New PDF release: BRITISH WRITERS, Volume 2

By IAN SCOTT-KILVERT (EDITOR)

ISBN-10: 0684164078

ISBN-13: 9780684164076

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Example text

In all this Marston was showing his virtuosity, but underlying the display of a range of satiric stances, there lies a quality peculiarly characteristic of Marston himself. The main attack of his satires is on various forms of lust, and much of his language has a violence of tone that prompted a sharp comment in the anonymous academic play, The Return from Parnassus, part II (1606), on the /ygreat battering ram of his terms/' but the violence seems to mark a powerful sense of revulsion at times, a melancholy that has been seen as a dark, pessimistic weariness falling little short of despair.

S. Eliot, 'Thomas Middleton" (London, 1927), reprinted in Eliot's Selected Essays (London, 1932), Elizabethan Essays (London, 1934), and Elizabethan Dramatists (London, 1962), praises Middleton as "a great comic writer and a great tragic writer" yet one who "has no point of view"; M. C. Bradbrook, Themes and Conventions of Elizabethan Tragedy (Cambridge, 1935), includes a sensitive analysis of The Changeling and Women Beware Women; U. Ellis-Fermor, The Jacobean Drama: An Interpretation (London, 1936; rev.

Kinsayder," proclaiming in this: "He that thinks worse of my rhymes than myself, I scorn him, for he cannot; he that thinks better, is a fool/' It is not necessary to take this disclaimer too seriously, but it shows an equivocal attitude to his own writing, something that may be traced in many of his works. In June 1599 came an order prohibiting the publication of satires. The immediate cause of this is not known, but Marston's poems were part of a spate of satiric writing in this period, and some of it was bound to give offense.

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BRITISH WRITERS, Volume 2 by IAN SCOTT-KILVERT (EDITOR)


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