This is a comprehensive introduction to Ben Jonson's "Volpone" - introducing its critical history, performance history, current critical landscape and new directions in research on the play. As perhaps the best-known and most-studied work in the canon of Shakespeare's leading contemporary rival, Ben Jonson's "Volpone" (1606) is a particularly important play for thinking about early modern drama as a whole. This guide offers students an introduction to its critical and performance history, including recent versions on stage and screen. It includes a keynote chapter outlining major areas of current research on the play and four new critical essays presenting contrasting critical approaches focusing on literary intertextuality; performance studies; political history; and broader social history. Finally, a guide to critical, web-based and production-related resources and an annotated bibliography provide a basis for further individual research. "Continuum Renaissance Drama" offers practical and accessible introductions to the critical and performative contexts of key Elizabethan and Jacobean plays.
Each guide introduces the text's critical and performance history but also provides students with an invaluable insight into the landscape of current scholarly research through a keynote essay on the state of the art and newly commissioned essays of fresh research from different critical perspectives.
Matthew Steggle is Reader in English at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. He is editor of the ejournal Early Modern Literary Studies, and a Contributing Editor to The Cambridge Works of Ben Jonson.
Series Introduction; Volpone Timeline; Introduction; The Critical Backstory Sam Thompson; Performance History, Rebecca Yearling; The State of the Art: Robert C. Evans; New Directions: Jonson's Literary Theater: Volpone in Performance and Print (1606-1607) James P. Bednarz; New Directions: "Live Free,... Rob Churches,... Lend me your Dwarf": What's Funny about Volpone? Rick Bowers; New Directions: Ben Jonson and Imprisonment Frances Teague; New Directions: Age and Ageing in Volpone Stella Achilleos; Resources for teaching and studying Volpone Matthew C. Hansen; Bibliography; Notes on Contributors; Index.