- Parasitaster or The Fawn by John Marston, and: The Shoemaker’s Holiday by Thomas Dekker, and: Eastward Ho by George Chapman, Ben Jonson, John Marston (review)
- Comparative Drama
- Western Michigan University
- Volume 15, Number 1, Spring 1981
- pp. 87-89
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Reviews 87 among world audiences and among literati like Joyce, Freud, and Shaw, Haugen illuminates the cause for such lasting effect in the previous chapter, tying together the essential elements of his linguistic model: “By remaining uncommitted, he [Ibsen] could capitalize on his divided self, enabling him to take the topics of the times, project them on the stage, give them an underlying significance, and make a poetic statement that could reach the hearts of women and men, and not only in his own time” (p. 108). Nicely indexed, Haugen’s book combines eight attractive pages of black and white photographs relative to Ibsen’s life and work with appendices chronicling Ibsen’s life and summarizing Ibsen’s com pleted plays (excluding the 1851 N o rm a ). The specific bibliography, while moderate, does list available English translations and major critical contributions. And despite the impression that Haugen’s rather compre hensive approach to so many topics of Ibsen study seems to reduce the book to broad observations and limit his own obviously expert assess ments with a heavy reliance on other critics, such an overview is useful. One area neglected for the most part, however, is that concerning specific influences on Ibsen, though perhaps not directly related to audience response as Haugen defines it, but certainly important for understanding Ibsen’s symbols and rhetorical techniques. Generally speaking, the real strength of Einar Haugen’s book, a by-product of his teaching, is reflected in its instructive aim: to encourage Ibsen scholars and novices alike to search out the message in “Ibsen’s drama” by providing an essentially clear and clearly essential framework for evaluating what Ibsen and Ibsen critics have to say, “author to audience.” SAMUEL G. McLELLAN U n iversity o f T exas at A u stin John Marston. P arasitaster o r T h e F aw n. Ed. David A. Blostein. The Revels Plays. Manchester and Baltimore: Manchester Univ. Press and Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1978. Pp. xii + 244. $16.50. Thomas Dekker. T h e Shoem aker's H o lid a y. Ed. R. L. Smallwood and Stanley Wells. The Revels Plays. Manchester Univ. Press and Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1979. Pp. xiv + 227. $17.00. George Chapman, Ben Jonson, and John Marston. E astw a rd H o. Ed. R. W. Van Fossen. The Revels Plays. Manchester Univ. Press and Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1979. Pp. xviii + 238. $17.00. Most volumes in the Revels Plays series provide an index to annota tions with asterisks identifying notes where information is given that is not in the O x fo rd E nglish D iction ary—usually an earlier date for a word or a new meaning. Typically there are from twenty to forty such notes for each play, and the reader is reminded both that playwrights of Shakespeare’s age were on the cutting edge of a movement that enor mously increased English vocabulary and that our knowledge of the his tory of the language continues to expand. According to Gustav Cross, 88 Comparative Drama John Marston “is cited by the O E D oftener than any of the other writers at work at the turn of the Sixteenth Century except Shakespeare for the first recorded use of long-established words in a new sense” (“Some Notes on the Vocabulary of John Marston,” N o tes an d Q ueries, 199 , 425); and in a series of articles Cross proceeded to list hundreds of Marstonisms m issed by the O E D . Now David A. Blostein in his Revels edition of Marston’s Parasitaster or The F aw n (written and performed 1604-5) lists 108 “words whose sense or usage [in the play] antedates the earliest example” in the O E D . Some were pointed out by Cross, but some are new. For example, the word criticism (IV.i.271) is “apparently the first appearance of the word in the language” (first recorded in the O E D in 1607), and C iceronian in the sense “worthy of Cicero in style” (III.i.279) anticipates the first O E D example of 1661 by two generations and a civil war...