Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-w9xp6 Total loading time: 0.482 Render date: 2022-12-07T03:44:11.109Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Chapter 2 - Pedantic Jonson

from Part I - Conceptualizing Jonson

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 September 2020

Martin Butler
Affiliation:
University of Leeds
Jane Rickard
Affiliation:
University of Leeds
Get access

Summary

Of all the many disparaging comments aimed at Jonson over the years, the accusation that he, or his work, is ‘pedantic’, is one of the most common. With reference to Montaigne, early modern debates about Latinate language, and the appearance of Jonson’s plays and poetry in the 1616 Works, this essay attempts to reframe the idea of pedantry to illuminate the broader meanings of the term as it is applied to Jonson. What is that concept doing in critical discourse? How does it position scholars, readers, and teachers in social space? As it pursues these ideas, the essay links some of the evidence of Jonson’s putative pedantry to wider aesthetic and thematic patterns in his 1616 folio. It argues that elements of the Works that get called ‘pedantic’ often reach out in complex ways to an audience that was only just beginning to understand itself as such. Along the way, it pays close attention to the logic of insult, to the place of complex and incomprehensible language in the plays, and to the effects of Jonson’s favourite technique for playful, and sometimes angry audience creation: division and classification.

Type
Chapter
Information
Ben Jonson and Posterity
Reception, Reputation, Legacy
, pp. 44 - 62
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×