Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Devil Is an Ass: And Other Plays (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – October 4, 2009

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
$30.00 $44.93


Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on the current pick, "The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee" by Marja Mills.

Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reissue edition (October 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199555540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199555543
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 5.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,401,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The series should reshape the canon in a number of significant areas. A splendid and imaginative project." --Professor Anne Barton, Cambridge University

About the Author

M. J. Kidnie is in the Department of English at South Bank University.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael Wischmeyer on January 29, 2005
Format: Paperback
This excellent Oxford World's Classics collection is unusual in that none of these plays by Ben Jonson were well-received when first performed, and furthermore, have seldom been staged until recent years. Nonetheless, all four plays - Poetaster, Sejanus his Fall, The Devil is an Ass, and The New Inn - make good reading.

I especially recommend these plays to readers already familiar with Jonson's better known works like Volpone, The Alchemist, Epicene, and Bartholomew Fair. Reading Jonson can require effort and this Oxford World's Classics edition is to be highly commended for the excellent introduction, explanatory notes, and glossary by Margaret Jane Kidnie.

Poetaster: Among his earliest plays, Poetaster was first staged in 1601, the same year as Hamlet. (A poetaster is a trivial rhymester, a writer of doggerel, at best an inferior poet.) Although Poetaster is primarily about the relationship of the Roman poets Ovid, Virgil, and Horace with governmental authority, several scenes are devoted to ridiculing two mean-spirited, envious, plagiaristic poets, Crispinus and Demetrius. Despite the setting in ancient Rome, the audience quickly recognized that these two inept poets were caricatures of Jonson's bitter rivals, John Marston and Thomas Dekker.

Sejanus his Fall: Previously, Jonson had focused on satirical comedies; writing a historical tragedy was quite a change. Unfortunately, despite a cast that included Richard Burbage and William Shakespeare (perhaps, playing the lascivious Tiberius), Sejanus his Fall was a failure. To make matters worse, despite Jonson's effort to carefully document the historical accuracy of his play, he was summoned by the Privy Council to defend himself against charges of sedition and slander.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?