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The Alchemist
Author: Ben Jonson

ISBN: 9780300017366
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 260
Published: 26 August 1974
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 1.91 x 13.97 x 20.96

In none of Ben Jonson's plays is Renaissance heroic humanism converted to comic reality more obviously and successfully than in The Alchemist.  Here the aspiration of the Renaissance to control and remake the world is imaged as a great swindle, alchemy.  Jonson parodies philosophers, scientists, the new Protestantism, the great Renaissance merchant adventurers, and the ages' ideals of military valor and impassioned love.  His characters are comic versions of the ways in which the Renaissance sought power, knowledge, and pleasure?they are also a remarkably realistic cross section, ranging from servant through knight, of London's life.  One of the most popular of Jonson's plays during his lifetime and a favorite throughout the seventeenth century, The Alchemist, was first produced in 1610.


In his introduction, Alvin B. Kernan skillfully conveys the vitality and ultimate power of this difficult play.  The glosses and explanatory notes clarify Jonson's languag...

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