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Prose decorum and the anatomy of folly in Bartholomew fair.

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dc.contributor.author Bradfield, Larry D.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-08-21T16:58:17Z
dc.date.available 2012-08-21T16:58:17Z
dc.date.created 1983 en_US
dc.date.issued 2012-08-21
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/2050
dc.description 109 leaves en_US
dc.description.abstract By using prose for the language of Bartholomew Fair, Jonson indicates that the comedy focuses on folly. Following contemporary conventions, he writes plays in prose or verse, or a mixture of both, and his comedy ridicules conduct that deviates from rational or moral standards. However, from Every Han in His Humour (1598) through Bartholomew Fair (1614), he develops a systematic application of prose to the exposure of irrational behavior (folly) and verse to the exposure of immoral behavior (vice). Since it reflects his judgment that a specific language form is appropriate to a specific subject matter, his use of prose or verse illustrates an application of language decorum. Working in an age permeated with dualism, Jonson shows that, for the purpose of his comedy, folly and vice are distinct, irreducible categories of human misconduct. Schooled in a manner that fostered proficiency in prose and verse composition, he achieves effects for which each form is uniquely suited. He uses the rough, asymmetrical, baroque styles of prose to ridicule fools and to exhibit their undisciplined thinking. He uses blank verse, already connected with moral matters in tragedy, to establish moral and intellectual ideals in his earlier plays and to exhibit unprincipled scheming in his mature plays. Jonson tightens his unity of effect in his four mature plays, Volpone, Epicoene, The Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair. The source of the misconduct exposed in each play is restricted to folly or vice, and the language is correspondingly restricted to prose or verse. In the case of Bartholomew Fair, however, most critical discussion addresses the play's "sprawling action," its elements of satire and myth, and its lack of severe moral censure. Investigation of the ways in which Jonson's prose portrays irrational thought reveals that the play presents an anatomy of folly, exposing for ridicule childish innocence, simpleminded affectations, conscious choice to act foolishly, and ingenuity applied to trivial pastimes. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject Jonson, Ben, 1573?-1637. Bartholomew fair. en_US
dc.title Prose decorum and the anatomy of folly in Bartholomew fair. en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.college las en_US
dc.advisor Charles E. Walton en_US
dc.department english, modern languages and literatures en_US

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