Abstract

Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair (1614) suggests the need for a balance between too much and too little law and between too much and too little discrimination. The historical context of Puritanism, with its emphasis on both grace and disciplined belief, lies at the heart of the play's dialectic; thus the Puritan ideological dilemma of the early modern period must be considered central rather than (satirically) marginal to the play's conception of social behavior. Such a consideration leads to a recognition of a third binary in the play, between too much and too little idealization, suggesting that Bartholomew Fair is more closely connected with issues of gendered identity and social control of sexuality than has yet been recognized.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 415-433
Launched on MUSE
2006-05-18
Open Access
No
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