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Every Man in His Humor

Ben Jonson

Book Overview: 

Knowell, an old man - rumor says Shakespeare originally played this part - tries to spy upon the doings of his potentially wayward son. Meanwhile, Kitely, a merchant, worries so much about being cuckolded by his wife that perhaps it has to happen. All this while a swarm of other interesting characters surround them.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I scorn it, I, so I do, to be a consort for every humdrum: hang them, scroyles! there's nothing in them i' the world. What do you talk on it? Because I dwell at Hogsden, I shall keep company with none but the archers of Finsbury, or the citizens that come a ducking to Islington ponds! A fine jest, i' faith! 'Slid, a gentleman mun shew himself like a gentleman. Uncle, I pray you be not angry; I know what I have to do, I trow. I am no novice. Know. You are a prodigal, absurd coxcomb, go to! Nay, never look at me, 'tis I that speak; Take't as you will, sir, I'll not flatter you. Have you not yet found means enow to waste That which your friends have left you, but you must Go cast away your money on a buzzard, And know not how to keep it, when you have done? O, it is comely! this will make you a gentleman! Well, cousin, well, I see you are e'en past hope Of all reclaim:—-ay, so; now you are told on't. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This was a difficult play to read. Made me hate the author somehow. However, it’s very rewarding after you figure out characters/every lewd jokes. I ended up loving this play myself.
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Why do everyone say “Shakes wrote best Woman characters”? This is better.
If only we knew to apply a satirical t

An interesting insight into 16th century London.

Absolute carnage, loved it (pretty cringe in the prologue when he's tryna dunk on Shakeypoo tho)

Read as part of the 2020 Extra Mile readathon of the Shakespeare Institute in the lockdown summer of 2020.

We read the 1601 Quarto version, set in Florence, as that is what was performed by the Lord Chamberlain's Men at the Theatre. A group reading usually brings out the strengths and weaknesses of a

I'd give this somewhere between two and three stars, closer to three. I read it just a few months back and remember surprisingly little...which perhaps testifies to my memory of being unimpressed. Dickens loved this play enough to have staged it famously (and every so often?), but then Bobadil is ex

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

This play was the one which made me realize Ben Jonson's work wasn't actually all that bad... well, to be fair, the only reason I disliked his plays to begin with was that I had to study them.

Man, I wish I could get my hands on a really good, well-written biography of Jonson

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