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Epicoene: Or, the Silent Woman

Ben Jonson

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Whitemane's party; speak aloud, that my lords may hear you; visit my ladies at night, and be able to give them the character of every bowler or better on the green. These be the things wherein your fashionable men exercise themselves, and I for company. CLER: Nay, if I have thy authority, I'll not leave yet. Come, the other are considerations, when we come to have gray heads and weak hams, moist eyes and shrunk members. We'll think on 'em then; and we'll pray and fast. TRUE: Ay, and destine only that time of age to goodness, which our want of ability will not let us employ in evil! CLER: Why, then 'tis time enough. TRUE: Yes; as if a man should sleep all the term, and think to effect his business the last day. O, Clerimont, this time, because it is an incorporeal thing, and not subject to sense, we mock ourselves the fineliest out of it, with vanity and misery indeed! not seeking an end of wretchedness, but only ch. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I really enjoyed this play. I was dreading reading this for class but really it is very enjoyable for the modern reader If you can get past the language.

An extraordinary play: if you think slut-shaming, trans issues, toxic masculinity, Trumpian "locker room talk", gaslighting, false-flagging, intra-feminist rivalry etc are new phenomena, look no further. This play written in 1609 has all of them and, it being Ben Jonson, it is very funny (and shocki

I usually don't like Ben Jonson. His style is too elevated, his word choice too arcane, and his subject matter too dull for me generally.

But this play...

The ending shocked me. The middle grabbed me. Even the beginning had its moments.

If you feel you have to suffer through a Jonson play, choose this

I'm always a little wary of reading Jonson, and Epicoene was a somewhat arduous read, but it was also surprisingly funny. There's a lot of interesting ideas being explored in this play, so now that I've got a handle on the plot, I want to reread it and see what I can get from it.

3.5-
As far as revenge comedies go- I found it quite original! Sadly it’s no longer really appropriate to be performed in front of a modern audience as a result of the continuous use of Latin phraseology and 17th century ‘pop-culture references’. I always find the New Mermaids editions are great for

Although it sometimes felt a bit dragged out, this was a lovely comedy, and it would've been even lovelier were I to understand even a tenth of it because of the intellectual humour. Latin knowledge (or translatory notes) is a must, not even mentioning the classical references and themes all through

I really didn´t enjoy Epiceone very much. Tons and tons of sexism about how women are sex animals and will sleep with anyone. *eye roll*
Probably my least favourite Jonson play so far.

Not quite as funny as The Alchemist, but a lot of the verbal play you can expect from Ben Jonson. Jonson has made a supremely witty comedy that lampoons many of the conventions of his day, but still resonates today. In particular, what Jonson has to say about men courting women, and about foolish ma

principal antagonist is a 'man who prefers no noise,' which is an apt description of my wife.

latin scene is one of the best scenes in the period.

It's not surprising that there are no reviews for this play. What could a modern reader really have to say about it? This is a city comedy about changing customs, idiosyncratic behaviors, unusual events, and laughable tropes happening in London in the first decade of the seventeenth century. It's li

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