he wonders why knowing c e r t a i n t h i n g s t o be so, he cannot a c t as i f they were so; but he no l o n g e r b e l i e v e s them to be s o . The r e a s o n , Jonson p a r t i a l l y  commits h i m s e l f , cannot always motivate  t o which  the s p i r i t .  The.  new r a t i o n a l i s m which proposes to f r e e man from s u p e r s t i t i o n and f e a r and to  c o n t r o l the f o r c e s of nature  of  h i s own n a t u r e .  does not f r e e him from the d e s t r u c t i v e n e s s  As the s p i r i t u a l bases f o r an e t h i c a l  code v a n i s h , the  code i t s e l f weakens, and i n Jonson's own world Volpone b u r s t s upon the stage w i t h an i n t e n s e p o e t i c r e a l i t y the realm  unwitnessed h e r e t o f o r e i n Jonson's work.  of comedy Volpone stands  a strange  a s t a t u r e of almost t r a g i c p r o p o r t i o n s . punishment t o be i n c o m p a t i b l e but  this  happy c o n c l u s i o n of comedy,  i t i s r a t h e r a s a t a n i c one.  once Jonson i s not c r i t i c a l l y detached.  And f o r  One p e r c e i v e s i n t h i s p l a y an  f o r the i n t e n s i t y o f Volpone's d e s i r e to l i v e .  i m a g i n a t i o n has transcended  c r e a t i o n , with  Some c r i t i c s ' ; have judged h i s  w i t h the necessary  i s no l o n g e r a comic w o r l d ;  admiration  and i m p r e s s i v e  In  a b s o l u t e moral i m p e r a t i v e s .  Jonson's He withdraws from  t h i s v i s i o n of e v i l which looms at the edge of the t r a g i c chasm, and, a f t e r Volpone. the s p i r i t which animates h i s p l a y s i s more t r u l y comic.  In The A l c h e m i s t  i n the nature o f  and Bartholomew F a i r t h e r e i s a l e s s t r o u b l e d  12 acceptance  and a genuine  liking  Beneath the p o l i s h e d  f o r the rogues  s u r f a c e of Jonson's e a r l y comedy flows a t r a g i c  u n d e r c u r r e n t , of which Volpone i s a p r o d u c t . forms descended from r i t u a l , the whole c y c l e of l i f e . l e a v e s o f f does not ensure  of h i s w o r l d l y g a l l e r y . .  Both tragedy and-comedy are a r t  a r i t u a l marking o f f man's p r o g r e s s  That one begins i n the c y c l e where the o t h e r echoes of one w i l l  not be heard  i n the o t h e r .  is  not s u r p r i s i n g t h e n , t o f i n d the t r a g i c presence  it  i s s u r p r i s i n g t o f i n d i t on Jonson's whose avowed purpose  with f o l l i e s ,  through  not w i t h c r i m e s . "  It  on a comic s t a g e , but was to " s p o r t  The f o l l i e s , however, too o f t e n " s t a i n ,  unto the l i v e r " and assume more s e r i o u s p r o p o r t i o n s . H i s p l a y s r e v e a l an i n t e l l i g e n c e whose deeper tragic  animating  spirit  chasm and whose r e a s o n escapes  stops s h o r t t h i s s i d e of the  into c r i t i c a l  t h e o r y , moral  serious-  ness, and v i g o r o u s humor. J o n s o n i a n c h a r a c t e r s r a r e l y move f r e e l y on a l l p l a n e s of the E l i z a bethan  spiritual  hierarchy.  The phantom shapes of t h i s h i e r a r c h y never-  t h e l e s s s t a l k the o u t e r boundaries presence entrance.  of Jonson's worlds  i s remembered In t h e i r absence,  i n s t e a d they make t h e i r entrance l i k e  and ease  as i n -  the a b s t r a c t i o n s  of the o l d m o r a l i t y p l a y s - s t a t e l y , w i t h d i g n i t y , but more Something w i t h i n them speaks  one-time  although they are not always denied  But they e n t e r not with the same f l e x i b i l i t y  E l i z a b e t h a n days;  their  stiffly.  of a faded g l o r y , and they e n r i c h , ennoble, and  e l e v a t e , but they have become c r e a t i o n s of the r e a s o n not r e a l i t i e s of the i m a g i n a t i o n .  13 The  appearances of the Queen i n C y n t h i a ' s  Revels  His Humour, though e p i l o g a l , demonstrate the nature realities.  had  little  and  b r i n g the  the  "Queenes I u s t i c e , " who  to do w i t h  Brainworm and  and  Man  In His Humour, who,  characters  to t h e i r happy r e s o l u t i o n .  on the other  on the one  abstract  although  and  he  has  i s the  I t i s noteworthy that,  hand bears an a f f i n i t y  crown's d i s p e n s e r  i n the p l a y by means of a few  appears when he  Of  the a c t i o n h e r e t o f o r e , h e l p s to d i s p e r s e the humours  by d i n t of h i n t s and  he  of these  Out  Rather s i m i l a r i n f u n c t i o n i s another symbol of a u t h o r i t y  o r d e r , J u s t i c e Clement, of Every  existence  and Every Man  w i t h the  of j u s t i c e , has  rogue  his  b r i e f appearances ( I I I , v i i ; V,  a l l u s i o n s from the  other  characters.  can act p r i m a r i l y i n h i s o f f i c i a l  i)  Generally  capacity.  That -pale  t r i b u n a l of j u s t i c e , the A v o c a t o r i of Volpone, p l a y s a s i m i l a r r o l e i n h e l p i n g to d i s e n t a n g l e the knotted  t h r e a d of a c t i o n s and  their  engendering  humours. In other r e s p e c t s Jonson o f t e n approaches those imagination  a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the  "great  v a s t e r realms of  c h a i n of b e i n g . "  In h i s  the  dramatic  5 language he is  achieves  i t more formal  both " g r a v i t y and h e i g h t  of e l o c u t i o n , "  and more e l e v a t e d than i n Volpone and  i s , however, a formal  elegance,  l o f t i n e s s of c h a r a c t e r but  not  drained  The  and  nowhere  Alchemist.  c o n s t i t u t i n g a natural extension of f u l l n e s s  of  and v a r i e t y of f e e l i n g ,  that  " A l l his effects, his s p i r i t s ,  and h i s powers,/  (New  Alexander H. Sackton, R h e t o r i c As A Dramatic Language i n Ben York: Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1948), pp. 75, 146.  It  so  In t h e i r c o n f l u c t i o n s , "  Jonson  14 are drawn " a l l t o runne one way." Common i s f i l l e d  S i r E p i c u r e Mammon's wooing of D o l l  w i t h an E l i z a b e t h a n r i c h n e s s of imagery*  Wee'11 t h e r e f o r e goe w i t h a l l , my g i r l e ,  and l i u e  In a f r e e s t a t e j where we w i l l eate our m u l l e t s , Sous'd i n h i g h - c o u n t r e y wines, sup phesants egges, And haue our c o c k l e s , b o i l d i n s i l u e r s h e l l s , Our shrimps t o swim againe, as when they l i u ' d , In a r a r e b u t t e r , made of d o l p h i n s m i l k e , Whose creame do's looke l i k e o p a l l s : and, w i t h these D e l i c a t e meats, s e t our s e l u e s h i g h f o r p l e a s u r e , And take vs downe againe, and then renew Our youth, and s t r e n g t h , with d r i n k i n g t h e e l i x i r , Of l i f e , and l u s t . (IV, i , 155-166) Here i s p a s s i o n , but a mean p a s s i o n which, when i t i s c o n t a i n e d lofty  speech, p o i n t s i t s own i r o n i c  c o n t r a s t , and i t i s intended t h a t i t  should do s o . I t b e t r a y s him t o the audience, dramatic  situation i t s e l f ,  not only because o f the  t h a t i s , the f a c t t h a t t h e " l a d y " i s simply  D o l l Common, but a l s o because he would d i s r u p t nature of  order and of v a l u e s ,  i n such  and i n v e r t the system  he would adorn her with j e w e l s whose l i g h t  s t r i k e out the s t a r s , he would p l a c e l u s t - h i s "high-countrey "phesants egges" - above l i f e ,  life  above Nature,  should  wines" and  and Nature above A r t :  And, thou s a l t h a ' thy wardrobe, R i c h e r than Natures, s t i l l t o change thy s e l f e , And vary o f t e n e r , f o r thy p r i d e , then shee: Or A r t , h e r w i s e , and a l m o s t - e q u a l l s e r u a n t . (IV, i , 166-169) L i k e Volpone, who longs f o r " v e r t u e , fame, honour," t o be "noble, v a l i a n t , honest, is  w i s e , " Mammon would a s p i r e to a h i g h s e r i o u s n e s s , but i t  a s e r i o u s n e s s based on an i n v e r s i o n of the moral o r d e r .  The language  15 which he uses i n h i s f l i g h t s  serves to i n d u l g e and  e v e n t u a l l y i t exceeds i t s b o u n d a r i e s ;  i n running  "smell of s i n n e " and  of excess  would a s p i r e , but grows a humour. lust and  s w e l l s to a b o i l  feed h i s humour so t h a t  a l l one  way,  for divinity  is left  and  He  there instead  o n l y with man's i n f i n i t e s i m a l l o w l i n e s s .  and h i s a p p e t i t e f o r l i f e  to  which must be p r i c k e d .  i t i s a s p i r a t i o n - t u r n e d i n upon i t s e l f , One  i t begins  have become o b j e c t s of  His  satire  condemnation. Jonson f o c u s e s on o n e - h a l f  the u n e n l i g h t e n e d ,  of man's nature  - the dark,  an emphasis not out of keeping  bethan moral p h i l o s o p h y had  long been concerned  with the  " p e r t u r b a t i o n s " of the human s o u l .  "They are the  not n e c e s s a r i l y e v i l  which may  spiritual  i n themselves,  with h i s own  the•perverse, time.  Eliza-  " p a s s i o n s , " the  'motions of the mind',  produce d i s o r d e r i n man's  c o n s t i t u t i o n , and they are o f t e n conceived  to have a c o n n e c t i o n  w i t h the humours of the body, so t h a t t h e i r c o n s i d e r a t i o n may  be m e d i c a l  as  well  in pairs,  such  as m o r a l . T h e s e  p a s s i o n s are conceived of as e x i s t i n g  as love and h a t r e d , d e s i r e and courage and  fears  a v e r s i o n , j o y and  sadness,  the members of each p a i r balance  c o n c e p t i o n of the humours t h e r e i s no b a l a n c e .  The  one  hope and  another.  despair, In Jonson's  humour i s not j u s t a  p e r v e r s i o n of p o t e n t i a l wherein a l l powers are drawn "to runne one but of the b a s i c s e l f . wise,  One  although both reason  f e e l s t h a t h i s c h a r a c t e r s c o u l d never be and d i v i n i t y  are appealed  to as g u i d e s .  W i l l a r d Farnham, The Medieval H e r i t a g e of E l i z a b e t h a n Tragedy (Berkeleys U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s , 1936), p. 349.  way," otherThe  16 humour i n Jonson's work i s not a f l a w which grows through an e r r o r i n judgment i n a s i t u a t i o n demanding a c t i o n and thus making the f l a w c r u c i a l at  a p a r t i c u l a r moment.  I t i s a l r e a d y exaggerated at the s o u l ' s c o r e .  The humour assumes even g r a v e r p r o p o r t i o n s when one r e a l i z e s t h e r e i s no redemptive  god p r e s e n t as t h e r e was  i n comic r i t u a l ,  l i g h t n e s s of a g e n u i n e l y s o p h i s t i c a t e d detachment. to w r i t e , and Volpone  writer.  always  In Every Man  In H i s Humour and Every Man  i s a f o r c e f u l w r i t e r , i n Volpone  The redemptive god of r i t u a l ,  has r e t r e a t e d  As Jonson c o n t i n u e s  draws c l o s e r , the comic tone of h i s p l a y s becomes  c o n s i s t e n t l y more Impaired.Of His Humour, Jonson  nor i s t h e r e the  he i s a powerful  p r e s e r v e d i n both tragedy and comedy,  far"beyond man's g r a s p , but the humour c h a r a c t e r i s reminded  of t h a t god's presence.  In c l a s s i c a l times h i s presence w i t h i n the  framework of tragedy and comedy had made genuine p a r t i c i p a t i o n Many t h i n k e r s had r e a l i z e d  i t s importance.  i n t e l l e c t u a l t r u t h as opposed content of t h e o r i a  T  or p a r t i c i p a t i o n .  Pythagoras, i n h i s s e a r c h f o r  P l a t o r e l a t e s the One and A r i s t o t l e  In Jonson's  has c u r r e n c y , and i n h i s p l a y s i t i s the w e l l -  or " p a s s i o n " ; i t r e t a i n s i t s i m a g i n a t i v e l i f e  p a r t i a l l y because  with  i s likewise  p o s s i b l e , but i t becomes l e s s so as the age draws to a c l o s e .  s p r i n g of l i f e  to the Many  equates methexis  In much of E l i z a b e t h a n drama t h i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n  time the humour t h e o r y s t i l l  possible.  to r e l i g i o u s d o c t r i n e , r e t a i n s the m y s t i c a l  by means of methexis. or p a r t i c i p a t i o n , mimesis.  Out  of the s p i r i t  i n h i s work  of the times and p a r t i a l l y because  a poet capable of e x p r e s s i n g the s p i r i t which  still  exists.  he i s  17 Although E l i z a b e t h a n moral p h i l o s o p h y o p i n i o n , r a t i o n a l i s m continues and  shows a g r e a t  t o grow s t r o n g e r  v a r i e t y of  among the E l i z a b e t h a n s ,  a g r e a t e r emphasis i s put upon the c l a s s i c a l golden mean.  encourages g r e a t e r v e r s a t i l i t y both s u b j e c t s Elizabethan  and autonomy i n a r t , and the c l a s s i c s  and r u l e s f o r the w r i t e r s o f the p e r i o d .  and medieval m o r a l i s t , a l r e a d y  concerning  men and manners, turns  tellectual  f o r general  insight  The Renaissance provide  Jonson, the  confirmed i n h i s c o n v i c t i o n s  to the c l a s s i c s as the conscious i n -  guidance i n the p r i n c i p l e s of a r t and s p e c i f i c  to the c o n s t r u c t i o n of a c t i o n .  J  18 CHAPTER I I Literary  The  Perspective  a r t i s t ' s p o i n t of view, which i s h i s own  peculiar possession i n  i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p with h i s times, g e n e r a l l y escapes the formulae anyone, i n c l u d i n g the a r t i s t h i m s e l f , can propose. such  as r e c u r r i n g dramatic  d e v i c e s and  p e r s o n a l use, do, however, proceed and age,  can be more r e a d i l y t r a c e d . i s c o n s c i o u s of form and  whose growth h e r e t o f o r e had by Jonson's day, more d e f i n i t e seriously  conventions  l i t e r a r y precedent.  artist's  In a d d i t i o n , the drama,  spontaneous and u n r e f l e c t i n g , . s o p h i s t i c a t i o n and  Form and the formal now  begins to be  as w e l l as i n t h e o r y .  .the drama's p e r i o d of u n r e f l e c t i n g growth and of h i s form; he  turned to the  Jonson, perhaps more than o t h e r s of the  been l a r g e l y  i n general p r a c t i c e  C e r t a i n elements of form,  from more e a s i l y recognizable'; sources  to a t t a i n to a c e r t a i n  shape.  which  t u r n s then to concentrate  f e c t i o n , upon g i v i n g more p e r f e c t a r t i s t i c  begins,  to a c q u i r e a c o n s i d e r e d more  Jonson i s the h e i r of  from i t he takes many elements  upon t e c h n i c a l  and  aesthetic per-  e x p r e s s i o n to elements which  a l r e a d y f a l l w i t h i n the g e n e r a l category of form. The  principal  bethan, the  l i n e s of i n f l u e n c e are, of c o u r s e , c l a s s i c a l  second of which extends back i n t o medieval  c o n n e c t i o n with t h i s l a t t e r t r a d i t i o n  i s evidenced  times.  and  Eliza-  Jonson's  by the k i n s h i p of h i s  c h a r a c t e r s to the a b s t r a c t v i c e s and v i r t u e s of the o l d m o r a l i t y p l a y s . d e p i c t i n g the v i c e s he earthy r e a l i s m .  i s most competent and  Most of the v i t a l i t y  from the E l i z a b e t h a n t r a d i t i o n , and  In  can always imbue them with  i n h i s p l a y s , however, s p r i n g s d i r e c t l y  i t i s from t h i s  source  t h a t the element  of c h a r a c t e r theory  receives  of the humours.  of h i s i d e a s  From the c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n Jonson a b s t r a c t s most  I t i s here t h a t he d i s c o v e r s  finally  a c t i o n , a c t i o n which i s not always c o n s t r u c t e d  with his  r e s o l u t i o n i n the  about the purpose of a r t , the form of drama, the mechanics of  construction. of  i t s p r i n c i p a l impetus and u l t i m a t e  a key t o the c r e a t i o n  i n intimate r e l a t i o n s h i p  characters.  Despite  Jonson's c l a s s i c a l l e a r n i n g , i t seems unreasonable t o assume  t h a t he was u n a f f e c t e d  by a n a t i v e t r a d i t i o n t o which he was c l o s e r i n time.  From the e a r l y drama of h i s own country come echoes of a host v i r t u e s and v i c e s . and  Among these,  i t i s the v i c e s which f i n d , through  b u r l e s q u e , the most l i f e l i k e  knaves.  expression  characters  strengthens both h i s c o n c e p t i o n and  of the humour c h a r a c t e r .  A l t e r e d r e t a i n a sense of earthy  of the medieval v i c e .  drawn with a b o l d Ursula the  Juniper  jollity.  Humour, i n a d d i t i o n t o h i s c l a s s i c a l versatility  succeeds  from the lower s t r a t a of s o c i e t y . H i s  t o do so i s one which l a t e r  presentation  farce  i n the v i v a c i t y of rogues and  I t i s o f t e n through broad f a r c i c a l treatment t h a t Jonson  i n drawing most a d e p t l y ability  of a b s t r a c t  and Onion of The Case Is  Brainworm of Every Man In H i s  s o p h i s t i c a t i o n , r e c a l l s the untrammelled  Most of Jonson's c r e d i b l e women are  and i n d e l i c a t e stroke  - T i b of Every Man In H i s Humour.  of Bartholomew F a i r . Lady P o l i t i c k Would-Be of Volpone, a l l r e c a l l  coarse and n a t u r a l v i t a l i t y  characters  of medieval r e a l i s m .  Jonson's  a l s o remain c l o s e t o t h e i r medieval h e r i t a g e  d i f f e r e n t way. counterpart,  They r e t a i n t h e i r a b s t r a c t n a t u r e , but,  virtuous  but i n a r a t h e r u n l i k e her r o g u i s h  a v i r t u o u s woman, such as Rachel i n The Case Is A l t e r e d , i s  u s u a l l y a s h a l l o w , f a i n t l y drawn, and i n e f f e c t u a l human c h a r a c t e r .  I f she  23: is  to be a more e f f e c t i v e dramatic  of  virtue like  of  an e v e r - p r e s e n t dea ex machina"*" r e s o l v i n g  subjects.  agent,  she may become the a p o t h e o s i s  the Queen i n C y n t h i a ' s R e v e l s , who moves about i n the manner the problems c r e a t e d by her  V i r t u o u s c h a r a c t e r s who do possess r e a l i s t i c  J u s t i c e Clement o f Every Man In H i s Humour and Bonario may assume t h e i r r o l e s only they f r u s t r a t e little  an e v i l  of Volpone, :  a c t i o n , but they do  These c h a r a c t e r s are not g e n e r a l l y l a b e l l e d as  a b s t r a c t i o n s , but f r e q u e n t l y they remain such. hand, who i s l a b e l l e d  A c h a r a c t e r , on the o t h e r  as a v i c e , such as M a c i l e n t e i n Every Man Out Of H i s  Humour. may emerge as the prime mover of the p l a y ' s world a life  which cannot  find  From the medieval  i t s own  t r a d i t i o n Jonson a l s o i n h e r i t s a s e r i o u s moral  continued w e l l beyond i t .  l a t e r r e i n f o r c e d by c l a s s i c a l literary  critics  and seethe  as w e l l .  2  with  boundaries.  A s e r i o u s concern w i t h moral v a l u e s pervaded and  like  f o r a b r i e f moment i n the p l a y ' s l i f e when  i n t e n t i o n or r e s o l v e a f o o l i s h  a c t i n g themselves.  qualities,  t h e - e n t i r e s i x t e e n t h century  I t was the l e g a c y of e a r l y authors  tone.  and c r i t i c s ,  Christianity,  and by the E n g l i s h  From t h i s t r a d i t i o n l i k e w i s e comes Jonson's  Jonson h i m s e l f deprecates the u n d i s g u i s e d use of the deus ex machina. In the Prologue to Every Man In H i s Humour he l i s t s the " i l l customs of the age," and p o i n t s to h i s own p l a y as one such "as o t h e r p l a y s should be," Where n e i t h e r Chorus wafts you ore the seas; Nor c r e a k i n g throne comes downe, the boyes to p l e a s e ; " (11. 15-16) 2 L i l y B. Campbell, Shakespeare's T r a g i c Heroes. S l a v e s of P a s s i o n (New York. Barnes 8, Noble, I n c . , 1952), pp. 24, 30-38.  2L tendency to a l l e g o r i z e , allegory The  to u t i l i z e  of money i n C y n t h i a ' s  Magnetic Lady, and  Cynthia's characters new  and  Revels  one  a c t i o n on a s y m b o l i c a l  Revels  and The  S t a p l e of News, the  the P r o d i g a l Son m o t i f  of Eastward Hoe I ).  f i n d s a b o l d mixture of m y t h o l o g i c a l  as w e l l as c h a r a c t e r s from r e a l  life,  In t r y i n g  allegorical  p l a y had  to d i s s o c i a t e i t from the  a t r a d i t i o n with which Jonson i s perhaps more f a m i l i a r  i s , of course,  of E n g l i s h drama and  similarity  c l a s s i c a l drama.  connected with  successive  stages  not  already  the  life  classical  classical  i n the o r i g i n s and  and  had  been only  tradition, In  tradition,  rituals  b e l i e f s of the populace; both i n  i m p l i c i t , to r a i s e  c i p a t i o n to a high l e v e l of conscious  oh  development  Both sprang from r e l i g i o u s  attempted to make more and more e x p l i c i t an  which at the beginning  allegorical  than o t h e r s .  l i t e r a r y acquaintance w i t h the  the e v i d e n t  intimately  In  i n f l u e n c e of the E l i z a b e t h a n t r a d i t i o n  Jonson's drama, i t i s d i f f i c u l t  there  compass of  play.  to measure the  a d d i t i o n to Jonson's own  and  (the  a mixture which was  to the E l i z a b e t h a n mind, f o r L y l y ' s m y t h o l o g i c a l  succeeded the  level  awareness.  interchange  emotional  What had  parti-  been s e c r e t i n  4  r i t u a l must i n the drama be e x p l a i n e d . direction,  he  i s attempting  what the  and what the E l i z a b e t h a n drama was  When Jonson makes a move i n t h i s  c l a s s i c a l drama had  i n the process  of  succeeded i n doing  doing.  Jonson shared the a u t h o r s h i p of t h i s p l a y with Chapman and Marston. Without attempting to a s s i g n s p e c i f i c p a r t s to s p e c i f i c authors, one can c o n s i d e r the p l a y i n i t s t o t a l i t y as r e s u l t i n g from the c o l l a b o r a t i o n of t h r e e men, each one of whom i s r e s p o n s i b l e , d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y , f o r the e n t i r e l i f e of the p l a y . Jonson h i m s e l f must have c o n s i d e r e d i t so when he i n s i s t e d on j o i n i n g h i s f e l l o w authors i n p r i s o n . 4  For a d i s c u s s i o n of the e v o l u t i o n of t h i s conscious awareness i n the Greek drama, see Gertrude R. Levy, The Gate of Horn (London: Faber & Faber L t d . , 1948), p. 316.  £2 In the Greek drama the chorus was not from the a c t o r s . involvement  drawn from the c i t i z e n s or audience,  T h i s p r a c t i c e meant the c o n t i n u a t i o n of a p o p u l a r  i n r i t u a l which marked the b e g i n n i n g s of the drama.  a s t r u c t u r a l means by which the c l a s s i c a l evoked  d r a m a t i s t s acknowledged  c o n s c i o u s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n an a c t i v i t y which was  r e s u l t of the p o p u l a r w i l l  I t was  becoming l e s s a  and more the product of an i n d i v i d u a l  In the b e g i n n i n g s of E n g l i s h r e l i g i o u s drama and i n f o l k dramatic t h e r e had l i k e w i s e been a more d i r e c t  audience p a r t i c i p a t i o n .  drama a l s o r e t a i n s formal means of keeping a c t i v e involvement becomes p r i m a r i l y  i t s audience  becomes a more p u r e l y empathetic a critical  one.  The  and  effort. activity,  Elizabethan  involved.  An  one; with Jonson i t  chorus, the c r i t i c - c h a r a c t e r ,  the  p r o l o g u e , the i n d u c t i o n , are formal means by which the s p e c t a t o r s are expected to p a r t i c i p a t e  i n Jonson's  plays.  But they must respond  as w e l l as e m o t i o n a l l y , a demand which Jonson makes because audience to accept the thought feel  action d i r e c t l y  of the . a c t i o n . the world t h a t  of h i s a r t as though  i n the realm of thought  critically  he wants h i s  i t were r e a l i t y ,  and to know q u i c k l y the  to thought  To accomplish t h i s , he i s f o r c e d to cut out a g r e a t d e a l of i s u s u a l l y the p r o v i n c e of drama and of a r t g e n e r a l l y where  comprehension  needs to be i n t u i t i v e .  Because he a l l o w s l i t t l e  comprehension  of the r e a l i t y which he c r e a t e s , i t s boundaries can be more  p r e c i s e l y marked by the l i m i t s he imposes on h i s form. are i m p l i c i t  intuitive  Spiritual  realities  i n t h i s form, but they have become i n t e l l e c t u a l i z e d a b s t r a c -  t i o n s not v i t a l l y  a v a i l a b l e to h i s c h a r a c t e r s .  The humour theory i s a good example of a development i n which both indigenous and c l a s s i c a l  i n f l u e n c e s became i n t e r t w i n e d .  The  Renaissance  e v a l u a t i o n of the p a s s i o n s , t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p to s i n , and t h e i r  proper  control  attempted  to combine the t e a c h i n g s of P l a t o , A r i s t o t l e ,  Galen, and H i p p o c r a t e s . many d e r i v a t i v e s . rejection.  The  not governed  The  Stoic attitude  by r e a s o n .  a c u r i o u s m i n g l i n g of a l l ,  towards p a s s i o n was  t h a t of  Since the S c r i p t u r e s a t t r i b u t e d  Although  complete  c e r t a i n passions the  the c l e a r l y u n i f i e d t h i n k i n g of Thomas  gone, h i s summary of the problem was  The p a s s i o n s of are c o n t r a r y to us to s i n : but by r e a s o n , they  with  i f they were  h i m s e l f , C h r i s t i a n a u t h o r i t y u s u a l l y upheld  Peripatetic doctrine. was  r e s u l t was  P e r i p a t e t i c s taught t h a t p a s s i o n s were e v i l  to C h r i s t and to God  Aquinas  The  Christ,  still  g e n e r a l l y accepted:  the s o u l , i n so f a r as they the order of r e a s o n , i n c l i n e i n so f a r as they are c o n t r o l l e d p e r t a i n to v i r t u e . ^  On the s u r f a c e Jonson's theory of the humours would seem i n accord w i t h t h i s g e n e r a l l y accepted t h e o r e t i c a l e v a l u a t i o n by Aquinas. the hard, p o l i s h e d to heed.  s u r f a c e of h i s p l a y s which Jonson  i n t e n d s h i s audience  Below t h i s l e v e l , however, t h e r e i s an emotional  at t h i s emotional  It i s  source, and  source a l l p a s s i o n s would appear to be d e s t r u c t i v e  the reason i n e f f e c t u a l .  In Every Man  and  In His Humour K i t e l y d e s c r i b e s h i s  b r a i n as an "hour-glass f o r the running sands of b a r r e n s u s p i c i o n " and laments  h i s l o s s of "the mindes e r e c t i o n " .  The  real question, rather  than any  concern w i t h the p a s s i o n s or the r e a s o n , seems to be,  possible  f o r a n y t h i n g t o redeem man  "No".  Both God  from h i m s e l f ? "  and t h e - r e a s o n prove powerless  t h e r e i s not r e a l l y  and  The  ineffective.  i n Campbell,  p.  "Is i t  answer seems to be,  a S t o i c contempt of the w o r l d , nor does the  Summa T h e o l o g i c a . v o l . V I , p. 296,  he  97.  In  Jonson  Peripatetic  i d e a of balance seem important. the  C h r i s t i a n concept of o r i g i n a l  teachings,  a tendency not unknown  sin i s i n f u l l The  H i s theory of the humours i s c l o s e r to  bloom, a v o r a c i o u s  i n the annals of C h r i s t i a n i t y . plant  mankind.  Original  i n c o n t r o l of man and h i s w o r l d .  d i f f i c u l t y which Jonson has i n c o o r d i n a t i n g  particularly  character  and a c t i o n ,  i n h i s e a r l y p l a y s , t e s t i f i e s to t h i s p a r t i c u l a r view of  An i n d i v i d u a l who i s a mixture of "good" and "bad" i s much more  e a s i l y and c o n v i n c i n g l y  imitated  only  portion.  one-half of l i f e ' s  In a d d i t i o n t o the v a r y i n g the  s i n , unbalanced by other C h r i s t i a n  humour t h e o r y , t h e r e  contributed  i n a c t i o n than an i n d i v i d u a l who  moral p h i l o s o p h i e s  possesses  which helped to mold  were d i f f e r e n t types of l i t e r a t u r e which  to i t s development.  likewise  The humours had made t h e i r appearance i n  the  drama of L y l y , i n prose f i c t i o n ,  i n satire,  the  l a s t of which C. R. B a s k e r v i l l , i n h i s a n a l y s i s of Jonson's e a r l y  comedy, sees as a p r i n c i p a l i n g r e d i e n t humours.^  and i n the c h a r a c t e r  sketch  of Jonson's own theory of the  C l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o and a f f e c t i n g the c h a r a c t e r  sketch  and the  theory of humours was the Renaissance theory of decorum, an i d e a which h e l p e d to draw more d e f i n i t e o u t l i n e s of c h a r a c t e r i n which t h a t  character  fulfilled his limits.  form owed much t o examples from c l a s s i c a l Theophrastan c h a r a c t e r  sketch  This  and to r e g u l a t e  the s t y l  f u r t h e r development of  literature.  and i n L a t i n comedy there  In both the were types which  C h a r l e s R. B a s k e r v i l l , E n g l i s h Elements i n Jonson's E a r l y Comedy. B u l l e t i n of the U n i v e r s i t y of Texas,. No. 178, Humanistic S e r i e s , No. 12, S t u d i e s i n E n g l i s h , No. 1 ( A u s t i n : U n i v e r s i t y of Texas, 1911), p. 27.  2§ illustrated simply  one  7  peculiar quality.  i n the realm of a e s t h e t i c t h e o r y ;  as w e l l , and  a p o p u l a r concern of the  matter of g r e a t moral s i g n i f i c a n c e . De  Officiis.  that  I t s c o n t r i b u t i o n , however, was  In one  passage on the  " i t i s inseparable  r i g h t , and  age.  a law  of moral  Many works t r e a t e d i t as a  Perhaps the best subject  philosophy  known was  of decorum, the  Cicero's  author  asserted  from moral goodness; f o r what i s proper i s m o r a l l y  what i s m o r a l l y  of p r o p r i e t y as i t was  i t was  not  r i g h t i s proper".  concerned w i t h duty and  He  continued  the  with a d i s c u s s i o n  individual; finally g  and  most important, he r e l a t e d i t to the The  conception  temperament.  of the humours a l s o owed a debt to the  of e a r l y E n g l i s h a l l e g o r i c a l drama and sees these a b s t r a c t i o n s  as d i r e c t l y  literature.  abstractions  C. R. B a s k e r v i l l  antecedent to Jonson's theory  of  the  humours: . . . before the c o n c e p t i o n of humour became p r e v a l e n t , the c l o s e r approach of these a b s t r a c t i o n s of a l l e g o r y , and e s p e c i a l l y of the m o r a l i t y , to r e a l l i f e had been l e a d i n g d i r e c t l y toward a treatment of c h a r a c t e r t h a t was s u b s t a n t i a l l y the same t h i n g as Jonson's treatment of humour.9  For a d i s c u s s i o n of Q u i n t i l i a n ' s i d e a of e t h o s , or the " s e t d e f i n i t i o n of a f i x e d p e r s o n a l i t y , " and I t s i n f l u e n c e on the conception of the nature of comedy, see M u r i e l C. Bradbrook, The Growth and S t r u c t u r e of E l i z a b e t h a n Comedy (London: Chatto &. Windus, 1955), p. 42. g C i c e r o , De O f f i c i i s . t r a n s . P r o f e s s o r Walter M i l l e r , Loeb C l a s s i c a l L i b r a r y , Bk. 1, x x v i i f f . , i n Campbell, p. 98. 9  B a s k e r v i l l , p.  26.  Some of Jonson's c h a r a c t e r s , e s p e c i a l l y the v i r t u o u s ones or those humours, are c l o s e r to a b s t r a c t i o n s than to r e a l c h a r a c t e r s .  The  type, however, does not remain an a b s t r a c t i o n i n Jonson's hands. humour may  be o r g a n i c or i n o r g a n i c .  c h a r a c t e r ' s being  or i t may  but Jonson b r i n g s him which he to  Jonson's own  i n the  p r a c t i c e soon spread  to other  s i x t e e n t h century  there was  schools.  and  In 1527  the Menaechmi and and  of t h e i r  1528  Renaissance  s t u d i e s of V i t r u v i u s ,  fifteenth  i n much the same  p l a y s and  century  there were  neo-Latin i m i t a t i o n s . i n theoearly p a r t of  of dramatic  activity  i n the E n g l i s h  Others  s e r i e s of E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n s of  followed  classical  10 plays.  E. K. Chambers, The 1903), I I , 214-215.  the  there were performances at Wolsey's house of  the Phormio by the boys of S t . P a u l s .  soon there began a long  together  Life.  been acted  c o u n t r i e s , and  an o u t b u r s t  types  I t i s not q u i t e c l e a r when the  of the  performances i n I t a l y of both c l a s s i c a l  traits'  desire for  humanism of the  t h a t Roman drama had  towards the end  i n the  s p e c t a c l e of l i f e ,  something to the new  f a r c e s and m i r a c l e p l a y s .  The  e x i s t e n c e of c h a r a c t e r s owes much  f o r the  as a r e s u l t  humour  and v i g o r of the E n g l i s h  a n a l y s i s of i n d i v i d u a l s from  to r e a l i z e  rooted  s u r f a c e i n extraneous  a d e s i r e awakened by the new  knowledge came, but  The  be deeply  the verve  of i t , and  humanists, probably  manner as the  with  This l i f e l i k e  observation  i t s interest  were beginning  near the  Elizabethan passion  verisimilitude,  The  to l i f e  f i n d s around him.  w i t h h i s acute  and  float  I t may  without  Mediaeval Stage ( O x f o r d : U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s ,  The drama f l o u r i s h e d , and as the E l i z a b e t h a n age p r o g r e s s e d , there was  more and more i n t e r p l a y between n a t i v e and c l a s s i c a l  i n t e r a c t e d w i t h another.  Popular demand and the p o p u l a r drama  and were i n f l u e n c e d by the academic and the c l a s s i c a l . succeeded  forces.  w r i t e r s themselves  trend  influenced  The p l a y w r i g h t s  i n t r a i n i n g p u b l i c t a s t e to a c e r t a i n e x t e n t , but the  f o r c e d upon i t s w r i t e r s more l i b e r a l  One  audience  a p p l i c a t i o n of the r u l e s which the  not too u n w i l l i n g l y  abjured.  To the o b s e r v a t i o n of s u c c e s s f u l dramatic p r a c t i c e s over the years and t o the r e l a t i v e owe  s i l e n c e of the a n c i e n t s concerning comedy, Jonson  i n some measure the l i b e r a l  practice.  nature of h i s p r e c e p t s and  he  adopts the g u i d i n g p r i n c i p l e  important as a concept and t h a t t o proceed towards form one  " e l e c t i o n and a meane." inough, may  ill."' ""''  who  that  should use  t h a t i s good, and g r e a t ; but  And when i t comes i t doth not recompence the r e s t of faculty  does not proceed to evolve a c a r e f u l , p r e c i s e , and o r i g i n a l  the drama, or more s p e c i f i c a l l y  upon men  form  alwaies seeks to doe more then  Beyond t h i s p r i n c i p l e of e x e r c i z i n g the c r i t i c a l  1  Jonson  For "men,  some time happen on something  v e r y seldome:  of  independent  Even concerning a r t i n g e n e r a l Jonson a c c e p t s the d i c t a of the  a n c i e n t s i n a r a t h e r broad ways is  and  may  of comedy:  their  sensibly theory  h i s ' D i s c o v e r i e s made  and m a t t e r ' are mostly t r a n s l a t i o n s from the works of o t h e r s :  S c a l i g e r , Q u i n t i l i a n , C i c e r o , Horace,  A r i s t o t l e , Seneca,  Plato,  Martial,  J u v e n a l , P a t r i c i u s , P o s s e v i n o , V e l l e i u s P a t e r c u l u s , H e i n s i u s , J . L. V i v e s ,  The A l c h e m i s t . "To The Reade'r", 11. 21-24. T h i s i s perhaps no more than another aspect of the o l d s t r u g g l e between the c l a s s i c a l and the romantic p o i n t s of view. In each case, the proponents of the two methods or a t t i t u d e s may t h e o r e t i c a l l y emphasize one method to the excl u s i o n of the o t h e r , yet i n p r a c t i c e combine the two.  ' Bacon, Sidney,  and many o t h e r s .  12  He  c o l l e c t s , r e a r r a n g e s and  he t h i n k s b e s t f o r p r a c t i c a l guidance. certain specific  2  8  adopts what  From h i s c o l l e c t i o n he  takes  s i g n p o s t s f o r the c o n s t r u c t i o n of good drama.  When he  f i n d s them d i f f i c u l t  or i m p o s s i b l e of a p p l i c a t i o n , he makes a momentary  withdrawal  a permanent r e n u n c i a t i o n .  but never  His c r i t i c a l  intelligence .  always f i n d s i t n e c e s s a r y to j u s t i f y h i s d e v i a t i o n and re-emphasize the Jonson's p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h r u l e s , w i t h f i n d i n g a r i g h t way things, t e s t i f i e s insistent that  to h i s s e r i o u s a t t i t u d e towards the drama.  upon the moral nature of a r t and  there i s a r i g h t way  is inclined  of making i t m o r a l .  how  does one  of doing i s equally  towards the  belief  In d i r e c t i n g h i s e f f o r t s  p r i m a r i l y towards comedy, he must have been aware of one dilemmas of the day;  He  rule.  of the common  r e c o n c i l e h i g h moral purpose with a  form which i m i t a t e s the common " e v i l s " of humanity?  In h i s e x p l o r a t i o n  of the c l a s s i c s , he  f i n d s t h a t tragedy, by i m p l i c a t i o n , i s allowed to be  the s u p e r i o r muse:  i t possesses  a more d e f i n i t e  form  and  i t has a t t a i n e d  to a h i g h e r m o r a l i t y . The  b a s i s f o r t h i s h i g h e r m o r a l i t y and  to r e s t upon some k i n d of l i t e r a l Sidney used Renaissance.  so f r e e l y , was One  one  truth.  t h i s more d e f i n i t e  form  seemed  J . S. S c a l i g e r , whose P o e t i c e  of the most i n f l u e n t i a l  critics  of h i s pronouncements on the s u b j e c t was  w i t h j e s t s as i n comedy, or with t h i n g s s e r i o u s , i f r i g h t l y  "We  of the are p l e a s e d  ordered.  For a l i s t i n g of r e s e a r c h e s made on Jonson's sources f o r t h i s work, see Herford. and Simpson, XI, 212.  D i s r e g a r d of t r u t h i s h a t e f u l to any man." the b e l i e f  .  Implicit  in this  statement  t h a t t h i n g s " r i g h t l y o r d e r e d " are the r e q u i s i t e of tragedy  but  not of comedy.  For S c a l i g e r , tragedy was  to be r i g h t l y  ordered  if  " t r u t h of argument", t h a t i s an h i s t o r i c a l argument  capable  i t possessed  of being p r e s e n t e d w i t h v e r i s i m i l i t u d e . f e l l o w countrymen, by Sidney  He  i s echoed by many of Jonson's  and by S i r W i l l i a m Alexander, who  t h a t t r a g e d y , because of i t s g r a v i t y , "when the Greatness  most l i k e l y  is  should be founded  thought  on t r u e h i s t o r y ,  of a Known person, u r g i n g Regard, doth work the more 14  p o w e r f u l l y upon the A f f e c t i o n . " Philotas  says, "I thought  so t r u e a H i s t o r y , i n the a n c i e n t forme of a  Tragedy, c o u l d not but have had and the b e t t e r s o r t of men,  the Stage at t h i s day  Samual D a n i e l i n h i s "Apology" to  an unreproveable  forming  These men  follies  a l l equate  o r d e r e d " and with h i s t o r i c a l t r u t h .  l a y i n r e g a r d i n g something which was rightly  time,  seeing w i t h what i d e l f i c t i o n and grosse 15  abused mens r e c r e a t i o n s . "  tragedy with t h i n g s " r i g h t l y  was  passage w i t h the  The  danger  h i s t o r i c a l l y t r u e as something which  ordered - a d i s t o r t i o n of A r i s t o t l e ' s idea of the known f a b l e  the core of the t r a g i c t a l e .  by the d e s i r e of the age  f o r a new  T h i s danger was  k i n d of r e a l i t y ,  knowledge and p r o d u c t i v e of concrete  perhaps  intensified  a r e a l i t y based  on  accurate  results.  Quoted from'and d i s c u s s e d i n Joseph A l l e n Bryant, J r . , "The S i g n i f i c a n c e of Ben Jonson's F i r s t Requirement f o r Tragedy: 'Truth of Argument'," S t u d i e s i n P h i l o l o g y . XLIX ( A p r i l 1952), 199. 1 4  Bryant,  p.  200.  Bryant, p.  200.  30 Tragedy might e a s i l y become h i s t o r y  a c c u r a t e l y reproduced  Bacon e v a l u a t e d the drama, l i k e h i s t o r y made v i s i b l e . other hand, might be denied d i g n i t y  but not t o the second.  Comedy, on the  and o r d e r , s i n c e i t was not c l o s e l y  l i n k e d w i t h h i s t o r y and w i t h t h i n g s s e r i o u s . f i r s t mistake  and not as  Jonson f a l l s h e i r t o the  I f tragedy  c o u l d be equated  h i s t o r y , i t would approach c l o s e r t o t h a t Baconian  with  p a l a c e of the mind i n  which reason and h i s t o r y , by bowing and b u c k l i n g man's mind t o the nature of t h i n g s , helped  to r e s t o r e h i s s o v e r e i g n t y i n the u n i v e r s e .  Jonson i s t o d i s c o v e r with Seianus, d i v i n i t y , which Bacon by i m p l i c a t i o n and r e a s o n .  l o s e t h a t touch of  s e t s o u t s i d e the bounds o f h i s t o r y  In the c r e a t i o n of Sei anus, " t r u t h of argument" becomes an  "historically wright  i t could e a s i l y  But as  verifiable  argument", and Jonson, f o r g e t t i n g t h a t the p l a y -  does not look f o r t r u t h based upon f a c t a l o n e , produces a p l a y t h a t  g i v e s no i n d i c a t i o n of the poet's  i m a g i n a t i o n having  penetrated  the v e i l  of the p a s t . " ^  There are of course other reasons f o r i t s f a i l u r e t o "preserve popular d e l i g h t . " One, p o s i t e d by H e r f o r d and Simpson, i s Jonson's n e g l e c t of the u n i t y of time and thus the l a c k of a c o n c e n t r a t e d a c t i o n . Another i s h i s own emotional makeup, which d e s p i t e h i s p r o t e s t a t i o n s of Leaue me. There's something come i n t o my thought, That must, and s h a l l be sung, h i g h , and a l o o f e , Safe from the wolues b l a c k iaw, and the d u l l asses hoofe, (The P o e t a s t e T , " A p o l o g e t i c a l Dialogue," c o u l d not iallow him, because of h i s adopted p o i n t of view, to g i v e h i m s e l f up completely t o the t r a g i c a l dramatic w o r l d . F o r f u r t h e r comment on the f a i l u r e of S e i a n u s . see H e r f o r d and Simpson, I I , 27.  Although larly had  l e s s had been s a i d about comedy than about tragedy,  by A r i s t o t l e , there was  a g e n e r a l a t t i t u d e towards i t and  been made to d e f i n e i t . But  those of tragedy current  and  i t was  i t was  be  some  granted only a n e g a t i v e m o r a l i t y .  to  Despite  " C i c e r o n i a n " d e f i n i t i o n of comedy, as "an i m i t a t i o n of l i f e ,  something which by  attempt  d e f i n e d i n terms a n t i t h e t i c a l  m i r r o r of manners and an image of t r u t h , " comedy was ,to  particu-  the  a  g e n e r a l l y construed  i m p l i c a t i o n i t should not be.  Even Sidney  in his  Ao.dl-oqle f:or -jEe:d±Faa.echoes t h i s same s t r a i n s Comedy i s an i m i t a t i o n of the common e r r o r s of our l i f e , which he r e p r e s e n t e t h i n the most r i d i c u l o u s and most s c o r n e f u l l s o r t t h a t may be; so t h a t i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t h a t any beholder can be content to be such a one. Now, as i n Geometry, the o b l i q u e must bee knowne as wel as the r i g h t , and i n A r i t h m e t i c k the odde as w e l l as the euen, so i n the a c t i o n s of our l i f e who seeth not the f i l t h i n e s of e u i l wanteth a g r e a t f o i l e to p e r c e i u e the beauty of v e r t u e . ? 1  Comedy should teach the moral nature of t h i n g s , but o b l i q u e and n e g a t i v e way  only.  he  so i n an  I t l a c k s an i n h e r e n t m o r a l i t y because i t  c a s t s an image of a t r u t h which should not Jonson i s c l o s e l y  i t can do  be.  a l l i e d with t h i s t r a d i t i o n of moral c r i t i c i s m  and  so d e c l a r e s h i m s e l f i n the d e d i c a t o r y e p i s t l e to Volpones F o r , i f men w i l l i m p a r t i a l l y , and not a - s q u i n t , looke toward t h e . o f f i c e s , and f u n c t i o n of a Poet, they w i l l e a s i l y conclude to themselves, the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of any mans being the good Poet, without f i r s t being a good man. ( V o l . V, p. 17, 11. 20-23)  S i r P h i l i p Sidney, An Apologie f o r P o e t r i e . Henry Olney e d i t i o n (1595), i n E l i z a b e t h a n C r i t i c a l E s s a y s , ed. G. Gregory Smith (Oxfords U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1904), I I , 176-177.  '32 In the same e p i s t l e t h e r e  i s a r e c o g n i t i o n of a c o n f l i c t between the  " s t r i c t r i g o u r of comick law", t h a t i s , the t r a n q u i l l a u l t i m a for  comedy, and the f i n a l  catastrophe  of h i s own p l a y .  requisite  I t i s an u l t i m a t e  m o r a l i t y which emerges as triumphant: . . . my s p e c i a l l ayme being to put the s n a f f l e i n t h e i r mouths, t h a t c r i e o u t , we neuer punish v i c e i n our e n t e r l u d e s , & c. I tooke the more l i b e r t y ; though not without some l i n e s o f example, drawne euen i n the a n c i e n t s themselues, the goings out of whose comoedies are not alwaies i o y f u l l , but o f t - t i m e s , the bawdes, the s e r u a n t s , the r i u a l s , y e a , and the masters are m u l c t e d : and f i t l y , i t being the o f f i c e of-a-comickPoet, t o i m i t a t e i u s t i c e , and i n s t r u c t t o l i f e , as w e l l as p u r i t i e of language, or s t i r r e up gentle a f f e c t i o n s . (Vol.  V., p. 20, 11. 115-123)  Jonson a s s e r t s the m o r a l i t y and d i v i n i t y thereby  i n general.  He  r e a s s e r t s the d i g n i t y of comedy, and i t i s t o comedy t h a t he  devotes h i s p r a c t i c a l e f f o r t s . positive  of poetry  F o r him the comic poet has as h i g h and  a purpose as does the t r a g i c :  i n s t r u c t to l i f e . "  h i s aim i s to " i m i t a t e i u s t i c e and  He i s not to g i v e the populace the " r i b a l d r y ,  profanation,  blasphemy, a l l l i c e n c e of o f f e n c e " and "such f o u l e , and unwash'd b'audr'y, as i s now made the foode of the scene," a l l of which the popular demanded but had much d i f f i c u l t y a f f e c t i o n s as w e l l .  taste  i n j u s t i f y i n g ; he i s t o s t i r up g e n t l e  When he proposes to s t r i p Poesie  of those  base  rags  w i t h which the times have c l o t h e d her f o r so l o n g , i t i s again i n p r e f a c e to  a comedy t h a t he i s speaking.  33 . . . I s h a l l r a i s e the d e s p i s ' d head of p o e t r i e a g a i n e , and s t r i p p i n g her out of those r o t t e n and base r a g s , wherwith the Times have a d u l t e r a t e d her form, r e s t o r e her to her p r i m i t i u e h a b i t , f e a t u r e , and maiesty, and render her worthy t o be imbraced, and k i s t , of a l l the g r e a t and m a s t e r s p i r i t s of our w o r l d . (Volpone. V o l . V, p. 21, 11. 129-134) Jonson  i s keenly aware of c l a s s i c a l p r e c e p t , but he always  a s s e r t s h i s r i g h t t o independent  boldly  practice:  I see not then, but we should enioy the same l i c e n c e , or f r e e power, to i l l u s t r a t e and h e i g h t e n our i n u e n t i o n s as they Qthe a n c i e n t s ] d i d ; and not bee t y e d to those s t r i c t and r e g u l a r formes which the n i c e n e s s e of a few (who are n o t h i n g but forme) would t h r u s t vpon v s . (EMOH, 2nd Sounding, 266-270) The  speech by Cordatus which immediately  concerning the freedom comic  form.  of comedy.  of the a r t i s t  In i t Jonson  precedes  the above c o n c l u s i o n  o u t l i n e s the development of Greek  shows an acute and v i v i d  He not only r e a l i z e s t h a t t h i s was  sense of the  i n another time and i n  another p l a c e , but t h a t these "lawes were not d e l i v e r e d when he proposes  the s o - c a l l e d  which i s so o f t e n c i t e d  It i s o f f e r e d to those who  ab i n i t i o " .  " C i c e r o n i a n " d e f i n i t i o n of comedy, the  as the b a s i s of Jonson's  h i m s e l f a g a i n wide l a t i t u d e  evolution  Even one  dramatic t h e o r y , he a l l o w s  i n the r a t h e r n e g a t i v e nature of i t s p r e s e n t a t i o n . have not proposed  a better.  You say w e l l , but I would f a i n e heare one of these autumne-judgements d e f i n e once, Quid s i t Comoedia? i f he cannot, l e t him content h i m s e l f e w i t h CICEROS d e f i n i t i o n ( t i l l hee haue s t r e n g t h to propose to h i m s e l f e a b e t t e r ) who would have a Comoedie to be I m i t a t i o v i t a e . Speculum c o n s u e t u d i n i s . Imago v e r i t a t i s ; a thing, throughout p l e a s a n t , and r i d i c u l o u s , and accommodated to the c o r r e c t i o n of manners: . . . . (EMOH. I l l , v i , 202-210) Jonson, however, remains a r e s p e c t o r of r u l e s of form and of m o r a l i t y . precepts and is  not  should  With comedy Jonson f i n d s a sphere i n which r u l e s  are l e s s o p e r a t i v e :  i t has  comedy has  been l e s s s u b j e c t to an accumulation  attempt to apply  ordered"  and  he  he  immorality It .  for c l a s s i c a l injunction,  been more d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to t r a g e d y .  l i v e s of g r e a t men;  abasic  and  of c l a s s i c a l dogma.  to comedy c e r t a i n standards  the p r i n c i p l e of " t r u t h of argument" and, of the  been allowed  s u r p r i s i n g t h a t Jonson, w i t h h i s r e s p e c t  which had  standards  of dramatic  He  cannot apply  as i t s c o r o l l a r y , the  can i n s i s t t h a t i t t r e a t of t h i n g s  can make of i t a s e r i o u s b u s i n e s s ,  construction  a way  to comedy  treatment "rightly  of l o o k i n g at  life  T h i s c o n c e p t i o n of the drama as a m i r r o r was c e r t a i n l y not uncommon to the day, and one may compare the above statement by Jonson w i t h Hamibet's a d v i c e to the p l a y e r s : the purpose of p l a y i n g , whose end, both at the f i r s t and now, was and i s , to h o l d , as 'twere the m i r r o r up to nature; to.show v i r t u e her own f e a t u r e , scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time h i s form and pressure. ( I l l , i i . 24-29) 1  • 3.5 with a legitimate its  form.  declare  He can g i v e  i t an honorable s t y l e , i f not a l o f t y one, he can  i t s r i g h t t o i m i t a t e j u s t i c e and l i f e ,  which b e d e v i l the  c l a i m to t r u t h , a c l a i m r e i n f o r c e d by the p e r f e c t i o n of  gentle  i t s production,  he can reduce the a b s u r d i t i e s  and he can a s s e r t  a f f e c t i o n s to p r o f i t  and d e l i g h t .  i n t o the r e q u i s i t e number of scenes and a c t s  i t s nature of s t i r r i n g  He can d i v i d e a comic "according  play  t o the T e r e n t i a n  manner", he can on o c c a s i o n  p r o v i d e i t with a Chorus, and he can apply the  u n i t i e s of time and p l a c e .  For unity  tion:  a Jonsonian play  of a c t i o n he has h i s own i n t e r p r e t a -  i s not a p l o t i n i m i t a t i o n o f one a c t i o n u n i f i e d  i n a l l i t s p a r t s , but the i m i t a t i o n of many a c t i o n s , each c r e a t e d i n accordance with an i n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r  and shaped w i t h  tenacity  whole.  i n t o an a e s t h e t i c a l l y p l e a s i n g  intellectual  436 CHAPTER I I I The Marriage of Two L i t e r a r y T h e o r i e s : of  the Theory  Humours and C l a s s i c a l Unity of A c t i o n  Jonson stands at the peak of h i s age, at a time when the growth of the  g r e a t e r E l i z a b e t h a n and Jacobean comedies  i s dependent  on c o n d i t i o n s  e s s e n t i a l l y t r a n s i e n t , on the f u s i o n of converging t r a d i t i o n s which are not permanently  compatible.  M u r i e l Bradbrook  characterizes this fusion  concisely  i n her study of E l i z a b e t h a n comedy: Cut of t h i s t e n s i o n , the g r e a t e r E l i z a bethan and Jacobean comedies were b r e d . Theatrical and r h e t o r i c a l , o r g a n i z e d and spontaneous, a r t i f i c i a l and n a t u r a l , they r e f l e c t e d a way of l i f e and of speech which were l i k e w i s e of the hour. Formal manners and v i o l e n t p a s s i o n s , g r a v i t y and b r u t a l i t y , j e s t and d i g n i t y might be exemp l i f i e d i n the l i v e s of the g r e a t from S i r Thomas More t o S i r Walter Ralegh; these v i r t u e s d i d not e q u a l l y belong t o the g e n e r a t i o n of S t r a f f o r d and Laud, Pym and M i l t o n . 1 It i s t h i s p e c u l i a r succeeds i n a r r e s t i n g n a t i v e l i t e r a r y growth the  Jonson  i n a seemingly u n i f i e d and p o l i s h e d form. to c l a s s i c a l  ideals.  He weds  He pushes .his i n h e r i t a n c e to  p o i n t where t e c h n i q u e i s e x a c t l y l e v e l w i t h the thought.expressed and  brings i t to i t s f u l l e s t "The  s p i r i t u a l moment of the times which  technical expression.  'Chinese w a l l ' which he b u i l t  A f t e r him comes the decadence.  a g a i n s t b a r b a r i s m remained to d i v i d e  E l i z a b e t h a n from a l l subsequent drama; a f t e r Jonson nothing was q u i t e the • ..2 same a g a i n .  Bradbrook, E l i z a b e t h a n Comedy, p. 7. Bradbrook, p. 6.  • :37 One of the s p e c i f i c ways i n which he m a r r i e s the n a t i v e t r a d i t i o n to the  classical  held  one, and which r e f l e c t s  i n s o l u t i o n , i s the s u b j e c t  again  for'the  In comedy the i n n e r being  and  of the f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r s .  elements  I t shows him  c r o s s i n g t h e boundaries between tragedy and comedy, of a p p l y i n g t o  comedy those r u l e s intended  outer  the t e n s i o n of d i s p a r a t e  mode of b e i n g .  there  of a c h a r a c t e r  Man the s o c i a l  i s less effort  c o n s t r u c t i o n of t r a g e d y .  creature  i s l e s s important than h i s i s g e n e r a l l y more  t o d i s c e r n and d e p i c t h i s i n n e r  important,  structure.  Action 3  takes precedence:  what matters most i s what he does, not what he i s .  Jonson's comedy d i f f e r s , f o r expressing the  f o r h i s i s not simply  a comedy of manners, a v e h i c l e  w i t t y , i n c i s i v e views on s o c i a l men and manners.  Despite  i r o n i c detachment which he f o r c e s upon h i s audience and the d e l i g h t  which t h i s detachment e n a b l e s them t o e x p e r i e n c e , h i s more e a r n e s t i s w i t h man and h i s c h a r a c t e r .  concern  T h i s concern b r i n g s him c l o s e to the s p i r i t  A c t i o n , of c o u r s e , i s most important t o the dramatic mode i n g e n e r a l . A r i s t o t l e , i n h i s P o e t i c s , p o i n t s up the importance o f a c t i o n t o t r a g e d y : The most important of these i s the p u t t i n g t o g e t h e r <5f. t h e separate a c t i o n s , f o r tragedy i s an i m i t a t i o n not of men but of a c t i o n s and l i f e . And happiness and unhappiness r e s i d e i n a c t i o n , and the end i s some s o r t of a c t i o n , not a q u a l i t y , f o r a c c o r d i n g t o t h e i r a c t i o n s they are happy or the r e v e r s e . They do n o t , then, a c t i n order t o r e p r e s e n t c h a r a c t e r , but i n t h e course of t h e i r a c t i o n s they show what t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s a r e ; so i n t h e a c t i o n s and the p l o t i s found the end of tragedy, and the end i s more important than anything e l s e . A l l a n H. G i l b e r t , e d . L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m . P l a t o t o Dryden (New York: American Book Co., 1940), p. 77.  3£ of tragedy and  to the t r a g i c mode as w e l l .  must have a s t r o n g l y r e a l i z e d c h a r a c t e r , alchemy of h i s own comedy, there ship.  misery.  In tragedy the  f o r he  himself  protagonist  a i d s i n the  subtle  In c o n t r a s t to the more a c c i d e n t a l world  e x i s t s between c h a r a c t e r  and  a c t i o n a strong  causal  of  relation-  Jonson, i n h i s drama, l i k e w i s e works to e s t a b l i s h a strong  character-  a c t i o n nexus. Jonson, along c l a s s i c i s t s , has and  with other  Renaissance c r i t i c s  been accused of e n t i r e l y n e g l e c t i n g  most important u n i t y of a l l s  because i t i s the  one  the  a c t i o n i s among the most lengthy  theory way  still  he  of humours.  see's the o r g a n i c  But  scholar Daniel i n 1611,  and  In h i s D i s c o v e r i e s  Fable."  e n t i r e " concerning  4  traqoedioe  In the  the  the most l u c i d l y w r i t t e n .  From the  illustrate  s e c t i o n on  essay "Of  "What  section More  the  the  Magnitude  Heinsius'  and  and  t e x t reads  thus:  Sources of Ben Jonson's 1905), 451-462.  Dutch  i n Leyden  [ i s meant] by one  the madness of S o p h o c l e s ' Aiax.  J . E. S p i n g a r n , "The Modern P h i l o l o g y I I ( A p r i l  only  comprehend  f o u r t h chapter of the  constitutione. published  Jonson t a k e s the whole of h i s f i n a l  Compass of Any  coming  nature of i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p to h i s  connection.  H e i n s i u s ' De  to apply,  Jonson does i n f a c t  A passage from the D i s c o v e r i e s w i l l  i n which he makes the  neo-  the most e s s e n t i a l  most d i f f i c u l t to understand and  A r i s t o t l e ' s n o t i o n of the u n i t y of a c t i o n .  important  w i t h the  u n i t y of a c t i o n , p r i m a r i l y , i t i s s a i d ,  t o those n a t u r a l l y endowed as d r a m a t i s t s .  on  and  'Discoveries'",  Exempli g r a t i a , S o p h o c l i s Aiacem videamus: Aiax armis p r i u a t u s , i n d i g n a t u r , & s i c e r a t contumaliae impatiens, r a b i t ac f u r i t . Ergo, quod pro t a l i e s t , haud pauca sine mente a g i t , & postramo pro U l y s s e pecudes insanus mactat. Jonson t r a n s l a t e s t h i s passage i n the f o l l o w i n g Manner: For example, i n a tragedy, l o o k upon Sophocles h i s Ajax: Ajax, d e p r i v e d of A c h i l l e s ' armor, which he hoped from s u f f r a g e of the Greeks, d i s d a i n s , and growing i m p a t i e n t of the i n j u r y , r a g e t h , and t u r n s mad. In t h a t humor he doth many s e n s e l e s s t h i n g s , and at l a s t f a l l s upon the G r e c i a n f l o c k and k i l l s a g r e a t ram f o r Ulysses:^ 1  He  sees the necessary  c o r r e l a t i o n between the humour, as a key  c h a r a c t e r , and the humour as an o r g a n i z i n g source of a c t i o n .  He  under-  stands A r i s t o t l e ' s o b s e r v a t i o n on the nature of t r a g i c a c t i o n and i n which i t grows out of a flaw i n the nature of a man What A r i s t o t l e  way  good.  l a y s out i n formal a n a l y s i s , and what Jonson r e d i s c o v e r s ,  Greek drama and which, l i k e  the E l i z a b e t h a n drama, had  p o p u l a r t r a d i t i o n and w i t h legend - the rather e x p l i c i t l y  is  the  essentially  i s r a t h e r a p t l y i l l u s t r a t e d by a work of l i t e r a t u r e which helped  w i t h one  to  a c t i o n , i t d e a l s p r i m a r i l y w i t h one mood, one  l i n e of a c t i o n . ^The  connections  I t not only d e a l s emotion, whose  source  "unknown" q u a n t i t y - ate - and which engenders a c e n t r a l Iliad,  i n c o n t r a s t to the Odvssev. has the  refinement  of an a r t growing out of the p e r s o n a l and o r a l b a r d i c t r a d i t i o n and i n g beyond i t i n s o p h i s t i c a t i o n of form. i s more c l o s e l y a l l i e d  S p i n g a r n , p.  with  I l i a d , the s u b j e c t of which i s  s t a t e d as "the wrath of A c h i l l e s . "  a t t r i b u t e d to an  to mold  458.  The  to the o l d e r t r a d i t i o n  develop-  Cdyssev. on the other hand, i n possessing a loose, informal  40. n a r r a t i v e t h r e a d whose winding  path of a c t i o n i s s i m i l a r to the o r g a n i z a t i o n  a bard might aadopifc i n s i t t i n g  down t o h i s harp.  To i t belongs  m o t i f , i n v o l v i n g many moods and many i n c i d e n t s t h a t comprise of  a b e t t e r man, The  Iliad.  the shaping  the making  c h a r a c t e r of A c h i l l e s i s a l r e a d y formed at the beginning The  action.  Jonson f a c e s t h i s  i t i s a problem more c r u c i a l to the drama than to the e p i c .  one  dominant emotion makes him  for  one,  same problem, Achilles'  stand out on the v a s t stage s e t f o r the  In order t o appear l i f e l i k e , he must loom l a r g e r than  image of man  Jonson,  of the  problem i s t o f i n d w i t h i n the c h a r a c t e r a mood or emotion of  and  T r o j a n War.  search  of a b e t t e r c h a r a c t e r ^  s u f f i c i e n t momentum to c a r r y i t i n t o  An  the  i s caught  from the f a s t ,  s w i f t - f l o w i n g stream of  i n r e s t r i c t i n g h i s i m a g i n a t i o n , cannot  life.  life.  a l l o w h i s c h a r a c t e r s , save  to flow w i t h g r e a t p a s s i o n , but they are not mere r i p p l e s i n a  stream.  They do  labelled  as mere c a r i c a t u r e s .  derogatory  stand o.ut with v i g o r and w i t h f o r c e . A b e t t e r word, perhaps,  c o n n o t a t i o n s which have been a t t a c h e d to the  e l a b o r a t e c o n c e i t s imbued with t h e i r own  peculiar l i f e .  Often they have been c o n s i d e r i n g the former,  i s conceits,  Jonson's reason  " s c i e n t i f i c " r e a l i s m do not thwart h i s p o e t i c g i f t . A c h i l l e s , however^ i s not j u s t He  a l s o a c t s i n other ways.  a man  Hamartia  with a f l a w , or w i t h one mood.  i n Greek tragedy was  an " e r r o r i n  See d i s c u s s i o n by Ray L. H e f f n e r , J r . , " U n i f y i n g Symbols i n the Comedy of Ben Jonson," Ben Jonson. A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l E s s a y s , ed. Jonas A. B a r i s h (New J e r s e y s P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc., 1963), p. 146.  and  41; judgment", a k i n d of c a t a l y s t between c h a r a c t e r the  i n t e r p l a y between good and  i n terms of c h a r a c t e r one-half  bad,  p o s i t i v e and  delineation, a l i f e l i k e  of t h i s c o n f l i c t  and  i s relegated  action.  negative,  source of  dramatized, s t i l l  part  and  life  of h i s c h a r a c t e r s  o m i s s i o n from the achieve the  strong  some d i f f i c u l t y e a r l y p l a y s he a general he  has  in  theory  life  action.  the  plays  thought and  of c h a r a c t e r .  but  one  A f t e r Every Man  w r i t t e n enough about h i s theory  without too much f u r t h e r c o n t e n t i o n .  humour i n theory  and  grafted  i t to the  Too  sees him Out  Jonson  this  This  f o r him  seeks.  i n d e f i n i n g the l i m i t s of h i s c h a r a c t e r s .  conception  For  a prominent  of h i s stage makes i t more d i f f i c u l t  displays character,  hate, i s ,  s t r u c t u r e of h i s p l a y s .  c h a r a c t e r - a c t i o n r e l a t i o n s h i p which he  simply  l o v e and  to a t h e o r e t i c a l realm, and  t h e o r e t i c a l realm, even though not i n the  Conflict,  to  He  has  often i n h i s  working towards  Of His Humour,  of humours to accept i t  Once he  has  accepted  the  u n i t y of a c t i o n , a growth does take  place. A r i s t o t l e defines it  "should  is  something more than the  individual he  be  p l o t as the  concerned w i t h one  a c t s and  f u r t h e r says the  During the Poetics place  and  and,  made c r i t i c a l  states  a separate and  distinct  synthesis-of  designation  i m i t a t e d c o n s i s t s of p l o t , . c h a r a c t e r ,  entities  to a l e s s e r e x t e n t ,  i n themselves.  The  soon found t h e i r way  Although Jonson's t r a n s l a t i o n of H e i n s i u s  and  when action.  from A r i s t o t l e ' s  u n i t i e s of time  t h a t of a c t i o n , p a r t i a l l y  Italian critics,  that  t h a t a whole." . P l o t , however,  Renaissance, c e r t a i n elements were a b s t r a c t e d  emphasized by the literature.  t h i n g and  i m i t a t i o n of an a c t i o n ; i t i s a  i t i s given thing  i m i t a t i o n of an a c t i o n and  created  and  and  greatly  into English preserves  the  idea  42j of the p l o t , or f a b l e , as something more than an i m i t a t i o n of a c t i o n , i t would appear from h i s a p p l i c a t i o n of " t r u t h of argument" to Seianus. cussed  i n the p r e c e d i n g  c h a p t e r , t h a t he f a i l s  to grasp  the t o t a l  dis-  significance  of each p a r t of the i m i t a t i o n . I m i t a t i o n , as A r i s t o t l e  and the Greeks understood  c o n c e p t i o n , and i t was a process  i t , was an o r g a n i c  d u r i n g which n a t u r a l growth  occurred;  once t h i s growth had o c c u r r e d , no one p a r t c o u l d be d i s e n t a n g l e d from another  without  these p a r t s .  t h e r e being damage to the whole.  A c t i o n was but one of  T h i s was not t o say t h a t the process  i n v o l v e d no c o n s c i o u s  control: . . . f o r i t i s necessary t h a t poems produce not any p l e a s u r e they happen to but such as I have spoken o f . ' A poem must have beauty, and beauty c o n s i s t e d of both magnitude and o r d e r . A poem must be w e l l - o r d e r e d and i t must i m i t a t e l i f e . The  Greeks p e r c e i v e d , or had p e r c e i v e d , order i n the u n i v e r s e .  o r d e r was c o n t i n u a l l y r e a f f i r m e d through itself  i n both  legend  religious ritual  The r i t u a l  w i t h an order not t h a t o f h i s t o r i c a l  a r t form.  the b e s t  embodied an u n i v e r s a l e x p e r i e n c e  time.  i n Greek and i n E l i z a b e t h a n t i m e s , proved drama as s i g n i f i c a n t  and imbedded  and myth, on which A r i s t o t l e observed  t r a g e d i e s to have been based.  This  The e x i s t e n c e of r i t u a l , important  When i t l o s t  G i l b e r t , L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m , p". 115.  both  to the b i r t h of the  i t s f o r c e , e v e n t u a l l y the  43 drama d i e d as w e l l .  Now, A r i s t o t l e  t r a d i t i o n a l myths, though they  says, the poet need not use the  "please everybody".  He may make h i s own  p l o t s ; indeed he must be a maker of p l o t s , r a t h e r than meters. v i d u a l poet  The i n d i -  i s now the c r e a t o r and i n t e r p r e t e r .  H e r e t o f o r e , t h i s p e r c e p t i o n of a f o u r t h dimension,  embodied i n r i t u a l ,  myth, and legend, had been c r e a t e d , not f e i g n e d ^ from out of the being and experience  of the p e o p l e .  was r e a l .  That dream, a l i v i n g  c o u l d never be l o g i c a l l y intellect.  The dream, as some would choose t o c a l l i t , f o r c e , now e l u s i v e , now i n t e n s e l y  f o r m u l a t e d and d e f i n e d by the d i s c r i m i n a t i n g  I t was e x p r e s s i b l e o n l y i n the metaphor o f p o e t r y or the a b s t r a c t  language of p h i l o s o p h y ; and P l a t o , the f i r s t its  present,  t o formulate the problem of  e x i s t e n c e , r e s o r t s f i n a l l y t o a metaphor t o convey the f u l l n e s s of h i s  meaning.  I t was through  a c o n t i n u a l p u r s u i t of t h i s dream t h a t man, the  Greeks i n p a r t i c u l a r , emerged i n t o which he d i d occupy.  fuller  awareness on the p l o t of e a r t h  Through i t there came i n t o being thought  or reason,  s c i e n c e , mathematics, p h i l o s o p h y , and r e l i g i o n  as a mode of thought.  Without i t thought  and temporal  it  would have found no s p a t i a l  c o u l d move, and without  rhythm i n which  i t s c i e n c e today would have no i d e a upon which  to base a " f a c t u a l " or " o b j e c t i v e " p u r s u i t of the atom. Greek r i t u a l ,  and the r i t u a l  of p r e c e d i n g  civilizations,  a l i g n e d man  w i t h a l l f o r c e s o f the u n i v e r s e , i n an h o r i z o n t a l and c y c l i c a l movement w i t h i n the order of nature and i n a v e r t i c a l  and transcendent movement  towards an a b s o l u t e .  C h r i s t i a n i t y , with i t s  correspondences  The mythos of medieval  seeking t o p e n e t r a t e and i n c o r p o r a t e every corner of the  universe, d i d likewise.  The Greeks'  first  philosophical  statement  of o r d e r  had been a statement also r e f l e c t e d  of moral  a moral  but not a s u b s t i t u t e  order as w e l l .  o r d e r , and  The medieval  t h i s m o r a l i t y was  f o r nature i t s e l f .  of the r e a s o n , t h a t a t t r i b u t e of man  one  M o r a l i t y was  which s e t him  world  picture  aspect of n a t u r e ,  p r i m a r i l y the  apart from h i s f e l l o w  c r e a t u r e s , making him l e s s p e r f e c t than they and at the same time perfectible faith,  and  above them. e v i l was  however, and man  The  reason was  not the god of n a t u r e .  As the Renaissance  progressed,  walked f a r t h e r away from h i s s p i r i t u a l h e r i t a g e , t h e r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of n a t u r e ,  man's s p i r i t u a l  and m o r a l i t y , of good and e v i l ,  n a t u r e , of god  achieved g r e a t e r freedom i n s c i e n t i f i c thought,  s o c i e t y , he became the g r e a t e r bondsman i n s p i r i t . within i t s e l f  divinely  opposed n e i t h e r to nature nor to  grew a narrow and c o n s t r i c t i n g  As man  function  the seeds of i t s own  particularly and of s i n .  in politics,  and i n  Everything contains  d e s t r u c t i o n , as w e l l as the seeds of  r e b i r t h , and C h r i s t i a n i t y grew s t e a d i l y towards a h a r v e s t of weeds. That E l i z a b e t h a n world p i c t u r e from which Jonson teleological  a b s t r a c t s the  i m p l i c a t i o n s of i t s frame of r e f e r e n c e l e a d s one  f u l l e r r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of what was towards which man  p o s s i b l e w i t h i n t h i s frame.  which he should obey.  Between m o r a l i t y and  the senses l o s e t h e i r r i g h t f u l p l a c e i n the scheme of t h i n g s . awareness of the senses  so the dream i s l o s t  Knowledge  too.  o n l y to the r i d i c u l o u s or the  they  depraved.  When h i s c h a r a c t e r s seek to abide by or  a s p i r e to an a b s o l u t e , as he impels them to do, they are doomed to not because man  reason,  are keenly p r e s e n t i n Jonson's p l a y s , but  have become t h a t which l e a d s man And  That m o r a l i t y  might a s p i r e with the f u l l n e s s of h i s senses becomes,  however, o n l y something  and  to expect a  i s an i m p e r f e c t , earthbound,  failure,  c r e a t u r e , but because man  is  blind,  and  that blindness  them t h i s b l i n d n e s s . able  He  i n Jonson's world view i s e v i l . c h a s t i s e s , and  to see, but  he  T.  says of Jonson t h a t  S. E l i o t  skill:  i t i s not  With r e f e r e n c e  shows them no  so much s k i l l  to the  Jonson  c a s t i g a t e s , them f o r not  gives being  p o s i t i v e world t h a t i s p o e t i c a l l y v i s i b l e . "he  employs immense dramatic  i n p l o t as s k i l l  constructive  i n doing without a p l o t . "  i n d i v i d u a l p l o t s of Volpone. The  S i l e n t Woman, and Q  The  Alchemist,  he  says " i t i s r a t h e r an  the  a c t i o n i n Jonson's p l a y s does not  i n d i v i d u a l a c t i o n s which add rather  an  Instead  infinite  ' a c t i o n ' than a p l o t . "  comprise d i s t i n c t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t and  up to one  body of a c t i o n or p l o t .  number of v a r i a t i o n s on the  of a p l o t or f a b l e , one  i n which each scrap of m a t e r i a l  in  way.  In the r i c h l y  colored  of u n i v e r s a l e x p e r i e n c e . help  s u s t a i n them.  character  Nor  tapestry The  do  highly  i s made to f i t and  cohere  world view.  has  only  one  they have a s s i s t a n c e  from the  l i k e w i s e a world view, d i s a l l o w s  Eliot,  The any  105.  to  born of a c o n s t r i c t t h a t humour  nature of t h a t 'humour, which i s real  "change" or t r a n s f o r m a t i o n  f o r a l l i s f i r m l y predetermined before  Sacred Wood, p.  network  concept, "A man's  In Jonson, a man's humour i s h i s d e s t i n y , and  plane of e x i s t e n c e .  characters,  i s no  have no t h r e a d s of i n f i n i t y  i s h i s d e s t i n y , " a p h i l o s o p h i c a l statement not  ing  his  ordered and  of Jonson's work there  characters  It i s  same, or a s i m i l a r , a c t i o n .  finds a magnificently  wrought d e s i g n a definite  Generally,  the p l a y  for  begins.  46 I t a l s o l i m i t s the nature and the extent of the a c t i o n : grow as the c h a r a c t e r  unfolds;  i t s p i r a l s with masterly  accordance with the o r g a n i z i n g  p r i n c i p l e of the humour.  narrowing and l i m i t i n g of the humour c h a r a c t e r channel f o r h i s p a r t i c u l a r p o e t i c to i n f u s e h i s c h a r a c t e r s  the a c t i o n does not inventiveness  By a p e r s i s t e n t  Jonson f i n d s a s u i t a b l e  i n s p i r a t i o n and thereby s u f f i c i e n t  w i t h the emotional i n t e n s i t y r e q u i r e d  re-organization  of o l d p l o t s .  individualistic  c h a p t e r s make an attempt t o d i s c o v e r  view as i t grows out of h i s p l a y s  refurbishing  He d i v e r g e s t o experiment and f i n d s i n  Volpone and The A l c h e m i s t a more completely following  energy  for action.  A f t e r The Case Is A l t e r e d , Jonson abandons the borrowing, and  in  synthesis.  The  the nature of h i s p o i n t of  and to show the c a r e f u l and c o n s c i o u s  a r t i s t r y w i t h which he weaves i n t o h i s work the two s t r a n d s of the humour theory and u n i t y the  latter  of a c t i o n , the former symptomatic of h i s p o i n t  i n d i c a t i v e of h i s d e l i b e r a t e a r t .  of view,  CHAPTER IV The The  Case Is A l t e r e d and  Case Is A l t e r e d , f i r s t  Simpson at 1597-98."'' plot  published  Alchemist  i n 1609,  so much i n vogue i n the E l i z a b e t h a n drama and uses.  t r a s t i n g p l a y s of P l a u t u s ,  the C a p t i v e s  romance w i t h  the other  comic r e l i e f ,  s e r i o u s moments.  grave and  plot  i n c i d e n t s and  with  more or l e s s s t r i c t l y ,  no g r e a t  and  comic treatment of  and  and  the  persons.  In a d d i t i o n , both,  to a l e s s e r extent  theme; he  place.  Elizabethan  He m u l t i p l i e s the  makes v a r i a t i o n s on the  avarice  same t a s t e f o r a  to s a t i s f y both h i s  strictures.  a serious  Elizabethan  c l a s s i c a l u n i t i e s of time and success,  double  con-  the A u l u l a r i a - the one  a satirical  crowded with  y e t have c o n t r o l of h i s c h a r a c t e r s Herford  and  neither s a t i s f i e s  for c l a s s i c a l  adds abundance of d e t a i l , the u n i t y of p l a c e  Jonson takes h i s s t o r i e s from two  adhere to the  Jonson attempts, w i t h t a s t e and h i s r e g a r d  gay,  the  and  at borrowing readymade  Although both l e n d themselves to the  l o v e of m i n g l i n g filled  i s dated by H e r f o r d  It i s Jonson's only known attempt at u s i n g  p l o t s to t a i l o r to h i s own  with  The  characters,  maintains  the u n i t y of time; he does not  nor does he  achieve  u n i t y of a c t i o n .  Simpson s t a t e i n t h e i r i n t r o d u c t i o n to t h i s work t h a t  Jonson m u l t i p l i e s the motives as he never does i n h i s mature p l a y s , wherein 2 he  uses a fundamental motive and m u l t i p l i e s the  Case Is A l t e r e d i t would perhaps be  t r u e r to say t h a t Jonson  Herford  and  Simpson, I, 305-306.  Herford  and  Simpson, I,  307.  circumstances.  Of has  The  4.8  not  d e c i d e d whether  t o d e p i c t men as a c t i n g from base motives or from pure  motives; he has not r e a l l y determined what the motives are to be, at l e a s t not  i n s t r o n g enough l i n e s f o r him t o manipulate d r a m a t i c a l l y ; and, i n the  e a r l y phases of h i s c a r e e r , Jonson does need b e f o r e he can see how t o move w i t h i n them. b o u n d a r i e s may r e s u l t from the borrowed remains a borrowed  His f a i l u r e  double p l o t .  to f i n d these  At any r a t e , i t  one, even a f t e r i t has passed through h i s hands.  due t o h i s i n e x p e r i e n c e material, f a i l s  s t r o n g l y o u t l i n e d boundaries  i n h a n d l i n g and h i s u n c e r t a i n t y  Jonson,  at viewing the  t o make of i t a c r e a t i o n p e c u l i a r l y h i s own.  S i n c e he has  a l r e a d y b e f o r e him the main l i n e s of h i s two p l o t s , he i s not f o r c e d to develop the strong c h a r a c t e r , s t r o n g , t h a t i s , i n terms of one t r a i t o r one motive, which, when i t becomes a humour, can express i t s e l f p a s s i o n - a p a s s i o n of s u f f i c i e n t  with  s t r e n g t h to g i v e momentum t o a f e a s i b l e  l i n e of a c t i o n . In  t h i s p l a y Jonson experiments w i t h the p a s s i o n of l o v e , but one  f e e l s t h i s i s e n t i r e l y a l i e n ground f o r him, because he imbues i t w i t h little  sentiment, and w i t h l e s s p a s s i o n .  I t i s a theme, s h i f t i n g and  s u p e r f i c i a l , anchored only i n i t s c o n c e n t r a t i o n on the one person of Rachel de P r i e .  I t i s used t o m u l t i p l y a c t i o n , but i t never possesses  s u f f i c i e n t m o t i v a t i o n i n any terms, e i t h e r l o g i c a l or i l l o g i c a l , a coherent p l o t . Paradox  Onion who would,  in  to s a t i s f y h i s l o v e , have a "prety  or some A l i q o r y " made, i s e a s i l y t u r n e d a s i d e from h i s wooing  d i s c o v e r y of J a q u e s until  t o produce  1  treasure.  by the  One does not l e a r n of C h r i s t o p h e r o s love  Onion has sought h i s h e l p i n wooing  1  Rachel.  the matter seems to be only the p o s s i b i l i t y  H i s prime  of an a l t e r e d  consideration relationship  w i t h h i s master the Count who, immediately upon h e a r i n g of h i s s e r v a n t ' s  49 s u i t , expresses h i s own d e s i r e f o r the beggar maid: I spide h e r , l a t e l y , at her f a t h e r s doore, And i f I d i d not see i n her sweet face Gentry and nobleness, nere t r u s t me more: But t h i s perswasion, f a n c i e wrought i n me, That f a c i e being c r e a t e d with her l o o k e s , For where loue i s he t h i n k e [ s ] h i s basest o b i e c t G e n t l e and n o b l e : I am f a r r e i n l o u e . ( I I , v i , 37-43) He analyses  the b a s i s of h i s emotion and then coolly d i s c a r d s  involvement of Onion and C h r i s t o p h e r o extent,  be e x p l a i n e d ,  i n the c i r c l e  but not so e a s i l y j u s t i f i e d ,  of love  it.  I f the  can, to some  on the s t r u c t u r a l bases  of comic parody and p a r a l l e l i s m of scene, the a c t i o n of Count Ferneze i s not  so e a s i l y accounted f o r .  f o r the purpose of f e e d i n g  If i t i s only,  as H e r f o r d  Jaques' f e a r , the e f f e c t , r e v e a l e d  of Jaques, may be d r a m a t i c , but the cause, contained the  suggest,  i n the a c t i o n s  i n the a c t i o n s of  Count, i s n e i t h e r dramatic or b e l i e v a b l e . If one, on the other  hand, sees l o v e - b e t r a y a l , and the r e s u l t i n g  entanglements, as the t r u e comic motive, one can only are  and Simpson  committed most c a s u a l l y and without any r e a l  perhaps because h i s t r e a c h e r y  i s greater,  say t h a t the b e t r a y a l s  conviction.  Angelo,  seems t o make a b e t t e r case f o r  his betrayal: He*'is an asse t h a t w i l l keepe promise s t r i c k t l y In any t h i n g t h a t checkes h i s p r i u a t e p l e a s u r e ; C h i e f l y i n loue. S'bloud am not I a man? Haue I not eyes t h a t are as f r e e t o l o o k e ? And bloud to be enflam'd as w e l l as h i s ? ( I l l , i , 9-13) Still,  i n h i s vehemence, he can o f f e r no b e t t e r motive than "am not I a  man?" and the nature of h i s c h a r a c t e r  i s only  t h i n l y prepared f o r by Paulo's  wondering h e s i t a t i o n at t r u s t i n g h i s f r i e n d and the Count's a l l u s i o n t o Angelo's f o u r t e e n  mistresses.  The  p a s s i o n s of l o v e f o r these  c h a r a c t e r s do not e x i s t .  by every other name save t h a t of l o v e .  Paulo would seem to be r e p r e s e n t a -  t i v e of the p a s s i o n i n i t s p u r i t y , but the importance w i t h Rachel  i s usurped  or white. motives  The  love between him  by which t h a t of o t h e r s i s judged,  and Rachel  judged  Again, the c h o i c e f o r Jonson seems t o be,  or pure ones?"  of h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p  on the stage, i n h i s absence, by the r a t h e r more  base c o n n i v i n g s of h i s f e l l o w s . the touchstone  "Do  provides  e i t h e r as b l a c k men  act from base  He does not seem able to draw the c h a r a c t e r  of encompassing both c o n v i n c i n g l y .  capable  When he does make the c h o i c e , he  a t t a c k s the problem with more c e r t a i n t y , w i t h more v e r v e , and the rogues who  It i s love  i t i s always  act most c o n v i n c i n g l y .  Since the c h a r a c t e r m o t i v a t i o n and d e l i n e a t i o n are d i f f u s e , one expect the a c t i o n to be l i k e w i s e .  would  Perhaps because of the a l r e a d y e x i s t i n g  l i n e s of a c t i o n Erom the borrowed p l o t s and the symmetry achieved i n the p a r a l l e l i s m of the m u l t i p l i e d  scenes, the r e s u l t  i s not the same.  as J . J . Enck d e s c r i b e s i t i n h i s a r t i c l e on t h i s p l a y , The p l o t and language both have a thoroughgoing s t r a t i f i c a t i o n which i n c l u d e s almost a l l the p r i n c i p a l c h a r a c t e r s and, furthermore, f u r n i s h e s them t h e i r main m o t i v a t i o n . These e l e ments r a r e l y i n f u s e one another; r a t h e r they are p a r a l l e l l i n e s . Such p e r p e n d i c u l a r i t y cont r i b u t e s something to the e f f e c t of puppets which i t i s claimed Jonson's c h a r a c t e r s o f t e n convey. They respond l e s s t o each other than to t h e i r own n a t u r e s , which happen to be stimul a t e d by other presences on the stage or j u s t o f f i t . At the same time the cause of t h e i r problems i s an incompleteness as human -beings, a d e f i c i e n c y e i t h e r of knowledge or of the w i l l to determine i t : a l a c k e i t h e r of the  Instead,  i n f o r m a t i o n to round out s e n s i t i v i t y or of the s e n s i t i v i t y to g i v e meaning to i n f o r mation. In The Case Is'' A l t e r e d , as i n a l l e a r l y J o n s o n i a n drama, the c o n f l i c t s a r i s e from a l a c k (a n e g a t i v e ) which w i t h p r a c t i c e breaks i n t o a p o s i t i v e excess.^' This  stratification  f u s i o n of the  two  an  characters. l a t e r plays still  convincingly  perpendicular  imposed one,  the  and  to  lines.  action describes  i n t h i s play i s  or s t r a i g h t l y from  a c t i o n are  a c t i o n proceeds more l o g i c a l l y  sustained  the  the  separately.  from c h a r a c t e r ,  nature of the p e r p e n d i c u l a r :  r e s p o n d i n g more to t h e i r own  characters  In  but i t are  natures than t o each o t h e r , they are  still speaking  at c r o s s purposes, they are yet a c t i n g from an incompleteness, a  l a c k , an i n s u f f i c i e n c y of s e n s i t i v i t y a c t upon these n e g a t i v e s  morality,  -assumptions, and Miss Una i n The  from the  they act w i t h the gay  their negatively  conceived  Alchemist  and  she  information.  apparently  and  abstract  abandon and  ( t h a t i s , based on  i n s e n s i t i v i t y ) , but  Ellis-Fermo  and  i n a more p o s i t i v e way,  when Jonson f r e e s them completely and  these  proceed e a s i l y  often, character  r e t a i n s the  still  across  motion which the  f o r i t does not  Too  incomplete  p l o t l i n e s , which i n t u r n a r i s e s from h i s f a i l u r e  move h i s c h a r a c t e r s The  a r i s e s , as suggested above, from the  the  Now,  i n The spectre  Alchemist, of  justice  complete c o n t r o l of  i n s u f f i c i e n t knowledge, wrong  positively fulfilled discerns  however, they  convictions.  a similar perpendicularity  l i k e w i s e a t t r i b u t e s to t h i s p l a y a  ^ J . J . Enck, "The Case Is A l t e r e d : Initial S t u d i e s i n P h i l o l o g y . L ( A p r i l 1953), 209.  stratification  Comedy of Humours,"  52 o f a c t i o n and c h a r a c t e r .  She d e s c r i b e s the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the  s t r u c t u r e o f The Alchemist  i n terms o f a m o d e r n i s t i c ,  non-representational  painting: If we choose as our s t a r t i n g - p o i n t a p i c t u r e t h a t c o n s i s t s o f s p i r a l s and r e l a t e d curves forming one d e s i g n and u n d e r l y i n g them or superimposed, two-dimensional b l o c k s o f c o l o u r forming another and a p p a r e n t l y independent d e s i g n - ( a s i n the manner o f P i c a s s o ) , we have a convenient s t a r t i n g - p o i n t f o r d e s c r i b i n g some of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h e s t r u c t u r e o f the 4 Alchemist She  sees the i n t e r a c t i o n s o f the p l o t , t h e " s p i r a l s and r e l a t e d  as something e x i s t i n g the  q u i t e s e p a r a t e l y from the  "two-dimensional b l o c k s of c o l o u r " .  determines t o be the occurrence  curves",  c h a r a c t e r s and t h e i r moods,  The reason  f o r t h i s e f f e c t she  of passages, such as the d i a l o g u e o f  S u b t l e and Face, the speeches of S i r E p i c u r e Mammon, and the r a v i n g s o f Dol  (Act IV), which are " l i k e  s l a b s o f pure c o l o u r standing  apart from and  P. independent o f t h e l i n e p a t t e r n i n a p i c t u r e . " ' The  gloriously  sensual  c o l o r b l a c k s , but they completely  separate  speeches of Mammon may stand out i n massive  are not w h o l l y  design.  wonder-working p h i l o s o p h e r ' s  i s o l a t e d from the a c t i o n t o form a  When Mammon, i n a n t i c i p a t i o n o f a c q u i r i n g the stone,  feeds h i s p a s s i o n u n t i l  i f flows  with  p o e t i c e x a l t a t i o n through perfumed m i s t s , gossamer and r o s e s , t o o s t r i c h fans and d i s h e s o f agate, boiled  in silver  emerald, .sapphire, t o pheasants' eggs and c o c k l e s  s h e l l s , he i s a t one and the same time pouring  ' E l l i s - F e r m o r , p. 44. ''Ellis-Fermor, pp 47-48.  out the  substance of one his  mood and  is  of the  " s l a b s of pure c o l o u r " ; t h a t i s , he  f e e d i n g h i s humour i n the realm  also o u t l i n i n g graphic  a c t i o n i n words, he  do  i s conveying  to another l e v e l - the realm  so t h a t t h i s realm  action  to  Instead,  c a r r y i n g the  i d e a s , f o r example  the eyes of the audience on  i t uses a c t i o n of the f i r s t  kind  construct a l i t t l e  drama i n which he  fall  and  feeding  the  When  sees h i m s e l f walking  naked  i n rooms vapored and perfumed, to i n gossamer  a l l t h i s a c t i o n m u l t i p l i e d by g l a s s e s cut i n s u b t l e  is outlining  of  (from the primary l e v e l )  i n t o baths of the enormity of p i t s , to emerge thence to dry r o s e s , and  of  not  i n t u r n g i v e s added dimension to the primary l i n e  between h i s succubae to l o s e h i m s e l f  he  feeling  form a l a t t i c e work on which the humour grows upward to e x c e s s .  Mammon can  and  of c o n f l i c t i n g  he  alone.  other d r a m a t i s t s , by  (that a c t u a l l y taking place before  stage).  the  p l a c e i n the mind alone, does  so i n the manner of Shakespeare and  conflict -  i t takes  fulfilling  of p o e t i c language, and  a c t i o n on another l e v e l - a l e v e l that, e x i s t s i n the mind T h i s a c t i o n , although  is  i n p r o j e c t e d a c t i o n the  when fed i n t h i s manner, w i l l r e s u l t  abnormality  angles,  which,  i n an act on the primary l e v e l  of  action. The  l a c k of c o n f l i c t  i n the realm  framework which Jonson s e t s h i m s e l f . the t r u e and  the  f a l s e , but  c o n f l i c t between the two. r e a l i t y , but t h a t the  f o r the  of ideas i s the r e s u l t  of  the  There does e x i s t a c o n f l i c t c h a r a c t e r s themselves t h e r e  For them the f a l s e a f f o r d s t h e i r  between  is  little  principal  the moral i m p o s i t i o n of Jonson's frame of r e f e r e n c e would  t r u e i s the r e a l i t y .  e x t e r n a l i z a t i o n of the  two  Within  the  frame, however, there  i s no  i d e a s ; i n s t e a d the true s t a l k s the outer  suggest equal  boundaries  54 like  a w a i t i n g a c t o r d e p r i v e d of h i s p a r t .  opposing  ideas does occur  Although  Kitely,  When an awareness of the  i n a c h a r a c t e r , the a c t i o n seems to  i n Every Man  In His Humour, has  reasonably  he i s somewhat i n h i b i t e d by an awareness which transcends cannot a c t w i t h the ease of S u b t l e or Face or Volpone. most of the a c t i o n i n Every  Man  Out  provides may  course by  stricting no  he  usurps  But  i n that i t the  characters  thrown from  h i t the o p p o s i t e boundary of the  two  change, no development; there has  determined p a t h .  Macilente  side of the frame to the o t h e r , being  In between these  motivation,  h i s humour and  frame of r e f e r e n c e i s important  the impact of having  frame.  strong  the name of humourous envy,  something a g a i n s t which to measure the humour.  only move from one  their  The  suffer.  Of His Humour, and h i s m o t i v a t i o n ,  a f t e r h i s e n t r y i n t o the p l a y , must take r a t h e r than pure h a t r e d .  two  p o i n t s there has  been no growth,  been o n l y a c c e l e r a t i o n along an  That which e x i s t s o u t s i d e t h i s frame i s denied  c h a r a c t e r s ; there i s no p l a c e to which they  con-  can a s p i r e and  so  already  the  they.turn  inward to feed upon themselves. Speeches such as those r e f e r r e d to above (p. 52) h e l p then to f o r e shadow and  promote the a c t i o n , or r a t h e r they h e l p to b r i n g the a c t i o n i n t o  e x i s t e n c e ; S i r E p i c u r e Mammon's speech o u t l i n e s and and  i n i n d u l g i n g the a b n o r m a l i t y  i n d u l g e s the  i t g i v e s i t added impetus.  Thus the  a c c e l e r a t i o n becomes g r e a t e r , u n t i l only a head-on c o l l i s i o n the t h r u s t w i t h The  sufficient  abnormality  can meet  f o r c e to throw i t o f f i t s ironbound  track.  s p i r a l s of the l i n e d e s i g n then, t o r e t u r n to Miss Fermor's terms,  are not  independent of the  s l a b s of c o l o r :  they move w i t h  greater  f o r c e because of them - w i t h g r e a t e r f o r c e and w i t h a r e s i d u e of coloring.  The  a c t i o n may  not  their  seem to grow out of the c h a r a c t e r , but  35 it  does proceed i n l o g i c a l  agreement with  the  terms of t h a t  character's  existence. The  upward s p i r a l l i n g movement of a c t i o n i n The  f u l l e s t r e a l i z a t i o n of t h i s aspect  of Jonson^'s a r t .  c h a r a c t e r , because of the nature of h i s b e i n g , s p i r a l l i n g movement i n the ordinarily  i n t e r a c t i o n with  expects i n the p l o t ; he  the meantime they can  a l l ascend together  Face almost always f i n d s a way the  l o g i c of the p l o t , but  The  strict  channelling  Jonson to achieve i n v e n t i o n i n the In The has  out.  One  other  c h a r a c t e r s which  t u r n s of the  of  as i n v e n t i o n f o l l o w s may  this  one  come back down to e a r t h .  In  invention.  not be prepared f o r t h i s i n l o g i c of Face's  character.  of the humour w i t h i n l i m i t s s h a r p l y d e f i n e d  permits  i n v e n t i o n upon  new  action.  the humours do not  f i g u r e p r o m i n e n t l y , but  Jonson  a rhythm of a c t i o n , h i t h e r t o g e n e r a l l y a p a t t e r n of movement,  of h i s stream of i n s p i r a t i o n related action.  there  can never break out  i t does conform to the  most s u i t a b l e to h i s type of c h a r a c t e r .  and  i s the  Each i n d i v i d u a l  t h i s i n t e n s i t y of a c t i o n which allows  Alchemist  perfected  can only  Alchemist  In The  and  he  taps  the t r u e depths  f i n d s s u f f i c i e n t momentum f o r  Alchemist,  i s much t a l k i n humour.  In Volpone he  i f there  virile  i s not much t a l k of humours,  With the e x c e p t i o n  of Volpone, such r i c h n e s s  o f language i s found nowhere e l s e i n Jonson. During the see him  first  h a l f of Jonson's c a r e e r , up to and  evolving  strong,  i n c l u d i n g Volpone.  one  can  " l o g i c a l " action in direct proportion  the  s t r e n g t h w i t h which he molds h i s c h a r a c t e r s , both of these  i n g r e d i e n t s depending i n t u r n on the of view and  being  firmness  to  artistic  w i t h which he holds  the means by which he r e a l i z e s t h a t view i n an  a point artistic  56 creation.  The. p o i n t i s not t h a t the theory of humours a f f o r d s a f a c i l e  e x p l a n a t i o n of h i s technique  but t h a t he i s only able to mold s t r o n g  c h a r a c t e r i n terms of one c o n c e n t r a t e d  trait  or motive.  In The Case Is A l t e r e d one can p e r c e i v e the growth of the humour c h a r a c t e r and i t s e n l i v e n i n g e f f e c t on the a c t i o n . i n c r e a s e s t o a more s p r i g h t l y  and n a t u r a l pace when a more s t r o n g l y d e l i n e a t e d  c h a r a c t e r takes the c e n t e r of the stage. first  The tempo of t h i s p l a y  When Count Ferneze  e n t e r s f o r the  time, he does so i n an i m p a t i e n t peremptory manner, i l l u s t r a t i n g h i s  son's (Paulo's) d e s c r i p t i o n of him which precedes  h i s entry:  You know my f a t h e r ' s wayward and h i s humour Must not r e c e i u e a check, f o r then a l l o b i e c t s , Feede both h i s g r i e f e and h i s impatience, And those a f f e c t i o n s i n him, are l i k e powder, Apt t o enflame with euery l i t t l e sparke, And blow vp reason, t h e r e f o r e Anqelo. peace. ( I , v i , 85-90) He f i r e s a short q u i c k d i a l o g u e and sends the s e r v a n t s f l y i n g search of h i s son Paulo, upon which he c o n c l u d e s ,  about i n  Patience? a S a i n t would l o o s e h i s p a t i e n c e to be c r o s t , As I am with a s o r t of motly b r a i n e s See, see, how l i k e a nest of Rookes they stand, Gaping on one another.' (I, v i i , At t h i s p o i n t t h e r e e n t e r s another been a t t r i b u t e d  17-20)  c h a r a c t e r to whom t h e r e has a l s o  a humour:  0 he i s one as r i g h t of thy humour as may be, a p l a i n e simple R a s c a l , a t r u e dunce, marry he hath bene a notable v i l a i n e i n h i s time: he i s i n l o u e , s i r r a h , w i t h a wench, & I have p r e f e r d thee to him, . . . ( J u n i p e r t o Antony B a l l a d i n o of Onion; I, i i , 11-14) Onion a l s o possesses capable  of f a l l i n g  something of the Count's i r a s c i b l e  nature  and i s  i n t o a " p r e j u d i c a t e humour" which he does at t h i s  moment.  A f t e r having t r i e d  frustrated  into  to d e l i v e r a message to the Count, only t o be  speaking at c r o s s purposes by the Count's humour, he e x c l a i m s ,  Mary I say your L o r d s h i p were b e s t to s e t me to schoole a g a i n e , to l e a r n e how t o d e l i v e r a message. ( I , v i i , 34-35) C o r r e c t him [ h i m s e l f , Onion] ? S'bloud come you and c o r r e c t him and you have a minde to i t . C o r r e c t him, t h a t ' s a good i e s t I f a i t h , t h e Steward and you both, come and c o r r e c t (I, v i i , Whereupon. Onion's t h r e a t i s met  45-47")  and he i s e j e c t e d from the scene.  In Act I I another s t r o n g l y o u t l i n e d (of the Aulular-ia) makes h i s appearance. h a u n t i n g h i s abode, Jaques  c h a r a c t e r from the second p l o t Having s p i e d Paulo and  from the  Angelo  immediately d e l i n e a t e s h i s moving p a s s i o n , i t s  e f f e c t s upon him, and the o b j e c t to which i t i s a t t a c h e d . boldly  him.  He i s p r e s e n t e d  first:  What a c o u l d sweat Flow'd on my browes, and over a l l my bosome! Had I not reason? to behold my dore Beset w i t h v n t h r i f t s , . . . .  That I might l i u e alone once w i t h my g o l d . 0 ' t i s a sweet companion! k i n d & true.' A man may t r u s t i t when h i s f a t h e r cheats himj B r o t h e r , or f r i e n d , or w i f e ! o wondrous p e l f e , ..That which makes a l l men f a l s e , i s t r u e i t s e l f e . ( I I , i , 2-5,  27-31)  In c o n s i d e r i n g the p o s s i b l e motives f o r h i s two v i s i t a t i o n s he a l s o possible  c o n v o l u t i o n s of the a c t i o n .  outlines  F i n a l l y he d e c i d e s that l e c h e r y i s  t h e i r motive, r a t h e r than g a i n , both of which motives are couched i n p e j o r a t i v e terms, and t h a t i t i s h i s daughter Rachel they seek. f o l l o w i n g t h i s e x c e s s i v e f e a r i s a v i v i d b i t of d i a l o g u e i n which o u t l i n e s Rachel's a c t i o n s f o r her d u r i n g h i s absence:  Immediately Jaques  Jaques.  Rachel I must abroad. Lock thy s e l f e In, but y e t take out the key, That whosoeuer peepes i n at the k e y - h o l e , May y e t imagine t h e r e i s none at home.  Rachel.  I will s i r .  Jaque s.  But harke thee Rachels say a t h e e f e should come, And misse the key, he would r e s o l u e indeede None.were at home, and so breake i n the r a t h e r : Ope the doore R a c h e l . s e t i t open daughter; But s i t i n i t ibhy s e l f e : and t a l k e alowd, As i f t h e r e were some more i n house w i t h t h e e : Put out the f i r e , k i l l the chimnies h a r t , That i t may b r e a t h no more then a dead man. The more we spare my c h i l d , the more we g a i n e .  ( I I , i , .53-66) He takes h i s l e a v e , and the e x c i t a t i o n of h i s humour has r e c r e a t e d of a p e c u l i a r brand, upon the s t a g e :  he has been moved to an almost  e x a l t a t i o n i n p r o t e c t i n g h i s g o l d and he has added measurably t r a t e d moment to the f e e l i n g merely  character alone.  upward, h e l i c a l the s t r a t i f i e d  life, poetic  i n a concen-  t h a t here i s a c t i o n being I m i t a t e d and not  Jaques has f o r a moment begun to d e s c r i b e  s p i r a l , but i t i s not s u s t a i n e d and he f a l l s l i m i t s of h i s own  plot.  that  back i n t o  CHAPTER V Every  This play, f i r s t not  again  being  acted  issued u n t i l  placed  first  elaborate r e v i s i o n .  Man  In H i s Humour  i n 1598, was not p r i n t e d u n t i l  1601  the F o l i o e d i t i o n of 1616, at which time,  same.  The r e v i s i o n , which probably  substance of p l o t  The most  Truth to L i f e ;  was  before  i n the e d i t i o n of Jonson's works, i t had undergone an took p l a c e about 1608-  10, embraces an advance i n t e c h n i c a l and s t y l i s t i c m a t u r i t y ; dramatic  and  important  the g e n e r a l  and c h a r a c t e r , however, remains e s s e n t i a l l y the change i s made i n a p r a c t i c a l bow to the p r e c e p t  the s e t t i n g , f o r m e r l y  Italy,  i s now t r a n s f e r r e d to London.  In r e l a t i o n t o The Case Is A l t e r e d , some elements of P l a u t i n e comedy are still  retained:  "the p a i r of e l d e r l y  a p a i r of l i v e l y young men; in  the shrewd serving-man who  the i n t e r v a l s of p l a y i n g h i s own;  literary  i n f l u e n c e s , more d i s t i n c t l y  the nature of p r e v i o u s  c i t i z e n s , deceived  and o u t w i t t e d  p l a y s t h e i r game -  and the bragging  soldier.""''  E l i z a b e t h a n , may  have c o n t r i b u t e d to  Chapman's Humourous Day's M i r t h may  some h i n t s f o r the c i r c l e of g u l l s which Jonson i n t r o d u c e s The g u l l  Other  of t h i s p l a y , which, n e v e r t h e l e s s , owes l i t t l e to the literature.  i s already  a common l i t e r a r y  ness and c r u e l t y of Roman s a t i r e .  2  by  stimulus  have  supplied  i n h i s play.  type d e p i c t e d o f t e n with the  Chapman's Labesha, however,  coarse-  although  H e r f o r d & Simpson, I I , 345. 2 See B a s k e r v i l l , pp. 108 f f . ; and Harold V. Routh, "London and the Development of popular L i t e r a t u r e , " Cambridge H i s t o r y of E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , ed. A. W. Ward and A. R. W a l l e r (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1907-17), IV, 362-415.  60 Possessing  most of the t r a i t s  of the w i t l e s s p r e t e n d e r ,  by the a c r i d i t y of the moral s a t i r i s t , which f i r s t the  Stage Q u a r r e l  at the end of the decade.  Jonson's Stephen and Matthew of Every harshness of the moral censor; Influences  Man  i s not y e t touched  entered  the drama with  In l i k e manner, n e i t h e r are  In H i s Humour i n h i b i t e d by the  both move f r e e l y  i n a p u r e l y comic world.'  a s i d e , however, the important . c o n s i d e r a t i o n s i n t h i s  play  are the advances Jonson makes i n c h a r a c t e r development, l a b e l l e d by h i m s e l f "the theory  of humours," i n the s k i l f u l m a n i p u l a t i o n  i n the extent the o t h e r . him  to which he b r i n g s the one i n t o o r g a n i c r e l a t i o n s h i p with  Jonson sees humanity i n broad, s h a r p l y d e f i n e d o u t l i n e s ; f o r  the s u b t l e t i e s of human nature  or humour.  of p l o t i n t r i g u e , and  While t h i s  coalesce  a t t i t u d e may  f a c t of e l i m i n a t i o n , i t n e v e r t h e l e s s  to form one animating  s i m p l i f y c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n by the mere presents  a problem of s e l e c t i o n .  That i t c o n s t i t u t e s a problem f o r Jonson i s , I t h i n k , r e f l e c t e d i m p e r f e c t l y d e f i n e d c h a r a c t e r s of h i s e a r l y p l a y s . and  the u n c e r t a i n t y of a c t i o n r e s u l t  nature  and h i s d e f i c i e n t technique  image. and  He has d i f f i c u l t y  i n the  T h i s ambiguity of being  from Jonson's i n d e c i s i v e view of man's  imperfectly r e f l e c t i n g  i n developing  this blurred  an a c t i o n which w i l l  appear  organic  n a t u r a l and at the same time r e v e a l only what he wishes to r e v e a l .  Jonson must r e a l i z e  the d e f i c i e n c y , f o r i n the e a r l y phases of h i s drama  he c o n t i n u a l l y e x p l i c a t e s c h a r a c t e r by frequent of the humours. a theory  r e p e t i t i o n and e l a b o r a t i o n  He has not only to develop i n d r a m a t i c a l l y l o g i c a l  i n h e r i t e d from medieval p h y s i o l o g y  and a l r e a d y e n j o y i n g  vogue, but he must a l s o , d e s p i t e the t h e o r y ' s it  trait  i n the dramatic  context.  terms  considerable  vogue, g a i n acceptance f o r  For t h i s he does not r e l y  on h i s dramatic  power; i n s t e a d he b u t t r e s s e s h i m s e l f u n c e r t a i n l y w i t h the apparatus of  the c r i t i c a l  theorist  and the c l a s s i c a l  scholar.  In t h i s p l a y Jonson makes simultaneous advances i n both the  delinea-  t i o n of c h a r a c t e r and the m a n i p u l a t i o n of i n t r i g u e ; the advances are not always  intimately related.  In the c h a r a c t e r of K i t e l y , however, one  can  see an i n t i m a t e r e l a t i o n s h i p between a humour and the growth of a c t i o n . Kitely best  i s the s i n g l e dominating  illustrating  the s t a t e  image on the stage; he  i s the c h a r a c t e r  wherein  . . . some one p e c u l i a r q u a l i t y Doth so possesse a man, t h a t i t doth draw A l l h i s a f f e c t s , h i s s p i r i t s , and h i s powers, In t h e i r c o n f l u c t i o n s , a l l to runne one way; (EMOH, 2nd Sounding, 105-108) Although he sometimes does so w i t h d i f f i c u l t y , own  action.  K i t e l y does o r i g i n a t e h i s  That a c t i o n which s w i r l s arourid him,  from the machinations of  Brainworm and 1/fellbred, although s k i l f u l l y handled and approaches  f r e e l y moving,  c l o s e r t o mere i n t r i g u e than to s t r o n g l y m o t i v a t e d  K i t e l y embodies the dominant t r a i t which c o n t r o l s the d i r e c t foreshadows  the dominant c h a r a c t e r which,  a focus f o r s y n t h e s i z i n g Others  i n Jonson's  a c t i o n s i n t o an a r t i c u l a t e d  action. action  and  l a t e r plays, provides plot.  i n the play do of course possess humours, but t h e i r s  illustrate  "the p o p u l a r usage of the word" f o r the mere " a p i s h , or p h a n t a s t i c k e s t r a i n e " which l e a d s a coxcomb to don ruff."  "a pyed  T h e i r humours are of an evanescent  f e a t h e r " or a "three p i l d  quality.  An e x c e p t i o n to both  these humour types i s B o b a d i l l , the b r a g g a r t s o l d i e r , who  stands  caught  somewhere between the s t r o n g , d i s t i n c t i v e l y d r e s s e d humour c h a r a c t e r and the s u p e r f i c i a l l y beribboned g u l l .  His i s a more complex c h a r a c t e r , f o r ,  w h i l e h i s nature as a f r a u d and b r a g g a r t l e a d s him  into r i d i c u l o u s  and  revealing  a c t i o n , Jonson at the same time  allows him long s e t speeches  i n which he b u i l d s an image of h i m s e l f which t h r e a t e n s t h a t r e v e a l e d i n his  actions.  His s e l f - p r o j e c t e d  image g a i n s credence  by the r e a l i s t i c a l l y  d e t a i l e d way i n which he approaches i t s c o n s t r u c t i o n and by the f e i g n e d h e s i t a t i o n of h i s r e v e l a t i o n of prowess - a h e s i t a t i o n overcome by the i r o n i c q u e r i e s o f Edward Knowell and Wellbred. fit  i n t h i s p l a y ; he i s not q u i t e f i r m l y  or the comic mode.  B o b a d i l l does not q u i t e  imbedded i n the s a t i r i c  In him t h e r e i s an element of a s p i r a t i o n which i n the  long s e t speeches unaccompanied by c o n t r a d i c t o r y a c t i o n almost ridicule.  rationale  The ambiguity  of h i s being  i s not t o be found  escapes  i n l a t e r characters,  such as S i r E p i c u r e Mammon of The A l c h e m i s t , where condemnation i s i n h e r e n t in  each l i n e of S i r E p i c u r e ' s r i c h l y The  e x o t i c and a s p i r i n g  speeches.  dominant t r a i t which might f o r a Tamburlaine l i f t  d i v i n i t y w i t h a s i n g l e - s o u l e d ardour by the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c  folly.  him towards  i s i n Jonson p a r a l l e l e d  and supplanted  One sees now, as the E l i z a b e t h a n s were them-  s e l v e s s e e i n g , the other s i d e of the c o i n , and the odor of c y n i c i s m to  the f o r e f r o n t .  here p r e s e n t s •  itself  Can men enjoy  sound way?  The same problem which arose again:  and a c t s t i l l  In Every Man In H i s Humour there i s s t i l l c o u l d a c t i n accordance  as " p e r f e c t , p r o p e r , and p o s s e s t / good a d v i c e and so does K i t e l y ;  i n a morally  present the i m p l i c a t i o n with nature  As b r e a t h , w i t h l i f e . "  and seem  Knowell g i v e s  Knowell would have Stephen be wise and  c o n t a i n h i m s e l f and t o make not a f a l s e by a " l i t t l e  i n The Case Is A l t e r e d  do men a c t from base motives o r good m o t i v e s ?  the f u l l n e s s of t h e i r natures  t h a t i f men but would, they  drifts  p u f f e of s c o r n e ; " K i t e l y  "blaze o f g e n t r i e " e x t i n g u i s h a b l e  can see i n Wellbred  a course so  7@ irregular,  so l o o s e , so a f f e c t e d t h a t n o t h i n g he now  as h i s owne." they  Both are d i s p l a y i n g  "know t h ' a r e i l l "  does becomes  f o l l i e s , which "by l o v i n g  "him  s t i l l " when  can become crimes.  Some of the c h a r a c t e r s then r e a l i z e  t h e i r own  follies  and they have  sufficient  i n s i g h t t o d e l i n e a t e the humours of o t h e r s ; they even have  sufficient  i n s i g h t to d e l i n e a t e  too  t h e i r own  much a f f e c t i o n makes a f a t h e r a f o o l  humours.:  Knowell  can say t h a t  and K i t e l y knows that h i s  j e a l o u s y has turned h i s b r a i n to a mere " h o u r e - g l a s s e " f o r the running sands of b a r r e n s u s p i c i o n . " in  a way  which w i l l  change the course of a c t i o n .  much a f f e c t i o n " l e a d s him jealousy  But both seem unable  Knowell  "numbers h i s greene  S e n i o r ' s "too  Immediately  Kitely's  a f t e r h i s wise  i s r e v e a l e d as a " c a r e f u l l Costar'monger"  a p r i c o t s , euening, and morning."  knowing d e l i n e a t i o n of Wellbred's  . .;" and he then proceeds  Kitely,  who  after his  " l o s s of g r a c e , " succeeds only i n f i r i n g  another humour as Downright explodes .  Knowell  i n s u s p i c i o u s p u r s u i t of h i s son, and  c o n t i n u e s to suspect and to scheme.  a d v i c e to Stephen,  to a c t upon t h i s knowledge  i n "'Sdeath, he L Wellbred ] mads me  to r e v e a l a knowledge of h i s own  That humour n e v e r t h e l e s s r e a s s e r t s i t s e l f .  There  humour.  i s p r e s e n t i n the p l a y  the wisdom of words, but i t i s t o no e f f e c t , and the c a p a c i t y f o r e n l i g h t enment which can l e a d to the attainment of wisdom and grace seems not to exist  i n the nature of the c h a r a c t e r s ' b e i n g , and  of  t h e i r world.  it  does f o r Sordido i n Every Man  I f wisdom or grace comes, i t comes as a " m i r a c l e , " as  having no p a r t i c l e it  so not i n the nature  Out  Of H i s Humour; i t i s an o u t s i d e f o r c e  of i t s e x i s t e n c e i n the nature of t h i n g s or men  shortly vanishes.  and  64 K i t e l y ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of h i s b r a i n as an " h o u r e - g l a s s e , / Wherein my'  i m a g i n a t i o n s runne, l i k e  of w i l l  and purpose.  sands," i s a testament to the d i s i n t e g r a t i o n  The humour growing  about a d e s t r u c t i o n of moral f i b e r , e x i s t s as the r e s u l t dogmatic  and f e e d i n g on i t s e l f has  and of r e a s o n , but the humour  of a s h a r p l y d i v i d e d n a t u r e .  Measured  brought itself  a g a i n s t the  frame of Jonson's dramatic p i c t u r e , t h a t nature has become a  n e g a t i v e one, n e g a t i v e because  the frame, but not the canvas,  the p o s i t i v e elements of man's n a t u r e .  In the E l i z a b e t h a n world view  these elements had been p a r t of an o r g a n i c whole - God had e x i s t e d  i n n a t u r e , i n s o c i e t y , and i n men.  ardours are " l i f t to simply "shake  justice  imperfectly  and the correspondences  Whereas Tamburlaine's  upward and d i v i n e " , K i t e l y  and law and  No matter how  r e a l i z e d , t h e r e had been r e c i p r o c i t y between man of h i s world as he c o n c e i v e d i t .  includes  single-souled  l a c k s the mind's e r e c t i o n  the f e a u e r o f f " and a c t :  Ah, but what m i s e r i e ' i s i t , to know t h i s ? Or, knowing i t , to want the mindes e r e c t i o n , In such extremes? (II, i i i , If K i t e l y  70-72)  cannot a s p i r e i n the same way  spend h i s p a s s i o n on something,  as Tamburlaine, he i s going to  and he spends  i t on a c a n n i b a l i s t i c  p a t i o n which l e a d s him to the verge of c o l l a p s e . about  simply by a " l i t t l e  i s n e g a t i v e i n another way:  The tendency  and p e r v a d i n g the play  i f one d i s a l l o w s man  t i o n towards d i v i n i t y , one may as bad.  That c o l l a p s e i s brought  p u f f e of s c o r n e " a d m i n i s t e r e d from w i t h o u t .  The a t t i t u d e e x e m p l i f i e d by K i t e l y ,  as w e l l  dissi-  i n general,  h i s capacity for a s p i r a -  too e a s i l y deny him h i s c a p a c i t y  f o r good  i s t o assume and to a l l o w only the worst i n  -;6i5  man, and the mind g i v e s i t s e l f his  to base thoughts and s u s p i c i o n s .  speech i n Act I , scene i , K i t e l y  presents to  over  i t s e l f h i s wife w i l l  g i v e her t h a t o p p o r t u n i t y .  assumes t h a t once the o p p o r t u n i t y  cuckold him and he would t h e r e f o r e be a f o o l But he makes h i m s e l f the g r e a t e r f o o l by  g i v i n g h i s j e a l o u s y the o p p o r t u n i t y exist.  In  t o c o n s t r u c t an a c t i o n which does not  The a c t i o n does not e x i s t i n the world  about him; i t e x i s t s more  i n t o l e r a b l y i n h i s mind. In the scene w i t h Cash (Act I I I , s c . i i i ) K i t e l y a particular action.  attempts to i n i t i a t e  He wishes to have h i s wife watched, but he i s t o r n  between h i s j e a l o u s s u s p i c i o n s of h i s w i f e  and h i s f e a r of Cash's b e t r a y a l ,  w i t h the consequent l o s s of "fame" i n the t a l k of "th* Exchange."  His  j e a l o u s y and h i s f e a r are i n d i c a t i v e of a fundamental assumption about human n a t u r e . they  These two motives are the bases f o r h i s a c t i o n , and i f  are not "base", they  are n e g a t i v e , n e g a t i v e when measured a g a i n s t  p o s i t i v e v a l u e s which have by the advent of t h i s p l a y r e t r e a t e d f a r t h e r i n t o the shadowy d i s t a n c e .  In The Case Is A l t e r e d there was s t i l l a  c h o i c e and the c h o i c e was a f a i r l y  e v i d e n t one; now i t occurs  has  of the nature  been made, but a consciousness  remains.  As a r e s u l t , K i t e l y has d i f f i c u l t y  conceived  principles.  humanitie."  of t h a t choice  The accused  and put some f a i t h  still  i n a c t i n g upon h i s n e g a t i v e l y  Both he and Knowell can s t i l l  advice on " r i g h t " b e h a v i o r  t h a t a choice  still  g i v e seasonable, i n "the w i t of  c h a r a c t e r s are not g u i l t y of t h e i r  s i n s , and the comic tone remains p e r f e c t l y i n t a c t  wise  imagined  as the w o r l d l y - w i s e  judge a d m i n i s t e r s h i s shrewd, but humane j u s t i c e . The  humour then  about human n a t u r e .  i s the r e s u l t  of a c e r t a i n fundamental  That assumption r e v e a l s i t s e l f  assumption  i n a p a r t i c u l a r way,  that  i s , the humour, which i s d r a m a t i c a l l y embodied i n c h a r a c t e r and  dramatically  implemented through a s p e c i f i c o u t l e t .  such as j e a l o u s y , the  The s p e c i f i c o u t l e t ,  f e a r , or a v a r i c e , generates a c t i o n and language r e v e a l i n g  nature of the humour to the audience.  The c l e a r e r , the s t r o n g e r , and  the more u n i f i e d the motive, or humour, the more d i r e c t , the more emphatic, and  the more c e r t a i n i s the l i n e I t i s notable  not  i n t h i s play  of a c t i o n . t h a t the g e n e r a l  p l o t l i n e s are s t i l l  i n t i m a t e l y connected with or c o n t r o l l e d by the f o r c e f u l humour  Unlike  Volpone and Mosca, K i t e l y  or i n crime.  and Brainworm are not p a r t n e r s  They do not make of e v i l  not occupy w i t h i n the p l a y the same c i r c l e  of a c t i o n :  i n mischief  a p o s i t i v e good and imbue t h e i r  cozening with the importance of an a r t or p r o f e s s i o n . do  Kitely  and Brainworm  from which r a d i a t e the spokes  K i t e l y gives b i r t h to action i n close r e l a t i o n s h i p to h i s  humour, but i t i s Brainworm who, from the sheer l o v e of m i s c h i e f , as d i d J u n i p e r general  character.  strands  self-appointed  and Onion i n a more d i f f u s e way f o r the previous of the p l o t .  sustains,  p l a y , the  I t i s Brainworm who i s the o f f i c i a l and  stage manager of the dance of l i f e  t h a t w h i r l s about him.  At the b e g i n n i n g of scene i v i n Act I I Brainworm appears to h o l d the  center  o f the stage i n g i v i n g a summary of the a c t i o n thus f a r and  i n announcing the p r o g r e s s of f u t u r e  action:  W e l l , the t r o t h i s , my o l d master i n t e n d s to f o l l o w my yong, d r i e f o o t , ouer M o r e - F i e l d s , to London, t h i s morning: now I, knowing, of t h i s hunting-match, o r r a t h e r c o n s p i r a c i e , and to i n s i n u a t e with myyyong master ( f o r so must we t h a t are b l e w - w a i t e r s , and men of hope and s e r u i c e doe, or perhaps wee may weare motley at the yeeres end, and who weares motley, you know) haue got me a f o r e , i n t h i s d e s g u i s e , d e t e r m i n i n g here t o l y e i n ambuscade. and i n t e r c e p t him, i n the mid-way. ( I I , i v , 8-16)  67;. He  r e v e a l s h i s f u n c t i o n i n the p l a y as one,  from "a poore c r e a t u r e , " a c r e a t e d i s now  become a c r e a t o r .  But  engrained  intimate  connection  humour m o t i v a t i o n .  been transformed  acted upon r a t h e r than a c t i n g , transforms himself  h i s young master.  f r e e of the magnetic f i e l d  a deeply  in Kitely.  character  having  i t i s Brainworm who  t h i s r o l e to i n s i n u a t e h i m s e l f with is relatively  who,  He,  of humours and  As  and  i s not  c o u l d w e l l have  chosen h i s o l d master i n whose s e r v i c e s to i n s i n u a t e h i m s e l f .  p l a y s , who  love of m i s c h i e f .  a stage c o n v e n t i o n .  with  a minimum of m o t i v a t i o n .  Unlike K i t e l y , h i s character  thought of. the p l a y , but  he  i s a s u i t a b l e and  H i s performance does i n f a c t himself: longer  he does d r i f t ,  conform to the  anchorless  and  as an a r r e s t i n g o f f i c e r .  simply  sense he  does not grow from  effective  is  the  agent f o r comedy.  nature which he  a s c r i b e s to  disembodied, about the  The  morality  i s useful in  In t h i s  "a poore c r e a t u r e " , to m a t e r i a l i z e suddenly as"a  as Formal1, and  He  L i k e the v i c e s of the  l i k e w i s e act from a pure l o v e of m i s c h i e f , he  g e t t i n g the p l o t going  the  a c t i o n t h a t i s found  Brainworm enjoys the r o l e of c r e a t o r , f o r he  a c t s from a r a t h e r g e n e r a l  Kitely,  can act without  a r e s u l t , there  between humour (or m o t i v a t i o n )  unlike  into  p l o t , no  poore s o u l d i e r " ,  nature of Brainworm's  self-  assumed r o l e does not, however, r e q u i r e t h a t he move i n harmony w i t h c e r t a i n pre-determining  or s e l f - d e t e r m i n i n g motives, as does K i t e l y .  whims, h i s f a n c i e s , a l l o w him necessary counterpoint Jonson has unified  not  yet  a c t i o n with  Jonson has  not  reasonably  " f r e e " movement.  to K i t e l y * s s p i r a l l i n g ,  His  an o v e r a l l  achieved  s y n t h e s i s of these a c t i o n s .  a completely  i s the  somewhat s t i l t e d ,  succeeded i n combining motivated c h a r a c t e r  His  action.  begetting  In other words  coherent p l o t , a p l o t i n which a l l  p o i n t s touch  on a l l - other p o i n t s e i t h e r l o g i c a l l y  or i n t e l l i g i b l y  or  3  naturally.  Brainworm then holds up the g e n e r a l  keeps the  " u n r e l a t e d " s t r a n d s of a c t i o n going when they  from l a c k of m o t i v a t i o n . to  where they must go;  transported,  Through him,  many of the  guided  by the m a n i p u l a t o r ' s  knows where they  should  be p l a c e d , but does not  knowledge of why  they  p o s s i b l y move t h e r e by manipulator  should be p l a c e d t h e r e . themselves.  of the p l o t makes him  Through him  other  times removed from the  c h a r a c t e r s are  intellect,  taken  are p i c k e d  an i n t e l l e c t  up, which  communicate to them the As  a r e s u l t , they  cannot  Brainworm s p o s i t i o n as detached 1  appear twice removed from the c r e a t i v e  characters  informing  he  t h r e a t e n to c o l l a p s e  r a t h e r l i k e the pawns i n chess they  and  force.  l i n e s of the p l o t ;  are moved i n ways which seem three  power of t h e i r source.  For  instance,  through Brainworm, Knowell, B o b a d i l l , Matthew, and  Downright a l l e v e n t u a l l y  f i n d themselves before  describes  the J u s t i c e .  Edmund Wilson  transactions  of t h i s k i n d i n a most u n f l a t t e r i n g manner: Jonson a l s o l a c k s n a t u r a l i n v e n t i o n , and h i s t h e a t r e has l i t t l e o r g a n i c l i f e . His p l o t s are i n c o h e r e n t and clumsy; h i s j u x t a p o s i t i o n s of elements are too o f t e n l i k e the mechanical m i x t u r e s of chemistry t h a t produce no m o l e c u l a r r e a c t i o n s . His c h i e f a r t i f i c e s f o r making something happen are to i n t r o d u c e h i s c h a r a c t e r s i n i m p o s s i b l e d i s g u i s e s and to have them p l a y i n c r e d i b l e p r a c t i c a l jokes  One may r e f e r here to A r i s t o t l e ' s d e f i n i t i o n of the p l o t : "the i s the i m i t a t i o n of the a c t i o n . By p l o t I mean the s y n t h e s i s of the i n d i v i d u a l a c t i o n s . . . ." G i l b e r t , p. 76. ^Edmund W i l s o n , "Morose Ben Jonson", The T r i p l e T h i n k e r s . Twelve E s s a y s on L i t e r a r y S u b j e c t s (London: John Lehmann, .1952), p. 205.  plot  K i t e l y , however, moves h i m s e l f a l o n g , no matter up u n t i l A c t IV, scene  viii,  when he begins to be acted upon.  i n the d i s g u i s e of Clement's man, house w i t h a f a l s e message. He  i s informed  by Wellbred  how u n c e r t a i n l y ,  lures Kitely  away from h i s  Brainworm, (Kitely's)  Upon r e t u r n i n g , he d i s c o v e r s h i s w i f e ' s  absence.  of her whereabouts; as a r e s u l t of h i s p r e v i o u s  a t t i t u d e s and past a c t i o n s and because of the f a l s e message, he goes to Cob's house w i t h the p r e c o n c e i v e d  c e r t i t u d e of h i s w i f e ' s g u i l t .  Once  t h e r e , d e s p i t e the f a c t t h a t the r e f u t a t i o n of h i s f e a r s i s b e g i n n i n g manifest  itself,  the next  action:  he  still  possesses  enough of h i s b l i n d humour t o  to  initiate  W e l l , good-wife BA'D, COBS w i f e ; and you, That make your husband such a hoddie-doddie; And you, yong a p p l e - s q u i r e ; and o l d cuckold-maker; l i e ha' you euery one b e f o r e a I u s t i c e : Nay, you s h a l l answere i t , I charge you goe. (IV, x, 55-59) Here towards the end of the p l a y , W e l l b r e d f u n c t i o n and manipulates  the movement of t h i s p o r t i o n of the p l o t .  i s he who sends Dame K i t e l y for  hurrying K i t e l y  in displaying Bobadill.  assumes p a r t of Brainworm's  thence.  o f f t o Cob's and he He,  f o r the audience  In' c.doing so, he  again who  i s responsible  t o g e t h e r w i t h Edward Knowell,  has  the humours of Matthew, Stephen,  s a t i s f i e s h i s own  It  assisted  and  humour f o r a s p o r t which  s e t s o f f i n o p p o s i t i o n to the f o p p i s h humours of the three g u l l s h i s fancied those the  s o p h i s t i c a t i o n , a s o p h i s t i c a t i o n as f a l s e  to which i t opposes i t s e l f .  own  i n i t s p r e t e n s i o n s as  At^the b e g i n n i n g of the p l a y he  sets  stage f o r t h i s movement by m a r s h a l l i n g t o g e t h e r h i s c h a r a c t e r s and  inviting  a s e l e c t audience  member of the dramatis  - Edward Knowell, who  personnae  b r i n g s with him  another  (Stephen) t o a s s i s t h i s f r i e n d and  mentor i n the p l a y b u s i n e s s at hand.  by  social  70 The  two  p r i n c i p a l m a n i p u l a t o r s , Wellbred and Brainworm, and  r e s u l t , the two movements, c r i s s - c r o s s  at c e r t a i n p o i n t s .  as a  Although  Brainworm h i m s e l f d e c i d e s to assume the r o l e of a " c r e a t o r " and to f o l l o w Knowell, and  i t i s W e l l b r e d who  t e l l s him where Knowell  i t i s Wellbred again who  from h i s home.  i s to go  (Cob's house)  i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r Brainworm's l u r i n g  On the other hand, although Wellbred and Edward  Kitely  Knowell  have a s s i s t e d at the c o u r s i n g of the humours of B o b a d i l l and Matthew, it  i s Brainworm who  causes t h e i r appearance at Clement's.  u n w i t t i n g l y , i t seems, f o r by h i s p h y s i c a l presence  He does so  alone and h i s sheer  l o v e of d i s g u i s e , by h i s appearance to Matthew and B o b a d i l l at no one's i n s t i g a t i o n , d r e s s e d as Formal1, off  without reason or p r o v o c a t i o n , he  a s e r i e s of a c t i o n s which b r i n g s Matthew, B o b a d i l l ,  fires  and Downright to  the c o u r t of J u s t i c e . K i t e l y remains He  the most s t r o n g l y and  sharply defined character,  alone o r i g i n a t e s most e x c l u s i v e l y h i s own  w i t h severe b i r t h pangs.  a c t i o n , a l b e i t he does so  O t h e r s , Matthew, Stephen,  and B o b a d i l l ,  s u f f e r from humours, but t h e i r s are of the s u r f a c e , l i g h t and  shifting;  they can be e a s i l y p l a y e d upon, and consequently d i s p l a y e d , by the prompting.  Of these t h r e e g u l l s i t i s B o b a d i l l who  and the most w i n n i n g l y drawn. t o t h i s p l a y attempt  i s the most  H e r f o r d and Simpson i n t h e i r  slightest  subtly  introduction  to d e s c r i b e the nature of h i s a t t r a c t i o n :  . . . B o b a d i l l i s not the g u l l of pure breed any more than he i s the bragging s o l d i e r of t r a d i t i o n . The g u l l was a w i t l e s s pretender t o a c c o m p l i s h ments and v a l o u r . B o b a d i l l , however empty h i s p r e t e n s i o n s to v a l o u r , i s not without a c e r t a i n  also  order o f accomplishment . . . . The're i s t a l e n t i n the d e s i g n and h a n d l i n g of h i s camouflage.^ He  approaches two o r t h r e e c o n v e n t i o n a l t y p e s , but i t i s to Jonson's  c r e d i t t h a t he f a l l s  not within- any one of them; i n s t e a d , he stands  an independent and d i s t i n c t i v e  creation.  Of him,  unique  one might say, as W e l l -  bred and Edward Knowell say of Brainworm, he i s an a r c h i t e c t r a t h e r than a mere  artificer: Wellbred.'  E . Knowell.  Why, BRAYNE-WORME, who would haue thought thou hadst beene such an a r t i f i c e r ? An a r t i f i c e r ! (Ill,  He  An a r c h i t e c t !  v, 24-26)  c o n s t r u c t s h i s own c h a r a c t e r , "the camouflage" of h i s c h a r a c t e r , w i t h  some o v e r a l l d e s i g n ; he e r e c t s an e d i f i c e :  he does not on the one hand  suspend h i m s e l f i n mere f i l i g r e e , nor does he on the o t h e r simply b r i c k upon b r i c k . Edward Knowell says again of Brainworm,  stack  He had so w r i t h e n h i m s e l f e , i n t o the h a b i t of one of your poore I n f a n t e r i e . . . . .  Into the l i k e n e s s e of one o f these Reformado's had he moulded h i m s e l f e so p e r f e c t l y , obseruing euery t r i c k e of t h e i r a c t i o n , as v a r y i n g the accent, swearing w i t h an emphasis, indeed a l l , with so s p e c i a l l , and e x q u i s i t e a g r a c e , t h a t (hadst thou seene him) thou would'st haue sworne, he might haue beene S e r i e a n t - M a i o r , i f not L i e u t e n a n t C o r o n e l l to the Regiment. ( I l l , v, 10-11, 17-23) But  t h i s p r a i s e might more a p t l y be a p p l i e d t o B o b a d i l l , f o r i t i s he who  succeeds i n t h e a c t u a l language and a c t i o n of t h e p l a y i n c o n s t r u c t i n g a many-faceted c h a r a c t e r f o r h i m s e l f .  H e r f o r d & Simpson, I, 352.  One does not see Brainworm  perform  a s i m i l a r f e a t , and done so.  In the  there  i s only Edward Knowell's word f o r i t t h a t he  scene where Brainworm, i n h i s newly-donned d i s g u i s e ,  a c c o s t s Edward and  Stephen, i t i s not by means of language or  the  a change i n the h a b i t of dress  a c c e n t " but by  a r c h i t e c t of the p l o t , a c o n t r i v e r weaving the something of an o v e r a l l d e s i g n , but he Bobadill He  i s an a r c h i t e c t of c h a r a c t e r but  does not manipulate h i m s e l f ; he  Downright's b a s t i n a d o Bobadill  and  c r e a t e s the  i s only manipulated.  Brainworm's  Bobadill  The  character.  in action. moment he i s easy  prey  tricks. as Brainworm does, i n  (see Act  I I , s c s . I v - v ) , but  projected future action  o u t s i d e the r e g u l a r p l o t l i n e s  consummation w i t h i n the  of a c t i o n i n t o  c o l l a p s e s and he  image of h i m s e l f , not  terms of f a n d i f u l past a c t i o n and  completely  strands  Brainworm i s an  only an a r t i f i c e r  terms of a c t i o n to be performed In the p l o t in  only.  "varying  i s only an a r t i f i c e r of  moves i n t o a c t i o n the e d i f i c e of h i s being to  has  and having  standing  no p o s s i b i l i t y  of  plays  to Edward -Knowell.  Why thus, s i r . I would s e l e c t n i n e t e e n e , more, to my s e l f e , throughout the l a n d ; gentlemen they should bee of good s p i r i t , s t r o n g , and able c o n s t i t u t i o n , I would choose them by an i n s t i n c t , a c h a r a c t e r , t h a t I haue: and I would teach these n i n e t e e n e , the s p e c i a l l r u l e s , as your Punto, your Reuerso, your S t o c c a t a , your Imbroccata. your Passada. your Montanto; t i l l they c o u l d a l l p l a y very neare, or a l t o g e t h e r as w e l l as my s e l f e . T h i s done, say the enemie were f o r t i e thousand s t r o n g , we twentie would come i n t o the f i e l d , the t e n t h of March, or t h e r e a b o u t s ; and wee would c h a l l e n g e twentie of the enemie; they could not, i n t h e i r honour, r e f u s e v s , w e l l , wee would k i l l them: c h a l l e n g e twentie more, k i l l them; twentie more, k i l l them; twentie more, k i l l them t o o : and thus, would we k i l l , euery man, h i s twentie a day, t h a t ' s twentie s c o r e ; twentie s c o r e , t h a t ' s two hundreth; two hundreth a day, f l u e dayes a thousand; f o r t i e thousand; f o r t i e times f i u e , f i u e times  f o r t i e , two hundreth dayes k i l l s them a l l vp, by computation. And t h i s , w i l l I venture my poore g e n t l e m a n - l i k e c a r a c a s s e , to performe ( p r o u i d e d , t h e r e bee no t r e a s o n p r a c t i s ' d vpon us) by f a i r e , and d i s c r e e t manhood, t h a t i s c i u i l l y by the sword. (IV, v i i ,  73-94)  T h i s speech cannot be d e s c r i b e d as simply p a t h e t i c , i n the sense of the merely  t r a n s i t o r y or f l e e t i n g  emotion,  f o r i t adds s t r e n g t h t o those  permanent lineaments which make up h i s e t h o s . ^ His i s not a f a n c i f u l t r a n s p l a n t e d from the s o i l  of E l i z a b e t h a n h e r o i c s , mounting  dream,  "upward and  s u b l i m e " without c o n s i d e r i n g the c o n c r e t e steps on which i t must mount. He w i l l heroics:  ask how  as w e l l .  he would choose  have;" but he  He begins w i t h an i n g r e d i e n t proper to E l i z a b e t h a n h i s men  by  s h i f t s i n midstream  seems a l i e n to the f i r s t :  "an i n s t i n c t , a c h a r a c t e r , t h a t  to another method which i n i t s p r e s e n t a t i o n  he w i l l  not spur h i s men  t h i n k i n g , emotional E x c e l s i o r s ; he w i l l accuracy and t h e i r c i s i o n and c o n t r o l .  I  f e a t s of b r a v e r y w i l l  into b a t t l e with  t r a i n them w i t h be performed  un-  scientific  with a s i m i l a r pre-  For a moment he a s p i r e s and he does so not i n f u l l -  b o d i e d e m o t i o n a l i s m but i n a s e v e r e l y f a c t u a l manner - a manner which u n d e r l i n e s the extent of h i s own  belief  and makes him look a l l the more  r i d i c u l o u s when untwoard events l a t e r r e v e a l him a coward. speeches, however, an a c t o r can momentarily which f o l l o w s does not measurably  reduce  With  usurp the stage, and  the image which he,can  Bobadill's the  action  create.  ^The words pathos and ethos would seem, l i k e so many o t h e r words, t o possess t h e i r meanings i n o p p o s i t i o n one to the o t h e r . Pathos means the q u a l i t y of the t r a n s i e n t or e m o t i o n a l , whereas ethos r e f e r s to something of more permanence, t h a t i s , a person's c h a r a c t e r or c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s p i r i t , h i s nature or d i s p o s i t i o n .  87j* To  sum  up,  the r e l a t i v e l y  at t h i s e a r l y stage  i n the development of Jonson's drama,  strong humour c h a r a c t e r  upon n e g a t i v e l y conceived  values.  still  a c t s , but h a l t i n g l y  His a c t i o n i s h a l t i n g because a  ness of t h e i r p o s i t i v e c o u n t e r p a r t s  still  remains i n the  y e t h i s a c t i o n s , u n l i k e the e v e r - s h i f t i n g f r i v o l i t i e s more p e c u l i a r l y h i s own. outside  he  background;  of the g u l l s ,  he too i s acted upon, has  i n the f i r s t p a r t of the p l a y to e s t a b l i s h h i s own  i s acted upon p r i m a r i l y by h i s humour.  humourist i s not y e t h i s own from the g e n e r a l  conscious-  are  g u l l s d i s p l a y t h e i r wares at the h i n t of  s t i m u l u s , but K i t e l y , although  opportunity and  The  so,  love of m i s c h i e f , i s the  an  action,  In t h i s p l a y the  stage manager; Brainworm, who  an  strong  acts  simply  " o f f i c i a l " manipulator  of the  ,  plot. L a t e r , with Volpone, the  strong dominating c h a r a c t e r assumes d i r e c t i o n  of the p l a y , although  he possesses a more than competent " a s s i s t a n t " i n  the person of Mosca.  There i s no h e s i t a t i o n here and -no u n c e r t a i n t y ;  Volpone, and relish  l a t e r Mosca, can p u l l the  of a man  negative  who  has  decided  s t r i n g s of the p l o t w i t h the  the way  of the w o r l d .  when measured a g a i n s t p o s i t i v e ones, have h e r e ,  become p o s i t i v e , p o s i t i v e when the p r i o r g o t t e n - and let to  him do  the Fox  has  no d i f f i c u l t y  escape, d e s p i t e the  so.  in acting.  f a c t t h a t he has  In The  Alchemist  s i n s i t e r f l a v o r of tragedy  values,  i n Volpone.  set of p o s i t i v e s has  been  introduced  to  Jonson s e t s h i s rogues completely  i s not  for-  Jonson cannot, however,  endowed him w i t h the  The abstract s p e c t r e of J u s t i c e i s again  the m i s c r e a n t . The  Negative  complete  as strong here,  strength derail free.  as i n Volpone.  and  the s p e c t r e of J u s t i c e has  completely d i s a p p e a r e d .  Humour the comic tone i s p e r f e c t l y p r e s e r v e d : s o c i e t y or an e v i l can  "Put motion  In His  i s not y e t a s t r i c k e n  u n i v e r s e i n which v i c e , animating the soul of t h i n g s ,  i n a stone, s t r i k e  h e a l t h y and r o b u s t , f u l l withall  this  In Every Man  q u i t e harmless.  fire  from i c e ; " the i n h a b i t a n t s are  of z e s t , merriment, and h e a r t y good fun - and  CHAPTER VI Every Man  Out Of His Humour  T h i s p l a y , f i r s t e n t e r e d i n the S t a t i o n e r ' s R e g i s t e r on A p r i l 8, and p u b l i s h e d i n t h a t same year, was 1599.  With the advent  ing,  sees him  of view now and  towards the end  spirit,  about  a s o l i d i f i c a t i o n of the d r a m a t i s t ' s  a d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of dramatic  form.  Jonson  evolve a product  s u f f i c i e n t l y dramatic.  In the  is  experiment-  experiment  attempting t o f i n d a form adequate and a p p r o p r i a t e to a p o i n t becoming, as i t d i s c a r d s i n s o l u b l e and  alien': elements,  satirist  i s supposedly  one who  criticizes  tougher  i n hopes of b r i n g i n g  a r e f o r m a t i o n ; he t h e r e f o r e b e l i e v e s a r e f o r m a t i o n i s p o s s i b l e .  mere f a c t of the c r e a t i o n of a r t would seem a testament the Prologue  The  world  s t r o n g e r i n i t s b e i n g , more p a s s i o n a t e i n i t s implementation. The  to  of  but i n t r a v e r s i n g the t r a d i t i o n a l E l i z a b e t h a n comic forms he does not,  here at l e a s t , one  finished  of t h i s p l a y one w i t n e s s e s i n Jonson's dramatic  a development of the s a t i r i c p o i n t of view, and  probably  1600,  to Every Man  In His Humour Jonson  The  to t h i s b e l i e f .  s t a t e s t h a t h i s purpose i s  " s p o r t w i t h humane f o l l i e s , not with c r i m e s ; " again i n the Prologue A l c h e m i s t he r e a f f i r m s h i s  Did  never  In  to  purpose:  Though t h i s pen aim to g r i e v e , but b e t t e r men  They are so n a t u r a l f o l l i e s , but so shown, As even the doers may see, and yet not  own.  (11-12, 23-24) His  s t a t e d purpose  Cordatus  echoes the " C i c e r o n i a n " d e f i n i t i o n  i n Every Man  a n d . r i d i c u l o u s and  Out  of comedy g i v e n by  Of His Humour as being "a t h i n g throughout  accommodated to the c o r r e c t i o n of manners."  pleasant,  •So It  would  seem then t h a t Jonson proposes to s a t i r i z e  evanescent derangements  which  superficial,  are r e l a t i v e l y harmless and can be  d i s c a r d e d , bad h a b i t s which a r i s e when " a l l f e a r : / And age, from t h a t , which bred i t , His  those  Humour the humours are s u p e r f i c i a l .  are f a l l ' n , 1  good example."''"  easily  youth from t h e i r In Every Man  In  G e n e r a l l y , they are not yet deeper  "than the c o a t e , or s h i r t , or s k i n ; " ' t h e y have not y e t gone i n t o the bone or  s t a i n e d unto the l i v e r  done so only  and h e a r t .  " i n some" and i t i s s t i l l  T h i s may  have happened, but i t has  a "learn'd" thing.  Youth  learns  its  v i c e s from the bad example of o l d age; i n the c r a d l e i t sucks i n with  the  mother's  m i l k the " i l l customs" of i t s inadequate moral mentors.  In  Knowell's a n a l y s i s of the time's f o l l i e s the burden of the blame r e s t s w i t h surrounding c i r c u m s t a n c e s , w i t h environment, but when he says "the d i e goes deeper then the c o a t e " and  " s t a i n e s , unto the l i v e r ,  and h e a r t " he comes  dangerously c l o s e to saying i t i s born i n the h e a r t and b r e d . i n the bone. In  t h i s p l a y , however, the humour i s s t i l l  like in  a coat or s h i r t b e f o u l e d by i l l use.  f o l l i e s remain s u p e r f i c i a l  sense a permanent  change,  With the c h a r a c t e r of  i n t e n s i t y , but i n g e n e r a l the  and permanent change i s of l i t t l e  consequence.  comic w o r l d , w i t h i t s comic r e s o l u t i o n , emerges i n t a c t , i t s tone unim-  p a i r e d by s e r i o u s In or  In t h i s  c h a r a c t e r i s n e i t h e r necessary nor p o s s i b l e .  K i t e l y , the humour b e g i n s t o assume a new  The  a f o l l y which can be d i s c a r d e d  Every Man  affected  folly;  Every Man  satire. Out Of His Humour, however, Asper condemns the  superficial  again the imagery i s drawn from a r t i c l e s of c l o t h i n g :  In His Humour. I I , v, 12-13.  T h i s may be t r u l y s a i d to be a Humour. But t h a t a rooke, i n wearing a pyed f e a t h e r , The c a b l e hat-band, or the t h r e e - p i l d r u f f e , A yard of shooetye, or the S w i t z e r s knot On h i s French g a r t e r s , should a f f e c t a Humour! 0, ' t i s more then most r i d i c u l o u s . (2nd Sounding, 109-114) H e r e t o f o r e , c h a r a c t e r s have d e s c r i b e d the humour i n terms analagous t o the  p h y s i c a l , but i n t h i s p l a y , the humour i s g i v e n f o r the f i r s t  time <an  e s s e n t i a l p h y s i c a l b a s i s , and an analogy i s then drawn between the p h y s i c a l and the s p i r i t u a l . "strict  The humour now  begins to " s m e l l of s i n n e " , and M a c i l e n t e '  hand" i s "made to ceaze on v i c e " and  "crimes".  He i n v e i g h s  against  . . . such, whose f a c e s are a l l z e a l e , And w i t h the words of HERCVLES invade Such crimes as t h e s e ! t h a t w i l l not smell of s i n n e , But seeme as they were made of s a n c t i t i e ! R e l i g i o n i n t h e i r garments, and t h e i r h a i r e Cut s h o r t e r then t h e i r eye-browes! (2nd Sounding, 38-43) Cordatus t e l l s him the way of the w o r l d : V n l e s s e your b r e a t h had power To melt the world, and mould i t new againe, It i s i n v a i n e , to spend i t i n these moods. (2nd Sounding, 47-50) If he would have a change, t h e r e must be a new there i s l i t t l e may  which  be t r u e , but its.s  creation.  In the meantime,  can o f f e r a s s i s t a n c e , except perhaps Poesy.  Philosophy  t h e o r i e s are i m p r a c t i c a l guides i n the a c t u a l w o r l d :  V i r i e s t , fortunae caecitatem f a c i l e f e r r e . T i s t r u e ; but, S t o i q u e , where ( i n the v a s t world) Doth t h a t man b r e a t h e , t h a t can so much command His b l o u d , and h i s a f f e c t i o n ?  There i s no t a s t e i n t h i s  Philosophie,  I looke i n t o the w o r l d , and t h e r e I meet With o b i e c t s , t h a t doe s t r i k e my b l o u d - s h o t eyes Into my b r a i n e : ( I , i , 1-4, 8, 16-18)  .Macilente must s a t i s f y h i m s e l f with being but he cannot g i v e vent t o the r e f o r m i n g must partake  spirit  o f the c o r r u p t i o n of the times  under the a f f l i c t i o n  a scourgea  of the times,  i n p u r i t y of motive.  and e n t e r the dramatic  He  world  of the "new d i s e a s e " .  When I see these [the f o r t u n a t e o n e s ] ( I say) and view my s e l f e , I wish the organs of my s i g h t were c r a c k t ; And t h a t the engine of my g r i e f e c o u l d c a s t Mine e y e - b a l l s , l i k e two globes of w i l d - f i r e f o r t h , To melt t h i s v n p r o p o r t i o n ' d frame of n a t u r e . ( I , i , 24-28) The  p o i n t i s re-emphasized by the Grex i n i t s d i s t i n c t i o n between envy and  hate.  The t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of Asper,  a member of the chorus,  into Macilente,  a member of the humour c h a r a c t e r s , makes i t p o s s i b l e f o r Jonson t o g r e a t l y i n t e n s i f y the s a t i r e and y e t remain w i t h i n the comic mode. exclaims  a g a i n s t h i s f e l l o w s cannot be taken  Macilente s !  too s e r i o u s l y , f o r he shares  t h e i r humourous w o r l d .  In a d d i t i o n , h i s condemnations, u t t e r e d w i t h g r e a t  p a s s i o n , seem supported  not by the r e a l i t y of the humour c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n  but r a t h e r by the d i s c u s s i o n s of humour i n the c h o r a l i n t e r l u d e s , larly one  at the b e g i n n i n g  of the p l a y .  When M a c i l e n t e u t t e r s h i s  particu-  imprecations,  does not see a j u s t i f i a b l e r e a c t i o n t o an outrageous humour; one i s  i n s t e a d reminded of s i m i l a r remarks by Asper and the t h e o r e t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n s of humour.  As a r e s u l t of t h i s f a i l u r e of i n t e g r a t i o n the scourge  seems  not i n the nature of things; no moral order appears to pervade t h i s u n i v e r s e . O r i g i n a l l y , t h i s p l a y ended with the appearance o f the Queen, the s i g h t of whom causes M a c i l e n t e to e x c l a i m , Neuer t i l l now d i d o b i e c t g r e e t mine eyes With any l i g h t c o n t e n t : but i n her g r a c e s , A l l my m a l i c i o u s powers haue l o s t t h e i r s t i n g s .  Enuie i s f l e d my s o u l e , at s i g h t of h e r , And shee hath chac'd a l l b l a c k thoughts from my bosome, L i k e as the sunne doth darkenesse from the w o r l d . (V, x i , 1-5) The r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the moral  o r d e r stands o u t s i d e the p l a y p r o p e r ,  and Jonson must have sensed i t s a r t i f i c i a l i t y f i n a l version. (ill,  viii)  i t from the  The disappearance of S o r d i d o ' s humour e a r l i e r  seems l i k e w i s e to depend on some k i n d of moral  i n h e r e n t to the p l a y . are  i n removing  Echoes of the medieval  i n the p l a y '  framework not  scheme of d i v i n e  redemption  heard i n S o r d i d o ' s speech of repentance, and the r u s t i c s e x c l a i m ,  m i r a c l e ! see when a man inorganic fixture repentance  ha's g r a c e ! "  i n the p l a y .  The  The  c o n v e r s i o n remains, however, an  "knowledge" which l e a d s to S o r d i d o ' s  i s not t h a t of a d i v i n e law and a d i v i n e p l a n of the u n i v e r s e .  Even though  Sordido concludes t h a t  "No  l i f e , i s b l e s t , t h a t i s not g r a c ' t  w i t h l o u e , " t h e r e i s no p r e p a r a t i o n f o r t h i s enlightenment. when l o v e might speech.  "0  have e n t e r e d humanly or n a t u r a l l y  Sordido r e c e i v e s a l e t t e r from h i s son.  swears t h a t  "my  son and daughter  shall  The moment  immediately  precedes  this  A f t e r having read i t , he  s t a r u e ere they touch i t  [his gold].  T h i s scene of S o r d i d o ' s c o n v e r s i o n does not emerge then w i t h i t s suggested t h e o l o g i c a l . f r a m e w o r k i n t a c t , nor i s t h e r e s u f f i c i e n t m o t i v a t i o n i n the human a c t i o n . he has j u s t  H i s repentance  called  horse-bread-eating  i s brought  about by a few c u r s e s from those  " l i c e n t i o u s r o g u e s , " "poor wormes," and rascals":  What curses breathe these men! how haue my Made my lookes d i f f e r from another mans, That they should thus d e t e s t , and l o t h e my Out on my wretched humour. . .  For  my  deeds life!  I ' l e make f a i r e amends foule errors past, . . . ( I l l , v i i i , 36-40, 42-43)  "Thred-bare  81 A " s t a t e of g r a c e " i s something who,  which descends from above upon  one,  w i t h i n the p l a y , has not been adequately prepared t o r e c e i v e i t .  advent may  be preceded  by an uncomplimentary r e f l e c t i o n  o t h e r s , but i t i s o n l y a r e f l e c t i o n  and the r e f l e c t i o n  Its  i n the eyes of i s temporary.  It  does not l e a d to a permanent comprehension of the human p a r t i n the m i r a c l of g r a c e , and no something  self-knowledge  i s achieved.  The  " m i r a c l e " appears  as  o u t s i d e and a l i e n to the nature of the c h a r a c t e r s of t h i s dramat  world. By  i m p l i c a t i o n the r e a l  s a l v a t i o n remains  o u t s i d e the p l a y  At the end of the p l a y , when M a c i l e n t e has been purged soul i s at peace, Jonson  itself.  of h i s humour and h  r e a f f i r m s through M a c i l e n t e t h a t he has  indeed  shown an image of the times* I am so f a r r e from m a l i c i n g t h e i r s t a t e s That I b e g i n to p i t t y them. I t g r i e u e s me To t h i n k e they haue a b e i n g . I c o u l d wish They might turne wise vpon i t , and be sau'd now, So heauen were p l e a s ' d : but l e t them v a n i s h , v a p o r s . Gentlemen, how l i k e you i t ? h a s ' t not beene t e d i o u s ? (V,xi, M a c i l e n t e r e a s s e r t s t h a t these vapors nature of the world he has had world  l e s s o n s and be  the ambiguity to  "have a b e i n g " .  a part i n depicting.  i s t e r m i n a t e d , but he wishes  upon t h e i r  61-66)  saved.  He r e a f f i r m s For the p r e s e n t  t h a t h i s f e l l o w s c o u l d now The  the this  t u r n wise  whole t e n o r of the p l a y , i n c l u d i n g  of M a c i l e n t e ' s c o n c l u d i n g "So heau'n were p l e a s e d " , seems  imply t h a t t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y has r e t r e a t e d beyond man's grasp and depend  too e n t i r e l y  on heaven's being p l e a s e d to grant a r b i t r a r i l y a s t a t e of  humanly incomprehensible  and humanly undeserved  grace.  82 In Every  Man  In His Humour the f o l l i e s were of a s u p e r f i c i a l q u a l i t y ,  and many c h a r a c t e r s  i n the present  p l a y possess o n l y s u p e r f i c i a l humours,  but  the tone of t h i s p l a y , t r a n s m i t t e d by the Grex and M a c i l e n t e , i n d i c a t e s  now  a more s e r i o u s and more permanent source.  The  reformation  o n l y the t r a n s i t o r y m a n i f e s t a t i o n of t h a t permanent source According  to the humour theory  of the humours.  If no balance  Jonson must r e a l i z e h i s predicament.  Humour.  of derangement.  i s e i t h e r p o t e n t i a l or p o s s i b l e , and i f there  In Volpone the  i f the  i s no good a f f i x e d  s t a t e , then change i s both more important  embody t h a t which i s simply  touches  i n vogue, m o r a l i t y depended on a b a l a n c i n g  humour becomes i n i t s e l f a v i c e or s i n , and t h i s negative  still  and more  characters  t h e o r e t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n i n Every  impossible. themselves  Man  Out  Of  Volpone and Mosca remain a b s o l u t e l y - t r u e to t h e i r n e g a t i v e s ,  a s t r o n g , coherent  dramatic  T h i s p l a y flows w i t h i n Jonson's drama:  world  a new  to  His and  emerges.  i n t e n s i t y of f e e l i n g , unwitnessed  Asper's f i e r c e i n d i g n a t i o n and  Macilente's  heretofore  seething  2 envy are almost pure and u n d e f i l e d , so f r e e l y and form t h a t w i l l first  i n a l l o w i n g these  of the p l a y i s occupied  c o n t r o l and  expression.  almost completely  w i t h p r o v i d i n g a s e r i e s of r e f l e c t e d  I t i s not u n t i l  passions  to  flow  not made a commensurate adjustment i n  g i v e them adequate dramatic  two-thirds  sketches, form.  s t r o n g l y , Jonson has  But  with  character  images i n a s t e r i l e  the f o u r t h act of the p l a y t h a t M a c i l e n t e  The  g l a s s of  begins  to  E l i o t , i n h i s a n a l y s i s of the s p i r i t of envy i n the I n d u c t i o n to the P o e t a s t e r , says, " I t i s not human l i f e t h a t informs envy and S y l l a ' s ghost, but i t i s energy of which human l i f e i s only another v a r i e t y . " E l i o t , The Sacred Wood, p. 100.  pull  the  s t r i n g s of a c t i o n .  In the  "calme of h i s humour" he p l o t s ,  and  hee i s so f u l l with 'hem [ m a l i c i o u s t h o u g h t s ] t h a t you s h a l l see the very t o r r e n t of h i s enuie breake f o r t h l i k e a l a n d - f l o u d : and, a g a i n s t the course o f . a l l t h e i r a f f e c t i o n s oppose i t s e l f e so v i o l e n t l y , that, you w i l l almost have wonder to t h i n k e , how ' t i s , p o s s i b l e the c u r r e n t of t h e i r d i s p o s i t i o n s s h a l l r e c e i u e so q u i c k , and strong an a l t e r a t i o n . (IV, v i i i , It  i s Macilente,  w i t h the  the  own  s t r o n g e s t humour i n the p l a y , who  a i d of h i s admiring  ( w i t h the e x c e p t i o n  implement,  of Sordido's  a c t i o n In the way  and  when h i s envy burns with  other  characters.  purging.  implements.  a self-consuming  s i d e - l i n e s and  combines i n h i s f u n c t i o n  i s not, l i k e Volpone, i n t i m a t e l y In the f i r s t . p a r t  f o r c e , h i s energies  counterpointing  He does t h i s with  make h i s e y e - b a l l s crack and  business  b u r s t f o r t h i n t o two  devoted  the d e f o r m i t i e s of  globes  the  seem to  of w i l d - f i r e .  the. l i f e  of t h i s p o r t i o n  of the chorus i s a l s o to a i d i n c h a r a c t e r b u i l d i n g and  s u b s t i t u t e f o r adequate dramatic  means of an appeal  sketches  a c t i o n an e x p l a n a t i o n In the opening  are i n t r o d u c e d , the Grex p r o v i d e s  by  scenes,  further  to round out what the c h a r a c t e r s have a l r e a d y r e v e a l e d of themselves.  ,Carlo i n h i s i n t r o d u c t o r y speech has jibing  s t r u c t u r e and  t o c l a s s i c a l model and d e f i n i t i o n .  when C a r l o Buffone and M a c i l e n t e  to  are  play  play.  The to  of the  a wrath which would indeed  T h i s v i o l e n t emotion, however, h e l p s to m a i n t a i n of the  f o r the name of a c t i o n  He does not b r i n g f o r t h h i s  He  Brainworm, but  i n v o l v e d i n the a c t i o n which he  on the  i s chiefly responsible,  t h a t K i t e l y does; i n s t e a d he pushes o t h e r s i n t o  something of both K i t e l y  standing  Buffone,  purgation).  a c t i o n s which b r i n g about h i s own  ta  154-159)  devoted h i s a b i l i t y as j e s t e r p r i m a r i l y  at the author r a t h e r than programming h i s own  humour.  Cordatus '  then s u p p l i e s f o r M i t i s and traits  f o r the  audience a s t r i n g of  epigrammatic  i n which to c l o t h e C a r l o s He i s one, the Author c a l l s him CARLO BUFFONE, an impudent, common i e s t e r , a v i o l e n t r a y l e r , and an incomprehensible E p i c u r e ; one, whose company i s d e s i r ' d o f a l l men, but b e l o v ' d of none; hee w i l l sooner l o s e h i s soule then a i e s t , and prophane euen the most h o l y t h i n g s , t o e x c i t e l a u g h t e r s no honorable or reuerend p e r sonage whatsoeuer, can come w i t h i n the reach of h i s eye, but i s t u r n ' d i n t o a l l manner of v a r i e t i e , by h i s a d u l t ' r a t e simile's. (Prologue,  3rd Sounding, 356-364)  M a c i l e n t e , on the other hand, c o n c e n t r a t e s  upon h i s s e l f - d e l i n e a t i o n ,  the Grex merely announces " t h i s i s your enuious man". principal  c h a r a c t e r s have made t h e i r debut, the Grex continues  the p l a y ' s movement and  introduces  company w i t h S o g l i a r d o who to be on the  a gentleman at any scene, M a c i l e n t e  t i o n a l to the And  folly  them a g a i n , i n scene two,  now  cost. with  Both the Grex and M a c i l e n t e  a f u r y which does not  to c o n t r o l  now  in -  then comment  seem d i r e c t l y  propor-  revealed: .  0, I could eate my e n t r a i l e s , sinke my soule i n t o the e a r t h w i t h  sorrow.  35-36)  assumes c o n t r o l from the Chorus and makes the next  duction - Sordido,  two  r e v e a l s the great a s p i r a t i o n of h i s l i f e  (I, i i , Macilente  A f t e r the  and  who  i n t u r n i n t r o d u c e s h i s own  intro-  humour of a v a r i c e .  scream of p a i n i s wrung from M a c i l e n t e , who,  f o r the b e n e f i t of the,  audience, o u t l i n e s i n i n d i g n a t i o n the  i m p l i c a t i o n s of  fuller  affliction: Is'-'t p o s s i b l e t h a t such a spacious v i l l a i n e Should l i u e , and not be plagy'd? or l i e s he h i d W i t h i n the w r i n c k l e d bosome of the w o r l d , Where heauen cannot see him? Sbloud (me t h i n k e s )  Sordido's  A  85  r  ' T i s r a r e , and s t r a n g e , t h a t he should b r e a t h e , and walke, Feede with d i g e s t i o n , s l e e p e , enjoy h i s h e a l t h , And ( l i k e a b o i s t ' r o u s whale, swallowing the poore) S t i l l swimme i n w e a l t h , and pleasure'. ( I , i i i , 67-74) The  Chorus takes  the o p p o r t u n i t y  to e x p l a i n the nature  of t h i s fulsome e x p r e s s i o n  of envy as opposed to hate.  i n t r o d u c i n g - b r i n g i n g f o r t h again Buffone and gallant" Fastidious Briske. in talking  a u d i t o r s concerning  Macilente  Then they r e t u r n to  a new  By the time B r i s k e has  of e x c e l l e n t hobby h o r s e s ,  by  "bright-shining i n d u l g e d h i s humour  the Chorus echoes the o p i n i o n of  the  the whole substance of the p l a y thus f a r :  Why, t h i s f e l l o w e s d i s c o u r s e were n o t h i n g , the word Humour. ( I I , i , 56-57) Jonson's c r i t i c a l  f a c u l t y t e l l s him  how  but  for  h i s p l a y i s being  by h i s audience, and by  the middle of the T h i r d Act he  of o f f e r i n g , by h i s own  admission  received  f e e l s the  f o r l a c k of a b e t t e r , a  necessity  "classical"  d e f i n i t i o n of comedy: You say w e l l , but I would f a i n e heare one of these au_tumne-judgements d e f i n e once, Quid s i t Comoedia? i f he cannot, l e t him content h i m s e l f w i t h CICEROS d e f i n i t i o n . ( t i l l hee haue s t r e n g t h to. propose to h i m s e l f a b e t t e r ) who would haue a Comoedie to be I m i t a t i o v i t a e . Speculum c o n s u e t u d i n i s . Imago v e r i t a t i s : a t h i n g throughout p l e a s a n t , and r i d i c u l o u s , and accommodated to the c o r r e c t i o n of manners: -if the maker haue f a i l ' d i n any p a r t i c l e of t h i s , they may w o r t h i l y taxe him, but i f not, why - be you ( t h a t are f o r them) s i l e n t , as I w i l l bee f o r him; and giue way to the a c t o r s . ( I l l , v i , 202-216) The  author i s attempting  distorted and  image:  threatening  an image of the times,  but  i t i s a rather  h i s m i r r o r f l i c k e r s with tongues of flame, to b u r s t  roughly  trembling  i n t o a c o n f l a g r a t i o n ; i t does not p u l s a t e  with  the  lifelike  image of nature,  h i s form and  nor  show "the  very  age  and  body of the  pressure."  Jonson's "image of the t i m e s " r a r e l y l a c k s form, but does want "body" and  "pressure".  of c o n s t r u c t i o n and  technique;  w e l l - a p e r v e r s i o n of the used i n c o n n e c t i o n  with  frequently i t  Indeed, much of i t i s form, form  r a t h e r than i m i t a t i o n or c r e a t i o n .  "form-giving  I t i s not  form simply  f o r the  The  creative process.  Two  critical  terms o f t e n  the d i s c u s s i o n of l i t e r a r y modes are essence,  cause," and  f i r s t has  i d e a , the  "form of a f o r m - g i v i n g  only a s p i r i t u a l b i r t h  c r e a t i o n of a r t i t i s the an  The  i n the  intangible, spiritual  i n e x t r i c a b l e p a r t of the  controls.  shape i s the  cause".  artist.  imperative  final  In the and  becomes  outcome of i m i t a t i o n .  idea conceived  physical manifestation  can be  produced e x a c t l y a c c o r d i n g shape can be  generating infinity it  someone  capable  imitated.  idea must be  be  to c e r t a i n p h y s i c a l p r o p o r t i o n s - but I f a r t i s to be  caught from the  pervades l i f e ' s every  are numberless.  to s t r i k e the eye.  c o p i e d - f o r i n s t a n c e , something may  an i m i t a t i o n of l i f e ,  shape of l i f e  physical manifestation.  chooses f o r e x p r e s s i o n does not matter, f o r the  Truth  by  possesses  most obvious p a r t of t h a t shape i s i t s p h y s i c a l mani-  f e s t a t i o n , t h a t phenomenal q u a l i t y which i s f i r s t  the  and  shape, the r e s u l t or f u l f i l l m e n t of which i t  a shape as the r e s u l t of a g e n e r a t i n g The  the  Less  idea  C h a r t r e s . Venus de M i l o . Madonna of the Rocks, each of these  of c o n c e i v i n g .  purposes  i t i s form as the substance of h i s a r t as  a b s t r a c t terms b e t t e r a p p l i e d to a r t i t s e l f might be g e n e r a t i n g shape.  time  Though one may  say no T r u t h  This re-  only the  - a shape whose The  k i n d of o u t l e t  channels to  life's  i s t h e r e , one  may  yet  87 p e r c e i v e the T r u t h , t h e r e , but  and  not p e r c e i v e  still  i t w i l l be t h e r e .  the T r u t h , and  For Jonson the g e n e r a t i n g phases of h i s work.  As  say T r u t h i s  there.  i d e a i s much c o n s t r a i n e d  i n the e a r l y  c o n t r o l of h i s form again l a t e r .  cause" c o n t i n u a l l y i n t r u d e s upon the  sense.  The  "form-giving  They possess the form but not the  sees h i s f e l l o w men chooses to see  assuming and p e r s o n a t i n g  them t h u s .  will  i l l u s t r a t e how  IV,  "form of cause."  Shift  completes the  further  The  empty forms, but he  examples from Every  Jonson also  Man  Cut Of His Humour  i n t o c h a r a c t e r s , s u b t l e as they  images f o r the mind's  swears.  a r o b b e r i e , or two,/  Orestes."  full  shape of l i f e .  may  contemplation.  of many f a c e s and many names, who  i s not what he  "discourse  other  S o g l i a r d o begs h i s good Pylades  to s a t i s f i e  c o n c e i t by  swears t h a t  these  addressing  to  gentlemen of thy worth,"  h i s employer as "my  c h a r a c t e r s p i c k up the p a t t e r n and  fill  deare  i t out  with  examples:  Carlo..  the  scene v, S o g l i a r d o appears w i t h h i s newly bought t u t o r ,  C a v a l i e r S h i f t , the man i s , but  Two  h i s excursions  be, too o f t e n remain s t a t i c In Act  be  Empty forms do not e a s i l y generate a c t i o n  which can r e v e a l c h a r a c t e r .  and  be  may  a r e s u l t , many of h i s c h a r a c t e r s emerge as amorphous i n the  artistic  he  yet i t w i l l  one  With Volpone i t f i n a l l y b u r s t s f o r t h , only to  brought under the r i g i d form-giving  And  0, you and  i t ' s an o l d s t a l e e n t e r l u d e  deuice*  No,  I ' l e giue  names my s e l f e , looke you, he s h a l l be your IVDAS, you s h a l l bee h i s E l d e r t r e e , to hang on.  Macilente.  Nay, r a t h e r , l e t him be c a p t a i n e POD, and t h i s h i s Motion: f o r he does nothing but shew him.  Carlo.  E x c e l l e n t : or t h u s , you and hee your Camel.  s h a l l bee  HOLDEN,  8&r Shift.  You doe not meane to r i d e , gentlemen?  Puntarvolo.  Sogliardo.  F a i t h , l e t me end i t f o r you, g a l l a n t s : you s h a l l be h i s Countenance, and he your R e s o l u t i o n . Troth, that's pretty: s h a l t be so?  how say you, C a u a l i e r ,  Carlo.  I , I, most v o i c e s .  Shift.  F a i t h , I am e a s i l y y e e l d i n g t o any good impressions .  Sogliardo.  Then giue hands, good R e s o l u t i o n . (IV, v, 59-74)  H e r e i n i s r e v e a l e d something not only of Jonson's dramatic but a l s o of the world's  r e f l e c t i o n i n h i s eyes.  technique  The r e l a t i o n s h i p , i n  c l a s s i c a l myth, legend, and l i t e r a t u r e , of Orestes to P y l a d e s , l i k e  t h a t of  H o r a t i o t o Hamelt, was a v i t a l  and o r g a n i c , a l b e i t  a q u i e t , one.  In the  Choephoroe of A e s c h y l u s , based  both on c l a s s i c a l legend and e a r l y  ritual,  P y l a d e s , though he i s p r e s e n t throughout lines.  When Orestes  the p l a y , speaks o n l y t h r e e  i s c a r r y i n g out the terms of h i s oath, sworn at D e l p h i ,  to avenge King Agamemnon's murder, and having  s l a i n Aegisthus  i s about  to send h i s mother t o the embrace of her dead l o v e r , he pauses, he v a c i l l a t e s with m i s g i v i n g s : Orestes.  Dare I t o s h r i n k and spare? speak, P y l a d e s .  Pylades.  Where then would f a l l the h e s t at D e l p h i given, Yet u n f u l f i l l e d ? where then t h i n e o a t h , sworn t r u e ? Choose thou the hate of a l l men, not of Gods.  Pylades  serves as O r e s t e s ' s d i v i n e conscience and m a i n t a i n s  f o r him In the  f a c e of the human p i t y of t h i s human agent h i s commitment t o a h i g h e r design.  Pylades  i s not a man of a c t i o n , he i s not even a man of words,  but he i s O r e s t e s ' s r e s o l u t i o n , the keeper o f the s p i r i t u a l gates of  r89 horn and i v o r y . them issuance  3  He allows  passage only t o the true dreams, and i n a l l o w i n g  through the Gate of Horn, he h e l p s Orestes  connection.with  the Gods.  Orestes  retain his  then f u l f i l l s h i s o a t h , and i n doing  so, i n i m i t a t i n g the gods r a t h e r than men, he r e a s s e r t s the d i v i n i t y w i t h i n him ( t h a t d i v i n e h a l f of h i s daimon or s e m i - d i v i n e c a r r i e s out h i s D e s t i n y .  n a t u r e ) , and  4  Shift,, i s S o g l i a r d o ' s r e s o l u t i o n , but he, as h i s name i m p l i e s , does not p r o v i d e he,  S o g l i a r d o w i t h a focus on which t o f i x h i s countenance;  R e s o l u t i o n , forms not f o r S o g l i a r d o a countenance, an i m p r e s s i o n ,  a c h a r a c t e r , but r a t h e r e a s i l y y i e l d s h i m s e l f Sogliardo  to any good  seeks f o r h i s image or c h a r a c t e r , the p a s s i n g  "impressions".  face and show  of a gentleman, from a s h i f t i n g phantom composed only of "shreds and patches". In p e r s o n a t i n g senseless at  such a phantom S o g l i a r d o pursues a course  as t h a t of Buffone,  the M i t e r .  when he pledges h i m s e l f  as empty and  i n t o drunkenness  The r e v e l a t i o n of c h a r a c t e r made here, however, i s done  The name Pylades i s d e r v i e d from p u l o ( s i n g u l a r ^ meaning one wing of a p a i r of double g a t e s . The s u f f i x means "man o f " . •I do not say t h a t Jonson n e c e s s a r i l y intended t h i s p a r a l l e l , at l e a s t not to the extent t h a t I have drawn i t , but i t i s c e r t a i n l y w e l l p l a c e d . ^ I n the Greek the word daimon means " s p i r i t u a l or s e m i - d i v i n e , b e i n g i n f e r i o r t o the Gods," but I t a l s o means D e s t i n y , and would i l l u s t r a t e the H e r a c l e i t i a n concept of "A man's c h a r a c t e r i s h i s d e s t i n y . "  c9Q in  an a c t i o n r a t h e r than i n a c o n c e i t or image.  one,  a scene c o n s t r u c t e d w i t h i n a scene.  o n l y the  shadow of h i m s e l f ? he  w i t h the one The  2.  W i l l you, s i r ? light.  2.  Nay,  1.  So  2.  Good f a i t h you  1.  Why,  2.  Beleeue me,  1.  .Lie, s i r ?  Buffone,  s e t s two  pledges w i t h the  1.  me  I doe,  isolated  i t seems, i m i t a t e s first  drinks  other:  count FRVGALES h e a l t h s i r ? my knees, by t h i s l i g h t .  doe  a c t i o n i s an  cups a p a r t , and  I'le drinke  I-'le pledge i t on  i t on my  knee, then, by  the  right, s i r .  i n good f a i t h . doe  beleeue me,  not; mine was  i t was  i t was:  and  fuller.  not. you  doe l i e .  2.  I, s i r .  1.  S'wounds.'  2.  0, come, stab i f you haue a mind to i t .  1.  Stab? dost thou t h i n k e  Carlo.  And  and  The  I dare not?  Nay, I beseech you, gentlemen, what meanes t h i s ? nay, l o o k e , f o r shame r e s p e c t your r e p u t a t i o n s . (V, i v , 73-76, 79-90)  Buffone i s the man  who  c a l l s no man  face which makes f r i e n d s h i p no m a t t e r .  his friend  and  He  no  too has  can s t r i k e a f a l s e countenance and  no  resolution. These Jonsonian are not  characters imitate for l i f e  (an e i d o l o n ) r a t h e r than the  a shadow of t h i n g s which  shadow of t h i n g s which are  (skia.).  91;  :  T h e i r c h a r a c t e r s are b u i l t  f o r them of r i c h l y  embroidered  w i t h i n the c l o a k i s o f t e n no more than s w i r l i n g vapours. i m i t a t i o n s are the shades of l i f e ,  cloaks., but Jonson's  because those he i m i t a t e d were shades,  and w h i l e such e x i s t , they were a l s o thus because he saw them thus.  He  saw them i n uncomprehending s u b j e c t i o n t o o n l y a small p o r t i o n of t h e i r b e i n g , a being u n a l l i e d t o any h i g h e r c o n c e p t i o n of i t s e l f . i s the spark o f d i v i n i t y . gay  Missing  By the time of t h i s p l a y ' s c o m p o s i t i o n , the  temper surrounding B r i d g e t , B o b a d i l l , and Clement has hardened to the  l e a n b i t t e r n e s s of M a c i l e n t e and the f o o l i s h p r e t e n t i o u s n e s s of S a v i o l i n a . And  C a r l o Buffone  can f i n d nothing resembling man  so much as a hog or  s,wine: Carlo.  ' T i s an Axiome i n n a t u r a l l p h i l o s o p h i e , What comes n e e r e s t the nature of t h a t i t f e e d s , conuerts q u i c k e r t o nourishment, and doth sooner e s s e n t i a t e . Now n o t h i n g i n f l e s h , and e n t r a i l e s , a s s i m u l a t e s or resembles man more, than a hog, or swine -  Macilente.-  True; and hee ( t o r e q u i t e t h e i r c o u r t e s i e ) o f t e n times d ' o f f e t h h i s owne n a t u r e , and puts on t h e i r s ; as when hee becomes as c h u r l i s h as a hog, or as drunke as a sow: but t o your c o n c l u s i o n . (V, v, 60-68)  Devoting  so much of the p l a y t o t h i s v e r t i c a l movement of c h a r a c t e r  d e l i n e a t i o n makes i t d i f f i c u l t  f o r Jonson to push such a s t o l i d s t r u c t u r e  i n t o motion with any semblance of f l u i d i t y .  There must be a momentary  pause d u r i n g which the movement- s h i f t s i t s d i r e c t i o n onto plane.  T h i s change i s not accomplished  teeming humour.  Instead, q u i e t l y  a horizontal  by an o v e r f l o w o f M a c i l e n t e ' s  and c o o l l y , i n the "calm o f h i s humour,"  he draws the l i n e s of a c t i o n : he sends P u n t a r v o l o  and B r i s k e t o prepare at  S a v i o l i n a ' s court the scene of her p u r g a t i o n ; he a r r i v e s h i m s e l f the  country  Puntarvolo's  clown S o g l i a r d o t o p r e s i d e over i t s enactment; he dog and d i r e c t s the d i s c o v e r y of the c u l p r i t  with  poisons  to S h i f t  who, i n h i s own r e v e l a t i o n , d i s i l l u s i o n s S o g l i a r d o of h i s gentlemanly p r e t e n s i o n s ; he d i r e c t s the c a s t , d e s p i t e t h e i r l a g g i n g melancholy, to Buffone,  waiting  at the M i t e r , whom he then a s s i s t s  h i s own coup de grace,} w i t h  a quickening  i n administering  step he dispenses  Fungoso and  l e a d s D e l i r o , F a l l a c e , and F a s t i d i o u s B r i s k e through the paces of t h e i r motion, u n t i l he t o o , l i k e  Sordido,  can e x c l a i m  i n wonder:  Why, here's a change! 'Now i s my soule a t peace. I am as emptie of a l l enuie now, As they of m e r i t t o be enuied a t . (V, x i , 54-56)  . -  mt  CHAPTER V I I . Volpone In the  plays discussed  e a r l i e r the  as ian a b e r r a t i o n which was,  f l a w or humour made i t s appearance  i n f a c t , the e q u i v a l e n t  of c h a r a c t e r .  It  appeared thus because of i t s d e v i a t i o n from a p o s i t i v e s c a l e of v a l u e s ' a g a i n s t which i t was  c o n t i n u a l l y measured.  grow out  of the p l a y s but were i n s t e a d m o r a l l y  of the l i f e  characters.  This imposition  of those n e g a t i v e life.  characters  from which the  are  allowed  i s the dominating f o r c e .  than i n the  a c t i o n i s the The  the a b s o l u t e  basis  to draw  o f t e n the r e s u l t .  t r u t h of t h e i r  deformities.  i n the nature of t h i n g s  d e l i n e a t i o n of a humour.  In  rather  Powerful, natural  result.  good c h a r a c t e r s  are  t h a t good i s an a c c i d e n t s t a t e of grace, pletely  a c t i o n was  not  imposed upon the  c h a r a c t e r s were i m p e l l e d  It e x i s t s now  somewhat a r t i f i c i a l  did  f r e e , n a t u r a l movement on the  A seemingly mechanical or s t i l t e d  Volpone the Evil  values  inhibited  These p o s i t i v e v a l u e s  of nature,  and  t h e i r e x i s t e n c e would seem to  a miracle  a s t a t e which, i n order  secluded  between i t and  insipid  of nature r a t h e r l i k e  imply  Sordido's  f o r i t to e x i s t , must remain com-  from the world around i t . There i s l i t t l e i n t e r a c t i o n  the  surrounding  w o r l d : i t combats e v i l and  h i s good a n g e l s "  shutting  i n a cocoon and  miracle.  Good, i t would seem, is. some men's " s e v e r a l " ; i t would seem not  by  to "god  by  i t s e l f up  to be  appealing  simply  a p o t e n t i a l i n the nature of a l l t h i n g s , towards which men  striving  to know the  which, i n order  f u l l n e s s of i t s n a t u r e .  to preserve  itself,  and Volpone are good examples of two  constructs characters  for a  can  I t i s an u n a l t e r a b l e a w a l l of innocence. created  aspire state Celia  from a dichotomous  943 world view.  C e l i a descends  s p r i n g s from the v i t a l i t y worlds:  w i t h i n two  Volpone'.s speeches life  from an a b s t r a c t  of e v i l .  sphere of v i r t u e ;  They e x i s t  separate c i r c l e s each one  i n two  Volpone  completely d i f f e r e n t  c l o s e d to the o t h e r .  It i s  ( i n Act I I I . scene v i i ) which c o n t a i n the beauty of  and C e l i a ' s which c o n t a i n the beauty of heaven.  and the o t h e r heavenly one are c o m p l e t e l y d i s t i n c t In the exchange  The world of  and u n r e l a t e d .  between C e l i a and Volpone i t i s e v i d e n t t h a t  e x i s t no terms i n which C e l i a capable of comprehending.  i s either  man  there  capable of answering or which he i s  T h e i r fundamental assumptions are d i f f e r e n t ,  and n e i t h e r c h a r a c t e r r e f l e c t s a genuine u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the o t h e r . That which i s a "cause of L i f e " f o r C e l i a , her honour, p r o t e c t i o n she p l e a d s to "god and h i s good beggers v e r t u e " l a c k i n g  iri'Wisdome".  and f o r whose  a n g e l s " i s to Volpone  "the  Since t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e w o r l d s , p o i n t s  of view, and languages n e i t h e r o v e r l a p nor touch on the l e v e l of the mind or s p i r i t ,  Celia  t u r n s t o a defense based on the p u r e l y p h y s i c a l , w i t h  r e g a r d to h e r s e l f as w e l l  as t o Volpone:  If you haue eares t h a t w i l l be p i e r c ' d ; or eyes, That can be open'd; a heart-, may be touch'd; Or any p a r t , t h a t y e t sounds man, about you: If you haue touch of h o l y s a i n t s , or heauen, Do me the g r a c e , to l e t me scape. I f not, Be b o u n t i f u l l , and k i l l me.  Yet feed your wrath, s i r , r a t h e r than your l u s t ; . ( I t i s a v i c e , comes n e e r e r manlinesse) And p u n i s h t h a t vnhappy crime of n a t u r e , Which you m i s c a l my beauty: f l a y my f a c e , Or p o i s o n i t , w i t h oyntments, f o r seducing Your bloud to t h i s r e b e l l i o n . Rub these hands, With what may cause an e a t i n g l e p r o s i e , E'ene to my bones, and marrow: any t h i n g , That may d i s f a u o u r me, saue i n my honour. ( I l l , v i i , 240-245, 249-257)  If he w i l l  do so small a t h i n g , she w i l l  k n e e l and pray f o r him and  "pay downe/ A thousand h o u r e l y vowes" f o r h i s h e a l t h . of h i s w o r l d , nor he.of h e r s .  She has no p e r c e p t i o n  Volpone, however,' assumes the worst - an  assumption which both p r o t e c t s and b e t r a y s him: Thinke me c o l d , Fro.sen, and impotent, and so r e p o r t me? That I had NESTOR'S h e r n i a , thou wouldst t h i n k e . I doe degenerate, and abuse my n a t i o n , To p l a y with o p o r t u n i t y , thus l o n g : I should haue done the a c t , and then haue p a r l e e ' d . Y e e l d , o r l i e f o r c e thee. ( I l l , v i i , 260-266) Here he r e v e a l s t h a t original  intent  assumptions  a l l arguments and p e r s u a s i o n s we're s u p e r f l u o u s to h i s  and he judges one who l i v e s o u t s i d e h i s world by the  on which h i s own r e s t s .  H i s judgment b e t r a y s him, but h i s  momentary r e t r i b u t i o n i s brought about with the r a t h e r a r t i f i c i a l  appearance  of a deus ex machina - B o n a r i o , who l e a p s at t h i s moment from behind the curtain.  H i s repentance does n o t , however, equal t h a t of Sordido a f t e r  the descent of g r a c e : and infamy.  he f e a r s only t h a t he w i l l be b e t r a y e d to beggary  In Volpone's own world the assumption of the worst  p r o t e c t s him from o t h e r s of h i s k i n d .  L a t e r , h i s d o w n f a l l i s brought  about p a r t i a l l y by the b e t r a y a l of t h i s assumption: worst of Mosca, he f a i l s  intent  i n not assuming the  t o l i v e by one o f the fundamental  assumptions  of h i s w o r l d . In t h i s juxtaposed:  scene then i s a s p e c i f i c moment i n which the two worlds are good, i n the person of C e l i a ,  w o r l d , but i t i s done i n a mechanical way.  i s protected  C e l i a h e r s e l f f e e l s t h a t she  has no p e r s o n a l c o n t r o l , nor does she a c t i v e l y She  calls  t o the heavens  i n Volpone's  attempt to e x e r c i s e  control.  f o r h e r p r o t e c t i o n and f e e l s t h a t a l l she has t o  l o s e i s her innocence, beyond t h a t nothing e l s e . hands of someone e l s e , but again i n a mechanical  Her rescue passes fashion.  Knowledge of a  wrong a c t , as w e l l as p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h a t a c t , would s h a t t e r the of  innocence,  and  cocoon  i t i s on the b a s i s of the f o r m a l , r a t h e r than the o r g a n i c ,  e x i s t e n c e of innocence for  to the  and honor t h a t she makes her a p p e a l .  The  appeal i s  a p e r s o n a l and p h y s i c a l a n n i h i l a t i o n or f o r a d i v i n e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n .  Never do her b e l i e f s partake of a v i t a l i t y  which would enable her to act  w i t h the same e f f e c t i v e n e s s as do Volpone and Mosca. L a t e r Volpone and Mosca meet t h e i r f i n a l Bonario's world.  retribution in Celia  That r e t r i b u t i o n does not r e s u l t  and  from a p o s i t i v e f o r c e  working w i t h i n t h e i r world or o u t s i d e i t , but from t h e i r b e t r a y a l of sphere like  i n which both have t h e i r b e i n g .  They are summoned b e f o r e a w r a i t h -  t r i b u n a l t h a t does, i n i t s o f f i c i a l d e c r e e s , l i t t l e  p e r v a s i v e odor of  "good" or completely  "evil",  g r e a t e f f e c t i v e n e s s , one may  spiritually dilemma. abstracted evil  f o r him  to d i s s i p a t e  and  s i n c e he  to present.good  people  acting  as the b a s i c components.  i t should be  from good m o t i v e s .  His  of l i f e  the t h e o l o g i a n s had  the r e l a t e d i d e a s of good  In so doing they d i d not d i f f e r had  so  on the horns of an o l d t h e o l o g i c a l  to e x p l a i n the nature of man,  from the s u b t l e complexity  entirely  can p r e s e n t the " e v i l " ones with  opposed c h a r a c t e r s seem caught In attempting  are e i t h e r  r a i s e the q u e s t i o n of why  from e a r l i e r Greek t h i n k e r s who  endeavored to e x p l a i n the  nature of the u n i v e r s e i n terms of l o v e and h a t e , c r e a t i v i t y ness.  the  evil.  Since Jonson g e n e r a l l y p r e s e n t s c h a r a c t e r s who  difficult  this  These terms had meaning i n themselves,  and  greatly essential  and  destructive-  but because they were a b s t r a c t -  t i o n s from l i f e  observed  opposites.  in l i f e  And  they had itself  i t was  these o p p o s i t e s h e l d the world of  opposites.  When e v i l  fuller  meaning i n r e l a t i o n to  r e c o g n i z e d t h a t the i n t e r p l a y  i n balance.  In Jonson there i s no  h a l f of the p u z z l e remains f o r e v e r i n a t h e o r e t i c a l the  of  interplay  o c c u r s , i t does not appear as the p r i v a t i o n of good,  as a n e g a t i v e , j o i n e d to a c e r t a i n good or p o s i t i v e .  for  their  sake of h i s drama be of a more v i t a l  His r e s o l u t i o n of  one-  sphere, when i t should  constitution.  Jonson i s the h e i r of the s c h o l a s t i c p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r a d i t i o n which defined e v i l  as the absence of good, as a l a c k , as a n e g a t i v e , as the  e x i s t e n c e of a vacuum. No  being was  evil  The  except  i d e a of being was  p r i o r to the idea of goodness.  i n so f a r as i t l a c k e d b e i n g .  If i t l a c k e d being  or form, i t c o u l d not t h e r e f o r e a c t , except by v i r t u e of some good a t t a c h e d to i t . Good possessed of  a due  end d i d not i n i t s e l f  a t t a c h e d to an undue end. it  should be d i f f i c u l t  a due  end  constitute evil  If then e v i l  to p r e s e n t  character acting p o s i t i v e l y .  by which i t was  moved.  u n l e s s t h a t absence  Those e v i l  c h a r a c t e r s who  those  like  A negative becomes a p o s i t i v e , and  can say  be thou my  good".  relatively  f r e e s t a t e of non-being beyond to an u l t i m a t e cause or  where i t would change the nature  a s p i r e - the  in acting.  evil as  "Evil  a s p i r e s w i t h i n the  a p o s i t i v e good.  t h a t a l l i s baseness and has made of t h a t a p o s i t i v e  has no d i f f i c u l t y  an  end  of i t s source.  Volpone a s p i r e s and he has made of e v i l decided  being,  are presented  Iago who  absence  was  i s n e g a t i v e , a t h i n g without  i n a d r a m a t i c a l l y e f f e c t i v e way  a c t i n g , and w i t h l e a s t d i f f i c u l t y , ' a r e  The  He has  "son of S o l " , h i s g o l d .  c r e a t e d h i s own He  He  has  so t h a t  good to w h i c h he  i s completely  devoted  hee can  to hi's i d o l ,  : 9,8 to  h i s uncaused cause, which makes a l l men  to  itself.  nature  I t i s t h i s god  nature  t h a t animates Volpone's world  of the a c t i o n s performed t h e r e i n .  from the dross  of h i s h e a r t and  of t h i n g s , and  c r e a t e s , but he  But  i n the end  i n worships  c r e a t e s mountebanks, eunuchs, h e r m a p h r o d i t i e s ,  liturgy participated  i n by v u l t u r e s , crows, and r a v e n s .  heaven and  the presence of God,  e v i l , but pure e v i l  and h i s f e l l o w c e l e b r a n t , but He  fools,  h e l l - h i s c r e a t i o n i s not  only."''  But  a s p i r e s to  a mixture  Volpone i s not overtaken  he  i t is a  creates instead, l i k e L u c i f e r i n h i s f a l l  h i s own  formed  i n v e r s i o n of the  a l s o a s p i r e s to an a r t i s t r y  of worship, he  and  c o n t r o l s the  i t p l a y s a f o o l of Volpone h i m s e l f .  constructs a l i t u r g y  c r e a t e h i s own  and  i t i s a man-made god,  c r e a t e d by an u n n a t u r a l  Volpone not only worships i t but he he  f a l s e but remains always t r u e  by  from  of good  a Nemesis  growing out of a world where there i s an i n t e r p l a y of o p p o s i t e s ; he i s s t r i c k e n by the excesses his  chosen god The  of h i s own  f o r h i s own  feeling  concerning  manipulations  unrestrained  pleasure.  the p r e v i o u s p l a y s t h a t t h e r e i s no  i n t e r a c t i o n between c h a r a c t e r and  event  zest for l i f e ,  of t h i n g s .  l e s s pre-determined  and  For once a c h a r a c t e r i s c a r r i e d  a l b e i t a p e r v e r t e d one,  organic  i s i n Volpone f a r l e s s e v i d e n t .  l i n e of a c t i o n seems l e s s mechanical and more i n the nature  and by the d e s e r t i o n of  by  a determination  The  exists  away by a  to a c t i o n which  "'"For a s i m i l a r c o n s i d e r a t i o n of t h i s element of p e r v e r t e d r e l i g i o u s w o r s h i p on a symbolic l e v e l , see C. G. Thayer, Ben Jonson. S t u d i e s i n the P i a v s (Norman, Oklahomas The U n i v e r s i t y of Oklahoma P r e s s , 1963), pp. 50-111. At the w r i t i n g of t h i s c h a p t e r , I had not read Mr. Thayer's book.  ;9.?; s p r i n g s from the f u l l n e s s ,  c o r r u p t as i t i s , of h i s own  dilL, Volpone a s p i r e s to a b e t t e r l i f e , better l i f e  being.  to a f u l l e r l i f e ,  i s i n t i m a t e l y connected w i t h and dependent  L i k e Boba-  but f o r him  on m a t e r i a l  that  gain  and s u c c e s s .  For the e a r l y E l i z a b e t h a n s of a prosperous and expanding  so:ciety, t h i s  c o n n e c t i o n was  of  perhaps i n e v i t a b l e , but w i t h Volpone the  strain  d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t and c y n i c i s m i n t r o d u c e d i n t o the drama w i t h Marlowe's  M a c h i a v e l l i a n hero has come to f u l l  fruition,  and now  only the obverse  s i d e of the c o i n i s i n view. Volpone  seems f o r a time to be master of h i s w i l l ,  to i n f a c t possess  f r e e w i l l , but the moment he t u r n s to take i t i n t o h i s own moment at which h i s p e r s o n a l enjoyment than the t h i n g his  hands, the  of the t h i n g becomes more important  i t s e l f , t h a t i s , h i s god, then at t h a t moment does he run  head i n t o a noose of h i s own making and a l l i s l o s t .  J u s t i c e m a t e r i a l i z e s and the impotence  The S p e c t r e of  to which he pretended "by  faining  lame, gout, p a l s e y , and such d i s e a s e s " becomes the impending r e a l i t y . V e n e t i a n r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of j u s t i c e d i s e a s e and the t o t a l the  a s s e r t i o n that  these e v i l - d o e r s . the  are not, however, untouched by the moral  i m p r e s s i o n of v i c e i s not p e r c e p t i b l y a l l e v i a t e d  by  "there i s f o r c e i n the decrees of V e n i c e " t o p u n i s h even Volpone's image s t i l l  A v o c a t o r i , remain i n s u b s t a n t i a l  r u l e s the stage; C e l i a , B o n a r i o ,  shadows t h a t q u i c k l y  fall  i n darkness.  With the advent of The A l c h e m i s t Jonson f r e e s h i s c h a r a c t e r s e n t i r e l y the  a b s t r a c t menace of r e t r i b u t i o n .  the  s t r i n g s of the puppets to s l i p  first  The  time f r e e w i l l .  from  In a sense Jonson here w i l f u l l y a l l o w s from h i s hands and g i v e s them f o r the  They possess i t and they are masters of i t and they  have no d e s i r e t o go a g a i n s t t h e i r me'ros or p o r t i o n ; indeed they manage  it  and m a i n t a i n  and  form to f i l l Herford  "the  i t ; they themselves work out a l l the  and  the  canvas on which they have t h e i r  being.  Simpson r e f e r to the h i s t o r y of Se.ianus as the source  fundamental s i t u a t i o n of Jonson's two  of two  s u b t l e t i e s of shade  able v i l l a i n s , master and  g r e a t e s t comedies, the  s e r v a n t , ending  i n a deadly  for  league  struggle  2 between them,"  and  i t i s i n the p a r t n e r s h i p of Volpone and Mosca t h a t  the nexus of m o t i v a t i o n and  action exists.  i n a d r a m a t i c a l l y e f f e c t i v e way  The  discussed e a r l i e r .  Jonson i s faced w i t h an even g r e a t e r d i f f i c u l t y :  removes from the and  the  c e n t e r of the stage  i n producing  to the  as a r e s u l t  omits from  t h e r e can be a s t i l l  an  I t was  man,  greater  also stated  a c t i o n seem to e x i s t more i n the  earlier  nature  s p r i n g more n a t u r a l l y i n t o b e i n g , but with  c h a r a c t e r s a l o n e , i t i s necessary  s p e c i f i c motivation, and  when one  play  the p a s s i v e , but e s s e n t i a l l y good  an o r g a n i c i n t e r a c t i o n .  t h a t i n t h i s p l a y m o t i v a t i o n and of t h i n g s and  In t h i s  from  i n t e r a c t i v e elements of good and bad, when one  r e t a i n s only the a c t i v e but bad man,  difficulty  of p r e s e n t i n g  c h a r a c t e r s a c t i n g s o l e l y and p u r e l y  e i t h e r good motives or bad motives was  intimate connection  difficulty  regard  to attempt the a s s i g n i n g of  s p e c i f i c a c t i o n , a l b e i t t h i s may  i n v o l v e an  over-  simplification. In a d d i t i o n to Volpone's god, h i m s e l f may  be  s a i d to p r o v i d e  the  "world's s o u l e " and h i s own,  the e s s e n t i a l m o t i v a t i o n ; h i s p a r t i s the  " R e s o l u t i o n " and Mosca's i s h i s "Countenance".  H e r f o r d & Simpson, I,  60.  Volpone  His greed  and h i s l o v e of  seeing o t h e r s provide the  sweat under the.same f e v e r i s h torment from which he s u f f e r s  the immediate moving f o r c e f o r Mosca's a c t i o n s .  seeming primary m o t i v a t i o n  the p l a y . god,  Rather, they are  f o r Mosca's a c t i o n s i n t h e f i r s t  part of  Mosca, however, d e s i r e s h i s own r e s o l u t i o n , and i t i s Volpone'*s  "the world's s o u l e " and h i s , which i s a l s o t o Mosca " v i r t u e , fame,/  Honour, and a l l t h i n g s e l s e " . primary m o t i v a t i o n  I t i s t h i s which p r o v i d e s Mosca w i t h  and n u r t u r e s  apparent a c t i o n s of a servant  i n the f i r s t  attempting  his  p a r t of the p l a y both the most  t o please h i s master and the  embryonic a c t i o n which i n the l a t t e r p a r t of the p l a y comes, to the f o r e f r o n t as Mosca parades i n a m a g n i f i c o ' s In Act I, scene i i , there and  a preparation  the  following dialogue  i s a s u b t l e h i n t of Mosca*s r e a l i n t e r e s t s  for his l a t e r treachery. takes  Volpone.  I long t o haue p o s s e s s i o n Of my new p r e s e n t .  Mosca.  That, and thousands more, I hope, t o see you l o r d o f .  Volpone.  Thankes, k i n d MOSCA.  Mosca.  And t h a t , when I am l o s t i n blended d u s t , And hundred such, as I am, i n s u c c e s s i o n -  Volpone.  Nay, t h a t were too much, MOSCA.  Mo.sca i s s t r a i n i n g  i i , 116-121) recognizes  By saying t o Volpone t h a t he, Mosca, w i l l be blended  along w i t h C o r b a c c i o ,  enjoy  departure,  so f a r to f l a t t e r Volpone t h a t even Volpone  "that were too.much."  to  After Voltore's  place:  (I,  dust,  attire.  Corvino,. and V o l t o r e , while Volpone y e t l i v e s  thousands of new p o s s e s s i o n s ,  Volpone's mind with r e s p e c t t o h i m s e l f .  he i s f i l l i n g out the p a t t e r n i n He i s i n c l u d i n g h i m s e l f  i n the  iO£ s u c c e s s i o n of l e g a c y - h u n t e r s on two  different  levels:  that Volpone does not have to worry about him t r u s t him, T h i s one  and  as a l e g a c y - h u n t e r and  scene  c o n t a i n s i n a microcosmic  way  the essence  at the same time  the other r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h i n the p l a y .  of the  of  others.  borrowing  by  i l l u m i n a t e s the nature of One  of the c e n t r a l themes of  f e e d i n g on h i s g o l d and on the base d e s i r e s and  from c l a s s i c a l  authors?  for  i t a c h i e v e s an i m a g i n a t i v e l i f e  he  i s perverting nature.  by attempting  and  of h i s god's  t o enjoy the f u l l n e s s of l i f e  l e v e l by worshipping  Volpone as h i s instrument j u s t  as Volpone uses him.  l e g a c y - h u n t e r s and he hopes to be Mosca i s f e i g n i n g  t h a t Mosca w i l l  o u t l i v e him,  a f a l s e god.  He  He  Mosca too i s using  i s " i n the s u c c e s s i o n "  I t should be obvious  but he, l i k e  to Volpone  the r e s t , l e t s h i s d e s i r e s p e r p l e x  so, l i k e C o r b a c c i o , h i s ears have grown s t a l e w i t h  But h i s p o i n t of deafness V o l t o r e or C o r v i n o .  level  impending death to Volpone as Volpone f e i g n s  to h i s legacy-hunters.  judgment, and  evil,  " i n the s u c c e s s i o n " of Volpone's  impending death  his  one  from w i t h i n a "tombed s e p u l c h r e "  wants from Volpone what Volpone wants from h i s w o r s h i p p e r s .  wealth.  which  He p e r v e r t s nature on a p u r e l y p h y s i c a l  and he p e r v e r t s i t on another  of  literary  Volpone's d e s i r e to p r o l o n g . l i f e becomes  the m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of the i n t e n s i t y of h i s e v i l ,  to  frustrations  In Jonson's hands t h i s theme becomes more than a mere  imposes a t r u t h of i t s own. of  can  relationship  the p l a y i s Volpone's d e s i r e to o u t l i v e a l l the r e s t and he attempts prolong l i f e  so  (2) he i s i n c l u d i n g h i m s e l f i n a c t u a l i t y as a l e g a c y - h u n t e r .  between Volpone and Mosca and all  ( l ) he i m p l i e s  i s f a r removed beyond t h a t of C o r b a c c i o  or  age.  ;I;Q3  H i s p o i n t of deafness comes w i t h the p e r s o n a l l i m i t a t i o n of an ego that believes i t s e l f  i n v u l n e r a b l e , t h a t cannot conceive of t h a t  to i t s e l f which he sees happening T r u e , they w i l l  to the o t h e r s .  not see't the  Of these Mosca says  duplicity.  Too much l i g h t b l i n d s 'hem, I t h i n k e . Each of Is so p o s s e s t , and s t u f t w i t h h i s owne hopes, That any t h i n g , vnto the c o n t r a r y , Neuer so t r u e , or neuer so apparent, Neuer-so p a l p a b l e , they w i l l r e s i s t i t Volpone.  L i k e a temptation of the (V, i i ,  It i s Mosca who  happening  'hem  diuell.  22-28}  not only p r o v i d e s f o r Volpone h i s f i n a l t e m p t a t i o n b r i n g i n g  about h i s d o w n f a l l but who t h a t t e m p t a t i o n should be.  a l s o a r t i c u l a t e s what Volpone's response to E a r l i e r , i n Act I , Mosca has l i k e w i s e p r o v i d e d ,  i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n of C o r v i n o ' s w i f e , the essence of the t e m p t a t i o n , i n a vocabularly Celia  s u i t e d to Volpone's u n d e r s t a n d i n g .  i n terms measured a g a i n s t Volpone's  The w i l y c o n t r i v e r d e s c r i b e s  g o l d and a g a i n s t a f l e s h l y  s e n s u a l i t y which promises the e t e r n i t y Volpone  desires;  a soft l i p , Would tempt you to e t e r n i t i e s of k i s s i n g 1 And f l e s h , t h a t m e l t e t h , i n the touch to b l o u d ! B r i g h t as your g o l d ! and l o u e l y , as your g o l d ! ( I , v, 111-114) But i t i s Volpone  here who  must see her and t h a t In Act V, s c . i i ,  "I w i l l  He'  subtly.  goe  r e a c t i o n when he says he  see h e r , though  however, immediately  when V o l t o r e has performed begin to s h i f t  a r t i c u l a t e s h i s own  so b e a u t i f u l l y  but at her  windore."  f o l l o w i n g the c o u r t  f o r Volpone's  scene  sake, the r o l e s  Mosca g i v e s to the advocate h i g h p r a i s e s  [ V o l t o r e ] has taken p a i n e s , i n f a i t h , , s i r , & deseru'd, (In my poore iudgement, I speake i t , vnder vauour, Not to c o n t r a r y you, s i r ) v e r y r i c h l y Well - to be cosen'd. (V, i i , 44-47)  T h i s he speaks, even a f t e r h i s advice to the c o n t r a r y : Why, now you speake, s i r . We must, h e r e , be f i x t ; Here, we must r e s t j t h i s i s our master-peece: (V, i i , 12-13) And Volpone f o l l o w s the l u r e to cozen: 'Tis r i g h t . I cannot answer him, MOSCA, as I would, Not y e t ; but f o r thy sake, at thy i n t r e a t y , I w i l l beginne, eu'n now, to vexe 'hem a l l : (V,  i i , 53-56)  As p o i n t e d out above, i t i s Mosca who but  who  a l s o p r o v i d e s Volpone w i t h the i n t e n t .  t e m p t a t i o n and abrogates h i s w i l l . "world's s o u l e " and h i s own, T h i s may  he w i l l  For Mosca's sake,, and not f o r h i s "vexe  'hem a l l . " that  i n a c t i o n as w e l l as i n d i a l o g u e , and i t p r e p a r e s the  f o r Volpone's e v e n t u a l d o w n f a l l .  genius of the- p l a y , the f u l l e s t source.  Volpone f a l l s to the  seem a f i n e p o i n t of s u b t l e t y , but i t i s at t h i s p o i n t  their roles shift way  not only suggests the f a c t of a c t i o n  Volpone s t i l l  remains the dominating  r e a l i z a t i o n of the s p i r i t  of e v i l ,  and i t s  As p o i n t e d out e a r l i e r , he p r o v i d e s the b a s i c m o t i v a t i o n , a  monumental d e s i r e , g o d l i k e i n i t s p r o p o r t i o n s , f o r g o d l i k e mastery.  The  motivations::"; of the other c h a r a c t e r s are but shadows or e x t e n s i o n s of h i s own.  He approaches t h i s mastery with an h i s t r i o n i c genius f o r d e c e p t i o n  and a m i r t h both cosmic and s a t a n i c . of  his trickery  to b r i n g  He i s f f a r  about h i s f a l l .  and h i s h u b r i s , he i s undone by one who  too cunning f o r the v i c t i m s  In a d d i t i o n t o h i s own excesses has observed from behind the scenes  and has had f o r t e a c h e r the master of them a l l . Volpone now  b e g i n s , as Mosca has f o r m e r l y done,  to implement  a c t i o n ; he o u t l i n e s the s p e c i f i c s of the p r o c e e d i n g s by t e l l i n g  the  Nano and  Castrone to a d v e r t i z e t h a t he i s dead and by t e l l i n g Mosca to present h i m s e l f as the newly-made h e i r . doffs h i s magnifico's a t t i r e  The.spider's l a i r  to descend i n t o the s t r e e t s , where Mosca  once had worked h i s master's w i l l . lip  i s d e s e r t e d and Volpone  Volpone p l a y s h i s god f a l s e by g i v i n g  s e r v i c e to a n a t u r a l rhythm which he had sought t o p e r v e r t , t h a t i s ,  h i s death.  He d e s e r t s h i s s o c i a l p o s i t i o n and h i s s h r i n e to g a i n h i s  p l e a s u r e i n a "common way"  upon the s t r e e t s .  No longe'r does he a s p i r e to  and f o r h i s god i n i t s a d d i t i o n and p o s s e s s i o n ; i n s t e a d he t a u n t s o t h e r s i n t h e i r l a c k f o r h i s own He has i n e f f e c t  personal  satisfaction.  committed the crime of h u b r i s *  p o r t i o n , he has t r e s p a s s e d h i s bounds,  he has d e s e r t e d h i s  and exceeded h i s f a t e .  When the  l e g a c y - h u n t e r s hear of h i s death and the death of t h e i r hopes, the s p e l l of e v i l  and the hope of g a i n , which Volpone has helped to c a s t , i s broken.  Volpone does i n e f f e c t become dead; h i s m i s f o r t u n e i s i n l i v i n g h i s time, i n t o him.  a r e a l m which i s r e a l i t y  The i l l u s i o n  The  shift  f o r h i s v i c t i m s but i l l u s i o n f o r  i s h i s death, f o r he i s no l o n g e r i n a p o s i t i o n t o  impose h i s w i l l ; what i s r e a l i t y abrogated h i s w i l l  beyond  f o r the others becomes, because he has  and h i s power, l i k e w i s e a r e a l i t y  f o r him.  i n Volpone*s r o l e and h i s subsequent d o w n f a l l are f o r e -  shadowed i n s e v e r a l  scenes:  i n the mountebank scene when, a f t e r assuming  a d i s g u i s e and mounting h i s bank, he i s drubbed by G o r v i n o ; and j u s t the c o u r t scene when Mosca p o i n t s out, "'T seem'd to mee, .  . . . Were you not daunted?"  little  i n the m i s t " but swears  Immediately p r e c e d i n g t h i s to r e s t o r e h i s v i t a l i t y , givings:  after  you sweat, s i r  Volpone admits "In good f a i t h , "not d e i e c t e d : / Neuer, but s t i l l  I was/ A my  selfe."  avowal, however, i t has taken c o n s i d e r a b l e  drink  and h i s d i s c o u r s e has r e v e a l e d more profound mis-  1(56 We'll, I am here; and a l l . t h i s brunt i s p a s t : I ne're was i n d i s l i k e with my d i s g u i s e / T i l l t h i s f l e d moment; here, 'twas good, i n p r i u a t e , B u t , i n your p u b l i k e , Caue. w h i l ' s t I breathe. 'Fore god,- my l e f t legge 'gan to haue the crampe; And I apprehended, s t r a i g h t , some power had strooke me With a dead p a l s e y : w e l l , I must be merry, And shake i t o f f . A many of these f e a r e s Would put me i n t o some v i l l a n p u s d i s e a s e , Should they come t h i c k vpon me: I ' l e preuent 'hem. Giue me a boule of l u s t i e wine, to f r i g h t T h i s humor from my h e a r t ; (V, i , 1-12)  .  In the p u b l i c market p l a c e Volpone i s out of h i s element and does not breathe so e a s i l y .  The  n a t u r a l one,  T h i s h a b i t a t i n which Volpone f l o u r i s h e s i s f o r him  the v a l u e s  unnatural, perverted, completely  of the E l i z a b e t h a n world  and  artificially  Volpone begins  The  flourishing  a deadly  T n V o l p o n e the humour  i t has  i n a world  to l o s e h i s adhesion to t h i s world  a "dead p a l s e y " and  grown beyond t h a t to  of i t s own. t h a t he  o n l y when he d e s e r t s the  "wholeness" of h i s chosen w o r l d .  about then not only by h i s commitment to t h a t world  feels  His f a l l  of j u s t i c e  cannot i n f e c t his..world by  as a l l of Celiac's p l e a s f a l l with  disease  his  personal  and  on deaf e a r s .  fright.  comes  i n the f i r s t p l a c e ,  but-by h i s u n f a i t h f u l n e s s to t h a t w o r l d .  right  himself  back i n t o r e a l i t y  i n medieval tragedy, and  I t i s when  humour s t r i k e h i s h e a r t w i t h  "thousand n a t u r a l shocks t h a t f l e s h i s h e i r t o " creeps  one  a  p i c t u r e - i t i s an  c r e a t e d one.  embraced Volpone's c h a r a c t e r and  an o r g a n i c v i s i o n of e v i l ,  shake with  ailments h e l d i n abeyance at h i s  but measured a g a i n s t a wider frame of r e f e r e n c e - t h a t frame  c o n s t i t u t e d by  has  he  camouflage which a i d s p r e s e r v a t i o n i n h i s  n a t u r a l h a b i t a t provokes i n p u b l i c those p r i v a t e haunts.  there  The  I t s presence t h e r e ,  His world  can  infect  world just  a healthier  s i c k n e s s , j u s t as the f o u r t h A v o c a t o r i can t h i n k of  g a i n i n having  Mosca as a son-in-law.  as  107 The above.  foreshadowing  of Mosca's d e f e c t i o n has  a l r e a d y been d i s c u s s e d  As f o r the f l a w which b r i n g s about h i s f a l l ,  i t consists,  like  t h a t of Volpone, i n a p e r s o n a l p o i n t of d e a f n e s s , which f o r Mosca r e s u l t s in  over-confidence,  ends.  and  i n the p e r v e r s i o n of a h i g h e r d e v o t i o n f o r p e r s o n a l  By the commencement of Act I I I Mosca has  begun to grow i n l o v e w i t h  himself: I Feare,  I s h a l l b e g i n to grow i n loue  With my deare s e l f e , and my most prosp'rous p a r t s , They doe so s p r i n g , and burgeon; I can f e e l e A whimsey i ' my b l o u d : ( I know not how) Successe hath made me wanton. I could skip Out of my s k i n , now, l i k e a s u b t i l l snake, I am s o . l i m b e r . 0! Your P a r a s i t e Is a most p r e c i o u s t h i n g , d r o p t from aboue, Not bred 'mong'st c l o d s , and c l o t - p o u l e s , here on e a r t h . I muse, the myst.erie was not made a s c i e n c e , It i s so l i b e r a l l y p r o f e s t ! almost A l l the wise world i s l i t t l e e l s e , in' n a t u r e , But P a r a s i t e s , or S u b - p a r a s i t e s . (Ill, Like Kitely to  and  i , 1-13)  other humour c h a r a c t e r s he begins  b a t t e n upon the tumour of s e l f - l o v e  c h a r a c t e r of P a r a s i t e , f a t t e n i n g  i n s t e a d o f , i n a l l e g i a n c e to h i s  s o l e l y upon the hopes and  • and upon-his p a t r o n and h i s patron's god. worship and  t u r n s toward becoming h i s own  from above."  to feed upon h i m s e l f ,  He too f a l l s  god,  The mystery of the u n i v e r s e has  f e a r s of  s h o r t of the  a " p r e c i o u s t h i n g , dropt come to t h i s poor pass,  a world where the most p r e c i o u s c r e a t i o n i s a p a r a s i t e , and is  little  else  save p a r a s i t e and  man's p r e v i o u s conceptions  sub-parasite.  Pythagoras " t h a t j u g g l e r d i v i n e " has Pyrrhus  and the  Earlier  a l l the  i n Act  the hermaphrodite:  come from A p o l l o , has  s o p h i s t s of Greece, and  i s now  to  world  I, scene i i ,  of the mystery of t h i n g s have been p a r o d i e d  Volpone's z a n i e s , the eunuch, the f o o l , and  through  others  the  by  soul of  transmigrated  i n t h i s age  incarnate  108 in  the body of an hermaphrodite.  M y s t e r i e s of the u n i v e r s e have shrunk  to  the p e r v e r s i o n of an hermaphrodite or the b r i l l i a n t  cunning  p a r a s i t e or they have become the common trade of s c i e n c e . c r e a t i o n and i t s a r t i s t i c growth i n t h e nature the  " f i n e , elegant  of a  The spark of  of t h i n g s i s r e s e r v e d f o r  rascall":  T h i s Is the c r e a t u r e , had the a r t borne with him; T o r i e s not t o l e a r n e i t , but doth p r a c t i s e i t Out of most e x c e l l e n t natures and such sparkes, Are the t r u e P a r a s i t e s , o t h e r s but t h e i r Z a n i ' s . (Ill,  i , 30-33)  Yet i n the next moment, c o n f r o n t e d w i t h the a c c u s a t i o n s of B o n a r i o , he p l e a d s the excuse of h i s environment and of "strong n e c e s s i t y . "  On h i s  environment r e s t s h i s seeming s i n s but on h i s n a t u r a l s e l f r e s t s h i s s e l f love. his  He i n t e n d s to change t h a t environment .and does i n f a c t  skin l i k e  a "subtill  snake" t o don the robes  s k i p out of  of a m a g n i f i c o .  When,  however, he and Volpone exchange t h e i r r o l e s , know d i v i s i o n one from the other  i n p e r s o n a l d i v e r s i o n from t h e i r  t h e i r h i g h e r g o a l , both  fall  together.  common purpose, and f a l l  away from  Their respective roles slip-back  i n t o the o r i g i n a l p o s i t i o n s of the r e l a t i o n s h i p ; Volpone i s punished i n accordance  with h i s p o s i t i o n and not' i n s t r i c t  Mosca i s punished  not only f o r being  but. a l s o f o r , although being  accordance  w i t h h i s crime;  " c h i e f e s t m i n i s t e r " of the t r e a c h e r y  a f e l l o w of no b i r t h and no b l o o d ,  having  abused the " h a b i t of a gentleman." In Volpone the t e n s i o n e x i s t i n g between a humour and a s c a l e of p o s i t i v e v a l u e s , which g i v e s t o t h a t humour i t s d e f i n i t i o n as a flaw or an a b e r r a t i o n , - i s no l o n g e r e v i d e n t .  M o r a l i t y i s no l o n g e r imposed  without;, i n s t e a d i t i s i n c o r p o r a t e d i n the s t r u c t u r e of the p l a y .  from Deviates  from the f u l l  i m p l i c a t i o n s of i t s t e n e t s are embodied  i n the persons of the  p l a y , and the epitome of i t s p e r v e r s i o n i s found i n Volpone h i m s e l f . t h i s p l a y one f i n d s the l o g i c a l m o r a l i t y which has l o s t  c u l m i n a t i o n of a dogmatic b e l i e f  i t s spiritual  force.  In  in a  I t s emotional r e a l i t y i s  the obverse of i t s r a t i o n a l d i c t a t e s , and i t i s perhaps i r o n i c t h a t Jonson d e p i c t s so p o w e r f u l l y and so p o e t i c a l l y a r e a l i t y which he appears to condemn.  The age was  becoming  increasingly  c y n i c a l of the a s p i r i n g  i n d i v i d u a l i s m of the e a r l y E l i z a b e t h a n s , but the dynamism of Volpone's a s p i r a t i o n makes one  suspect i n Jonson both b i t t e r n e s s and sadness at  the dream's d i s a p p e a r a n c e .  That which might  shape man  so l i k e  a god might  l i k e w i s e t w i s t him to d e f o r m i t y . A c t u a l l y , Jonson's c h a r a c t e r s do not become l e s s human by attempting to soar beyond  t h e i r humanity.  T h i s humanity  they never p o s s e s s .  Volpone  b e g i n s i n e r r o r and ends i n e r r o r ; e r r o r i s r e p e a t e d again and a g a i n , and each r e p e t i t i o n adds to the enormity of the whole.  In speaking of the  s a t i r i c elements i n Shakespeare's T r o i l u s and C r e s s i d a and Timon of Athens. A l v i n Kernan p o i n t s out t h a t , There i s , as Shakespeare saw, a form of death wish l u r k i n g i n s a t i r e , a compulsive urge to d e s t r u c t i o n and n o t h i n g n e s s . He a l s o saw t h a t the t i t a n i c f u r y of a g r e a t s a t i r i s t i s not i n n a t e but r a t h e r the p e r v e r s i o n , the t w i s t i n g , of a d e s i r e f o r goodness and f o r l o v e . 3  A l v i n Kernan, The Cankered Muse. S a t i r e of the E n g l i s h R e n a i s s a n c e . Y a l e S t u d i e s In E n g l i s h , Vol.. 142 (New Haven:. Yale U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1959), p. 204.  In Volpone. however, there evil.  U n l i k e Timon, he  i s no  i s not  explanation  on the human l e v e l  a d i s i l l u s i o n e d man  f o r Volpone's  whose c y n i c i s m  is  based on a knowledge of man's p o t e n t i a l i t y f o r both good and  evil.  seems to have sprung f u l l - g r o w n  fullest  expression him  of baseness.  from the womb of n a t u r e , her  A s p i r a t i o n i s inherent  to r e a c h towards an a f f i r m a t i o n of l i f e .  unaccountable growth of n a t u r e , because he he  i s imbued w i t h such v i t a l i t y ,  i t s e l f being  characterized  If there a f f i r m a t i o n of w a l k i n g the Mosca has  i n man;  i t is natural  or  i s i n Volpone a d e f e c t  seems t o t a l l y  evil,  taken the  and  because  creative force i s  perverted. i n v i c e c a l l e d v i r t u e , at l e a s t an  something p o s i t i v e , i t i s h i s t r u s t of Mosca.  streets disguised  for  Because Volpone seems an  i t would appear t h a t the  as e v i l  He  as a"Commandadore'j l e a r n s  Volpone,  from Nano t h a t  keys:  Did master MOSCA take the keyes?  wy,  sol  I am f a r d e r , I n . These are my f i n e c o n c e i p t s ! I must be merry, with a m i s c h i e f e to me! What a v i l e wretch was I, t h a t c o u l d not beare My f o r t u n e s o b e r l y ? I must ha' my c r o t c h e t s ! And my conundrums! w e l l , goe you, and seeke him: His meaning may be t r u e r , then my f e a r e . B i d him, he s t r e i g h t come to me, to the c o u r t ; . T h i t h e r w i l l I, and, i f 't be p o s s i b l e , Vn-screw my aduocate, vpon new hopes: When I prouok'd him, then I l o s t my s e l f e . (V, x i , 12-22) Volpone so o f t e n depends upon Mosca to save him. Would-Be i s w o r d i l y  p r e s c r i b i n g her  Volpone's h e a l t h , which she as Mosca  own  physic  further impairs,  When Lady P o l i t i q u e  f o r the r e s t o r a t i o n of  Volpone u t t e r s a cry of  relief  enters: Mosca? welcom, Welcome to my redemption. (Ill,  Eventually,  i t i s h i s own  downfall,  v,  2-3)  p a r t i a l l y p r e c i p i t a t e d and  by Mosca, which Volpone must welcome.  If the  confirmed  i r o n y i s a double one  and i f  there  i s here a moral echo, i t i s a b o r t i v e and  Volpone at the end  of the p l a y i s sent to the  g r i m l y humorous, f o r I n c u r a b i l i with h i s  disease  unremedied. Northrop Frye r e f e r s to t h i s play, as a "comic i m i t a t i o n of  tragedy,"  but  i t does not have the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of e i t h e r comedy or tragedy.  its  structure parallels  in  t h a t of t r a g e d y ,  a deeper p e r c e p t i o n of the w o r l d .  conception  of human nature  p o s i t i v e values.  There i s growth, but  in their  and  fuller  something of  i t i s the humour which grows  of e v i l .  and  I t i s a g a i n s t the backdrop of  t h a t Volpone and Mosca move, and  a f f i n i t y with  in itself  Often  culminate  There i s no growth i n a  which i n c o r p o r a t e s  expands i n t o an o r g a n i c world t h i s world  but Volpone does not  t h e i r primary humour c o n s i s t s  a l l e g i a n c e to t h i s w o r l d .  In t h i s  context,  t h e i r flaw, or secondary humour, becomes a d e c l i n e from,the f u l l n e s s t h i s world  to a humour of a p u r e l y p e r s o n a l  microcosmic f o r the macrocosmic without w i t h i n the l e s s e r .  any  p l a y , i s adding to the dimensions of the  purchase; he  nature,  i n c l u s i o n of the  i s r a t h e r tormenting  i n t r i g u e s to o b t a i n what i s h i s .  "son  of S o l . "  of h i s g o l d nor  others  greater  both t h e i r p a r t s c a r r i e s them, as p o i n t e d  out  the  i n i t s cunning failed  seeks only to add  a g r e a t e r dimension by a c q u i r i n g Volpone's w e a l t h .  the  Volpone i s no •  f o r t h e i r having  Mosca now  of  a s u b s t i t u t i o n of  Neither Mosca nor Volpone, i n the l a t t e r p a r t of  l o n g e r g l o r y i n g i n the g l a d p o s s e s s i o n  4  in their  to h i m s e l f  This degeneration  i n some d e t a i l  on  above, out  i n t o an a l i e n w o r l d , where c e r t a i n n a t u r a l • r h y t h m s r e a s s e r t themselves and where o t h e r v a l u e s  prevail.  are not, however, d e p i c t e d  The  n a t u r a l rhythms t h a t e x i s t  as f l o w i n g f r e e l y nor do the values  Northrop F r y e , Anatomy of C r i t i c i s m . U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1957), p. 165.  Four Essays  in this appear to  (Princeton:  world  1.1.2. possess much f o r c e .  I t i s the other w o r l d , t h a t of Volpone and Mosca, which  i s the more powerful  one, powerful  abeyance and t o d i s p o s s e s s world., the world  of e v i l ,  enough to h o l d a l l n a t u r a l rhythms i n  any v a l u e s  Volpone's  emerges as the o r g a n i c , p o s i t i v e one.  the p o s i t i v e and good i s the n e g a t i v e ; of  of a p o s i t i v e n a t u r e .  good c o n s i s t s simply  Evil is  of the absence  evil. The  E l i z a b e t h a n world  view had p r o v i d e d  which man might a s p i r e beyond h i m s e l f self-loathing  or escape i n t o q u i e s c e n t  growing m a t e r i a l i s m ,  a moral framework w i t h i n  and need not f a l l acceptance.  into destructive  Perhaps the age's  i t s s p i r i t u a l w e a r i n e s s , and h i s own r a t i o n a l i s m  b l i n d Jonson t o t h a t m y s t e r i o u s f o r c e t h a t moved the e a r l i e r to look u n f l i n c h i n g l y through the f i r e  of l i f e  Elizabethans  i n t o the face of death.  Jonson cannot probe t h a t mystery; g e n e r a l l y f o r him t h e mystery i s not allowed. he  stops  He i s concerned w i t h the s o - c a l l e d "purely human c o n d i t i o n " and short of any extended q u e s t i o n i n g  or broad i n v e s t i g a t i o n :  For to u t t e r t r u t h of God, but as he [the servant of h u m i l i t y ] t h i n k s o n l y , may be dangerous, who i s best known by our not knowing. Some t h i n g s of Him, so much as He hath r e v e a l e d or commanded, i t i s not only l a w f u l but necessary f o r us t o know, f o r t h e r e i n our ignorance was the f i r s t cause of our wickedness.'^ Man must n e i t h e r soar too h i g h , nor s i n k too low. restrictive  a t t i t u d e he symbolizes  foreshadows Pope's advice  In t h i s  poetically  the new temper of the times and he  to a l a t e r age:  % e n Jonson, Timber or D i s c o v e r i e s Made Upon Men and Matter, ed. F e l i x E. S c h e l l i n g (Boston: Ginn & Company, 1892), p. 19.  Know then t h y s e l f , presume not God to scan,. The proper study of mankind i s man. For spring  a l l Jonson's  into l i f e ,  life  s e l f - i m p o s e d r e s t r i c t i o n s , h i s humour c h a r a c t e r s do of a p e c u l i a r brand.  critics  and they s u r v i v e more e a s i l y  to  some sympathy f o r h i s c r e a t i o n s .  feel  l e a d s him t o r e l y h e a v i l y on form. his  i n h i s p l a y s when he h i m s e l f begins His l a c k , as w e l l  as h i s i n c l i n a t i o n ,  Through form he m a i n t a i n s the v i g o r of  c h a r a c t e r s by an a c t i o n c o n t i n u a l , i n t r i c a t e , c o m p l i c a t e d , and c o n f i n e d .  Once he has of  They s u r v i v e h i s t h e o r i z i n g  found the l i m i t s of h i s world p i c t u r e  and has d e c i d e d the nature  i t s canvas, h i s weakness becomes h i s s t r e n g t h , and he p a i n t s w i t h an  indelible stroke.  A SELECTED Articles  BIBLIOGRAPHY  and P e r i o d i c a l s  Adams, J . Q. "The Sources of Ben Jonson's Volpone." Modern P h i l o l o g y . II (1904), 289-299. B a r i s h , Jonas A. "Baroque Prose i n the Theater.: Ben Jonson," P u b l i c a t i o n of the Modern Language A s s o c i a t i o n , LXXIII (June 1958), 184-195. B l a n s h a r d , Rufus A. "Carew and Jonson," S t u d i e s i n P h i l o l o g y . L I I ( A p r i l 1955), 195-211. B r i g g s , W. D. "Source M a t e r i a l f o r Ben Jonson's 'Underwoods' e t c . , " Modern P h i l o l o g y . XV (September 1917), 277-312. "Source M a t e r i a l f o r Jonson's P l a y s , " Modern Language Notes. XXXI, i v , p t . 1 ( A p r i l 1916), 193-205; XXXI, v i , p t . 2 (June 1916), 321-333. "Sources of Jonson's D i s c o v e r i e s , " . M o d e r n Language Notes. XXIII (February 1908), 43-46. Brown, H u n t i n g t o n . "Ben Jonson and R a b e l a i s , " Modern Language Notes, XXXI ( A p r i l 1916), 6-13. " Bryant J r . , Joseph A l l e n . "The S i g n i f i c a n c e of Ben Jonson's F i r s t Requirement f o r Tragedy: 'Truth of Argument'," S t u d i e s i n P h i l o l o g y . XLIX ( A p r i l 1952), 195-213. Campbell, Oscar James. "The Dramatic C o n s t r u c t i o n of P o e t a s t e r . " The Huntington L i b r a r y B u l l e t i n . No. 9 ( A p r i l 1936), 37-62. Draper, John W. "Theory of Comic i n E i g h t e e n t h - C e n t u r y E n g l a n d , " J o u r n a l of E n g l i s h and Germanic P h i l o l o g y , XXXVII ( A p r i l 1938), 207-223. Enck, J . J . "The Case Is A l t e r e d : I n i t i a l Comedy of Humours," S t u d i e s i n P h i l o l o g y . L ( A p r i l 1953), 195-214. F r i e d l a n d , L o u i s Sigmund. "Dramatic U n i t i e s i n E n g l a n d . " J o u r n a l of E n g l i s h and Germanic P h i l o l o g y . X (January 1911), 56-89. K a l l i c h , Martin. "Unity of Time i n Every Man In H i s Humour and C y n t h i a ' s R e v e l s , " Modern Language Notes. L V I I (June 1942), 445-449.  Knowlton, Edgar C. "The P l o t s of Ben Jonson," Modern Language Notes. XLIV (February 1929), 77-86. L e v i n , H a r r y . "Jonson's Metempsychosis," P h i l o l o g i c a l Q u a r t e r l y . XXII (1943), 231-239. M c C u l l e n , J r . , Joseph T. . "Conference w i t h the Queen of F a i r i e s : A Study of Jonson's Workmanship i n The A l c h e m i s t , " S t u d i a N e o p h i l o l o q i c a . XXII (1949), 87-95. Marckwardt, A. H. "A F a s h i o n a b l e E x p r e s s i o n ; i t s S t a t u s i n P o e t a s t e r and S a t i r o m a s t i x . " Modern Language Notes. XLIV (February 1929), 93-96. P o t t s , L. J . "Ben Jonson and The Seventeenth C e n t u r y , " E n g l i s h N. S. I I of Essays and S t u d i e s (1949), 7-25.  Studies.  S h i l l i n g l a w , ' A r t h u r T. "New L i g h t on Ben Jonson's D i s c o v e r i e s , " E n g l i s c h e S t u d i e n . LXXI (1937), 356-359. Simpson, P e r c y . "Tanquam e x p l o r a t o r : Ben Jonson's Method i n the Discoveries.^ Modern Language Review. I I ( A p r i l 1907) 201-210. Snuggs, H. D. "The Comic Humours," P u b l i c a t i o n s of the Modern Language A s s o c i a t i o n . L X I I (March 1947), 114-122. . "The Source of Jonson's D e f i n i t i o n of Comedy," Modern Language Notes. LXV (June 1950), 543-44. S p i n g a r n , J . E . "The Sources of Ben Jonson's P h i l o l o g y . I I ( A p r i l 1905), 451-462.  ' D i s c o v e r i e s ' , " Modern  T a l b e r t , E . W. "New L i g h t on Ben Jonson's Workmanship," S t u d i e s i n P h i l o l o g y . XL ( A p r i l 1943), 154-185. •  . "The C l a s s i c a l Mythology and the S t r u c t u r e of 'Cynthia's R e v e l s ' , " P h i l o l o g i c a l Q u a r t e r l y . XXII ( J u l y 1943), 193-210. . "The Purpose and Technique of 'The P o e t a s t e r ' , " S t u d i e s i n P h i l o l o g y . X L I I ( A p r i l 1945), 225-252.  Walker, Ralph S. "Ben Jonson's D i s c o v e r i e s : S t u d i e s . N. S. V (1952), 32-51.  A New A n a l y s i s , " Essays and  . " L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m i n Jonson's C o n v e r s a t i o n s w i t h Drummond," E n g l i s h . V I I I , 222-27. Warren, A u s t i n . "Pope and Ben Jonson," Modern Language Notes. XLV (Febr u a r y 1930), 86-88. Weld, John S. " C h r i s t i a n Comedy: ( A p r i l 1954), 172-193.  Volpone," S t u d i e s i n P h i l o l o g y . L I  Books Works Jonson, Ben. Ben Jonson. ed. C. H. H e r f o r d and P. and E. M. II v o l s . Oxfords Clarendon P r e s s , 1925-52.  Simpson.  Bibliographies Tannenbaum, Samuel A. Ben Jonson. A Concise B i b l i o g r a p h y . S c h o l a r s ' F a c s i m i l e s and R e p r i n t s , 1938.  New  York;  Tannenbaum, Samuel A. and Dorothy R. Supplement to B i b l i o g r a p h y of Ben Jonson. E l i z a b e t h a n B i b l i o g r a p h i e s . New Yorks Samuel A. Tannenbaum, 601 West 113th S t r e e t , 1947.  Biographical  and C r i t i c a l  Studies  Aquinas, S a i n t Thomas. ' B a s i c W r i t i n g s of S a i n t Thomas Aquinas, ed. C. P e g i s . 2 v o l s . New Yorks Random House, 1945. B a r i s h , Jonas A., ed. Ben Jonson. Englewood C l i f f s , New J e r s e y s  Anton  A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l E s s a y s . P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc., 1963.  . Ben Jonson and the Language of Prose Comedy. Harvard U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1960.  Cambridges  B a s k e r v i l l , C h a r l e s R. E n g l i s h Elements i n Jonson's E a r l y Comedy. 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A r i s t o t l e ' s Theory of P o e t r y and F i n e A r t . With a C r i t i c a l Text and T r a n s l a t i o n of the P o e t i c s . 3rd ed. London: Macmillan & Co., 1902. Campbell, L i l y B. Shakespeare's T r a g i c Heroes. S l a v e s of P a s s i o n . With Appendices on B r a d l e y ' s I n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Shakespearean Tragedy. New York: Barnes & Noble, I n c . , 1952. Campbell, Oscar J . C o m i c a l ! Satyre and Shakespeare's " T r o i l u s and C r e s s i d a . Huntington L i b r a r y P u b l i c a t i o n s . Alhambra, C a l i f o r n i a : C. F. Broun & Co.,,1938. Chambers, E . K. .  The E l i z a b e t h a n Stage.  Oxford:  The Mediaeval Stage. 2 v o l s .  Clarendon P r e s s ,  Oxford:  1951  University  Press,  1903. Chute, M.  Ben Jonson of Westminster.  New  York:,. B u t t o n , 1953.  C o l e r i d g e , S. T. C o l e r i d g e ' s M i s c e l l a n e o u s C r i t i c i s m , ed. Thomas M i d d l e t o n Raysor. 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