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Every Man Out of His Humour

Ben Jonson

Book Overview: 

Every Man Out of His Humour followed Jonson's play Every Man In His Humour. "This play as a fabric of plot is a very slight affair; but as a satirical picture of the manners of the time, proceeding by means of vivid caricature, couched in witty and brilliant dialogue and sustained by that righteous indignation which must lie at the heart of all true satire — as a realisation, in short, of the classical ideal of comedy — there had been nothing like Jonson's comedy since the days of Aristophanes.... What Jonson really did, was to raise the dramatic lampoon to an art, and make out of a casual burlesque and bit of mimicry a dramatic satire of literary pretensions and permanency.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I am ashamed. COR. Nay, but good, pardon us; We must not bear this peremptory sail, But use our best endeavours how to please. ASP. Why, therein I commend your careful thoughts, And I will mix with you in industry To please: but whom? attentive auditors, Such as will join their profit with their pleasure, And come to feed their understanding parts: For these I'll prodigally spread myself, And speak away my spirit into air; For these, I'll melt my brain into invention, Coin new conceits, and hang my richest words As polish'd jewels in their bounteous ears? But stay, I lose myself, and wrong their patience: If I dwell here, they'll not begin, I see. Friends, sit you still, and entertain this troop With some familiar and by-conference, I'll hast them sound. Now, gentlemen, I go To turn an actor, and a humorist, Where, ere I do resume my present person, We hope to make the circles of your eyes . . . Read More

Community Reviews

Good Lord but it's long! Two commentators explain everything, just in case the audience missed it the first time, and such plot as there is rambles all over the place. The best bits are funny and show what Ben will go on to achieve, but it's not exactly a surprise that it was a flop in 1599.

Read as

Although admittedly long and occasionally obscure, I will defend this play for being genuinely funny even in 2019, if solely for the joy of watching the character of Fungoso rant and rail as he desperately mires himself in debt attempting to keep up with Brisk’s rapidly changing, foppish outfits,

The poor dog