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Ben Jonson's Sejanus: historiography and the political tragedy

Beecher, D. A. (1972)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Though Ben Jonson's Sejanus has received virtually no approbation as a work for the theater, it has yet been the subject of much critical attention. There is widespread recognition that the play is no ordinary failure, that it is a work full of learning, carefully structured and thematically potent, an intelligent effort to reform Renaissance historical tragedy. Still there is no agreement about what kind of achievement the play actually represents. The concern of this dissertation is with the intellectual origins of the play; it is a study in the traditions and methods which appear to have guided Jonson in his writing of Sejanus. It is my thesis that its genesis is to be found in Jonson's interest in non-literary discipines - history, methods of historical writing, politics and constitutional issues - rather than in literary criticism and conventions. Jonson found his new style in political history, his themes in the conflict between morality and the logistics of realpolitik.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
School/Faculty:Faculties (to 1997) > Faculty of Arts
Department:Shakespeare Institute
Subjects:PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
PR English literature
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3180
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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