Ben Jonson World Literature Analysis - Essay

Ben Jonson World Literature Analysis

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

One well-worn critical notion is that, although readers admire Ben Jonson, they love William Shakespeare. Jonson’s dramatic output in fact rivaled Shakespeare’s. He wrote nineteen plays, collaborated in several others, and crafted twenty-four courtly masques and entertainments. Yet despite Jonson’s great reputation among his contemporaries, his star has long been eclipsed by the phenomenal achievement of his great fellow dramatist and friend. Granted, Shakespeare’s genius is unmatched by any of his contemporaries except in isolated instances, but no other lesser genius has been treated to such unfavorable comparisons with Shakespeare as Jonson has. He was to a degree responsible for this turn of events. An outspoken critic,...

(The entire section is 4144 words.)