Monday, April 13, 2009

1600 to 1699: Jonson, Poetaster to Marston, Dutch Courtezan.

Ben Jonson. British. 1601. Play. The Poetaster. Satire attacks Thomas Dekker and John Marston.

Shakespeare. British. 1602. Play. All’s Well That Ends Well. Bertram will not marry Helena. She substitutes for his lover. She gains his ring and conceives his child.

Thomas Heywood. British. 1603. Play. A Woman Killed with Kindness. Husband invites his charming friend into his house. The latter promptly seduces the wife. Banished, the wife pines away and is reconciled to her husband on her deathbed.

Shakespeare. British. 1604. Play. Othello, the Moor of Venice. Made jealous by Iago, Othello strangles his wife Desdemona. Iago’s wife reveals his treachery. Othello commits suicide: “I loved not wisely but too well.”

John Marston. British. 1604. Play. The Dutch Courtezan. Freevil leaves a courtesan for Beatrice. The courtesan arranges his death. The hired killer and Freevil stage his death. The courtesan betrays the hired killer to authorities. Freevil reappears to forestall his execution.

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