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Every Man in His Humour Kindle Edition

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Length: 226 pages

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About the Author


Robert S. Miola is Gerard Manley Hopkins Professor of English and Professor of Classics at Loyola College, Maryland

Product Details

  • File Size: 205 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publication Date: March 24, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TOXX0M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,851 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael Wischmeyer on November 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
A few months ago I had the good fortune to find a copy of a parallel text edition (Regents Renaissance Drama series by University of Nebraska Press) of the 1601 quarto and the 1616 folio of Every Man In His Humour. My enthusiasm may seem surprising, but I did enjoy this rather obscure work. This play, Ben Jonson's first theatrical success, was first performed in 1598 by the Lord Chamberlain's Men. Remarkably, the cast included Shakespeare, Burbage, and Kemp.

The term humour, derived from the Latin word for fluid, refers to a Medieval and Renaissance medical theory that a man's health and personality were due to the balance (or imbalance) of four fluids, or humours: blood, phlegm, yellow bile (choler), and black bile (melancholy). The Elizabethan audience would have recognized that Jonson's characters were caricatures of various temperaments and personalities.

Jonson later significantly revised this play. My edition compares the two versions on facing pages: the 1601 quarto with a Florentine setting and Italian names, and the 1616 folio with a London setting and English characters. I first tried reading the two versions in parallel, a page from one followed by the equivalent page from the other, but I was soon utterly confused. I began again, reading one version in its entirety before reading the other.

Every Man in His Humour is more challenging than Jonson's better known plays. I was into Act 2 before I began to appreciate the humorous interplay between the characters. The turning point occurred when the servant Musco (weirdly named Brainworm in the London version) disguised himself as a penniless soldier looking for charity.
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