Abstract

Abstract:

Ben Jonson excluded Bartholomew Fair from his momentous Workes (1616), which might have indicated ambivalence in him about the play's social project. In exploring gender and authority, the play's festival setting abandons male vocality and its broadcast of certainty and knowledge. The puppets' sexlessness, revealed at play's end, renders Puritanical arguments about gender and cross-dressing irrelevant and foolish in the space of human affairs. Yet such a conclusion for Jonson, who was slavishly attentive to Classical regulations of the theater, may betray a moment of artistic doubt after the failure of Catiline and uncertainty about his legacy as a dramatist.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1522-9270
Print ISSN
0039-3657
Pages
pp. 365-386
Launched on MUSE
2020-07-02
Open Access
No
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