Wednesday, February 5, 2020

WAR OF THEATRE

WAR OF THEATRE

The London stage in about 1600 was alive with new plays, new dramatists, new ideas --and inevitably there was "much throwing about of brains*." One particular episode is known as the War of the Theatres, a controversy that gives a fascinating insight into the rivalries and interconnections of the various dramatists of the time.

Two contemporaries of Ben Jonson, Dekker and Marston, satirized Jonson's pride* in a play they wrote jointly, Histriomastix. Jonson replied in his Poetaster--Marston's style in particular is mocked, as Jonson makes the character representing Marston vomit up a series of indigestible words. Marston and Dekker replied in Satiromastix, getting their revenge by making fun of the slowness of Jonson's writing process*.


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