Every Man in His Humour

by Ben Jonson

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What is the theme of Every Man in His Humour?

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The play 'Everyman in his Humoir' by Ben Jonson deals with man's everyday drives, motivations and compulsions - or 'humours.' It is one of Jonson's popular city comedies, in which he offers advice on how best to get on and get up the ladder in Elizabethan London, even if that means bigging oneself up or lying a little.

In the comedy a wily slave helps an unruly young lad  to marry the girl of his dremas against his father's wil, and it is in this framework that Jonson has his main plot, the society that he portrays is very contemporary and ordinary. The 'humours' of each character- or their drives - do vary, but they are all similar in one way -they strive to be better, cleverer,nobler, more learned than their actual selves.  Jonson suggests that we all think too highly of ourselves in believing that we are more influential thatn we really are in the world.

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