Ben Jonson's Antimasques

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Under the patronage of James I and then Charles I, Ben Jonson wrote no less than 28 court masques. Paying particular attention to the antimasque, Lesley Mickel discusses in detail those court entertainments which contributed significantly to the genre's evolution and development. Her approach is innovative in that she examines these works in relation to Jonson's poetry and dramatic works. This reveals some idea of the way in which Jonson perceived the relationship between satire and panegyric, as well as highlighting the related, if oppositional, views of state power which he expresses in the Roman plays and in the masques. This study combines formalist and historicist methodologies to reflect Mickel's view of the antimasques as determined both by their author's poetic and political aims, and by the conditions of their production. She concludes that the antimasques did not completely undermine the assertions of the masque, but rather that they engaged in a dialogue to probe the function of government and how it might be improved.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages230
ISBN (Electronic)978-1840142723
ISBN (Print)1840142723
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999


  • masque Jonson early modern renaissance


Dive into the research topics of 'Ben Jonson's Antimasques'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this