Benjamin Jonson (c. 11 June 1572 - c. 16 August 1637) was an English playwright and poet, whose artistry exerted a lasting impact upon English poetry and stage comedy. He popularised the comedy of humours. He is best known for the satirical plays Every Man in His Humour (1598), Volpone, or The Fox (c. 1606), The Alchemist (1610) and Bartholomew Fair (1614) and for his lyric and epigrammatic poetry. He is generally regarded as the second most important English dramatist, after William...See more
Benjamin Jonson (c. 11 June 1572 - c. 16 August 1637) was an English playwright and poet, whose artistry exerted a lasting impact upon English poetry and stage comedy. He popularised the comedy of humours. He is best known for the satirical plays Every Man in His Humour (1598), Volpone, or The Fox (c. 1606), The Alchemist (1610) and Bartholomew Fair (1614) and for his lyric and epigrammatic poetry. He is generally regarded as the second most important English dramatist, after William Shakespeare, during the reign of James I. Jonson was a classically educated, well-read and cultured man of the English Renaissance with an appetite for controversy (personal and political, artistic and intellectual) whose cultural influence was of unparalleled breadth upon the playwrights and the poets of the Jacobean era (1603-1625) and of the Caroline era (1625-1642) In midlife, Jonson claimed that his paternal grandfather, who 'served King Henry 8 and was a gentleman',  was a member of the extended Johnston family of Annandale in the Dumfries and Galloway, a genealogy that is attested by the three spindles (rhombi) in the Jonson family coat of arms: one spindle is a diamond-shaped heraldic device used by the Johnston family. Jonson's father lost his property, was imprisoned, and suffered forfeiture under Queen Mary; having become a clergyman upon his release, he died a month before his son's birth. Jonson's mother married a master bricklayer two years later. Jonson attended school in St Martin's Lane. Later, a family friend paid for his studies at Westminster School, where the antiquarian, historian, topographer and officer of arms, William Camden (1551-1623) was one of his masters. In the event, the pupil and the master became friends, and the intellectual influence of Camden's broad-ranging scholarship upon Jonson's art and literary style remained notable, until Camden's death in 1623. On leaving Westminster School, Jonson was to have attended the University of Cambridge, to continue his book learning but did not, because of his unwilled apprenticeship to his bricklayer stepfather. According to the churchman and historian Thomas Fuller (1608-61), Jonson at this time built a garden wall in Lincoln's Inn. After having been an apprentice bricklayer, Ben Jonson went to the Netherlands and volunteered to soldier with the English regiments of Francis Vere (1560-1609) in Flanders. See less
The following is a personality profile of Ben Jonson based on his work.
Ben Jonson is boisterous and unconventional.
He is laid-back, he appreciates a relaxed pace in life. He is intermittent as well: he has a hard time sticking with difficult tasks for a long period of time. But, Ben Jonson is also cautious of others: he is wary of other people's intentions and does not trust easily.
More than most people, his choices are driven by a desire for discovery.
Considers helping others to guide a large part of what he does: he thinks it is important to take care of the people around him. He is also relatively unconcerned with tradition: he cares more about making his own path than following what others have done.
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