chapter  7
Playwrights II: Literary Playwriting and Ben Jonson
Pages 28

As with many other authors considered throughout this book, Ben Jonson’s response to, and sustained engagement with, debates about the proper place of learning, and a literary drama, in popular culture is something that recurs throughout his career. His authorial practice, like other authors working in the children’s tradition, is, in a great measure, a product of his own grammar school training in performance and imitation not simply as a matter of “rhetorical oratory” but as part of the humanist-inspired push toward literacy and the embrace of literate ideals. His particular interventions in the synthesis of the play text and authorship into popular modes of performance-as well as in the children’s company’s related history and its relation to its chief patron, Elizabeth-is the subject of this chapter.