book Humor

Every Man in His Humor by Ben Jonson

Every Man

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Every Man in His Humor by Ben Jonson

 

Every Man in His Humor is a classic play by Ben Jonson, first performed in 1598. The play is a comedy of manners that explores the follies and idiosyncrasies of Elizabethan society through a cast of colorful characters.

The play is set in London and follows the adventures of several characters as they navigate the complexities of courtship, friendship, and social hierarchy. The main character is Young Knowell, a young man from a wealthy family who has recently arrived in London. He is drawn into the world of his friend Brainworm, who introduces him to a motley crew of characters that includes merchants, gentlemen, and soldiers.

The play is notable for its use of the “humors” theory, a popular belief in Elizabethan England that the human body was composed of four “humors” or fluids – blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile – that influenced a person’s temperament and behavior. Each character in the play is defined by their dominant humor, which shapes their personality and actions.

The play is also notable for its use of language and wit. Jonson’s dialogue is sharp and witty, filled with puns, wordplay, and clever turns of phrase. The play is a testament to Jonson’s skill as a writer and his ability to create memorable and distinctive characters.

Every Man in His Humor was an instant success and cemented Jonson’s reputation as a playwright. It was also influential in the development of English drama, particularly in its use of character types and comic situations. The play’s success led to a sequel, Every Man Out of His Humor, which further explored the themes and characters of the original.

In addition to its literary significance, Every Man in His Humor is also an important historical document that provides a glimpse into Elizabethan society. The play offers a vivid portrayal of the social and cultural milieu of the time, and provides insight into the values and beliefs of the people who lived during this period.

Overall, Every Man in His Humor is a classic play that continues to captivate audiences today. With its memorable characters, sharp wit, and incisive commentary on Elizabethan society, it remains an important work of English literature and a testament to Jonson’s skill as a playwright.

 

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