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Philology Literature and Archæology
THE WAR OF THE THEATRES
JOSIAH H. PENNIMAN
UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA
GINN & COMPANY
9-13 Tremont Place, Boston, U.S.A.
Halle, a. S., Germany.
THE Papers of this Series, prepared by Professors and others connected with the University of Pennsylvania, will take the form of Monographs on the subjects of Philology, Literature, and Archäology, whereof about 200 or 250 pages will form a volume. Each Monograph, however, is complete in itself.
The price to subscribers to the Series will be $2.00 per volume; to others than subscribers the numbers avul b sold separately at the regular prices.
It is the intention of the University to issue these Monographs from time to time as they shall be prepared.
Each author assumes the responsibility of his own contribution.
This monograph contains some results of the study of a group of Elizabethan plays, closely related to each other, because all connected with the quarrel of Jonson and Marston, an incident in the history of the drama to which has been given the name “The War of the Theatres." Single plays and the plays of individual authors have long occupied the attention of critics and editors, but the intimate relationship of groups of plays, as a feature of what we may term the organic unity of the Elizabethan drama, has received from students less attention than it deserves. The purpose
of the present treatment is to set forth some conclusions concerning the plays, and the facts upon which the conclusions are based. A number of erroneous views that have been held by critics are referred to incidentally, but it has been no part of the plan to discuss all of the numerous mistakes that have been made in attempts to identify characters.
I take pleasure in acknowledging here the courteous interest in this work which has been shown by Mr. F. G. Fleay of London, and also the kindness of my colleague Dr. Child, who made the index ; but especially do I wish to record my grateful appreciation of the valuable suggestions and generous aid of my friend and teacher Professor Schelling.
JOSIAH H. PENNIMAN. UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA,
May 24, 1897
THE WAR OF THE THEATRES.
THE SATIRES OF MARSTON.
“ THE War of the Theatres is a term which has been applied to the quarrels of Marston and Dekker with Ben Jonson, which found expression in satirical plays. To this “war” is due the close relationship which exists between the works of these dramatists between 1598 and 1602. Whether any other dramatists took part in this contest is almost wholly conjectural, and the present discussion of the subject will be confined chiefly to the works of the three authors mentioned. That Shakespeare may have taken a hand in the quarrel seems altogether likely from the well-known passage in The Return from Parnassus; but there is no other direct evidence that he did, and the indirect evidence is, unfortunately, inconclusive.
This monograph is an attempt to show the relationship of the plays of which it treats, as regards the personal satire contained in them, by setting forth such evidence as has been found for the identification of the characters.
The plays which will be discussed, in whole or in part, are Every Man in his Humour, Histriomastix, The Case is Altered, Every Man out of his Humour, Patient Grissil, Jack Drum, Cynthia's Revels, Antonio and Mellida, Part I., Poetaster, Satiromastix, What you Will, The Return from Parnassus, and Troilus and Cressida.