In Every Man in His Humour, there are two kinds of satirical attack: abstract and personal. Comment on the difference in this play.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It is clear in this play that Jonson's comedy is based on a satire of manners rather than being aimed at specific characters or contemporaries. Each of his characters in this play is shown to be consumed by one sort of folly or another, and this folly is taken to ridiculous extremes that clearly mocks the various follies of humanity. Jonson himself said that in this play he wanted to "sport with human follies, and not crimes. Thus jealousy is presented in its extreme and ridiculous form through the character of Kitely, who is obsessed with the thought that he might be being cuckolded. Note how this is presented in Act II scene 1:

Marry, this:
They would give out--because my wife is fair,
Myself but lately married, and my sister
Here sojourning a virgin in my house--
That I were jealous!

In this quote, Kitely tries to defend himself from accusations of jealousy, but does so in such a way as to make his folly in this area clear. Jealousy though is not the only folly that comes under satirical attack in this play. Fashion and style and man's desire to keep up with the latest modes of fashion are parodied in the two characters of Matthew and Edward, who both take their attempts to keep up with fashion to ridiculous extremes. In this play therefore, Jonson seems to satircally attack human follies in general rather than allowing specific individuals to come under fire. There is no evidence that Jonson used the play or any one character to attack any of his contemporaries.

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