Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher

Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher by S. T. Coleridge This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at http://www.guten- berg.org/license Title: Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher Author: S. T. Coleridge Release Date: May 24, 2008 [Ebook 25585] Language: English ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK SHAKESPEARE, BEN JONSON, BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER*** Shakespeare Ben Jonson Beaumont And Fletcher Notes and Lectures by S. T. Coleridge New Edition Liverpool Edward Howell MDCCCLXXIV Contents Shakespeare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Definition Of Poetry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Greek Drama. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Progress Of The Drama. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 The Drama Generally, And Public Taste. . . . . . . . . 27 Shakespeare, A Poet Generally. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Shakespeare's Judgment equal to his Genius. . . . . . . 43 Recapitulation, And Summary Of the Characteristics of Shakespeare's Dramas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Outline Of An Introductory Lecture Upon Shakespeare. 59 Order Of Plays. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Notes On The “Tempest.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 “Love's Labour's Lost.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 “Midsummer Night's Dream.

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Shakespeare, Ben Jonson,
Beaumont and Fletcher by S. T. Coleridge
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and
with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give
it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg
License included with this eBook or online at http://www.guten-
berg.org/license
Title: Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher
Author: S. T. Coleridge
Release Date: May 24, 2008 [Ebook 25585]
Language: English
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK
SHAKESPEARE, BEN JONSON, BEAUMONT AND
FLETCHER***Shakespeare
Ben Jonson
Beaumont And Fletcher
Notes and Lectures
by S. T. Coleridge
New Edition
Liverpool
Edward Howell
MDCCCLXXIVContents
Shakespeare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Definition Of Poetry. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Greek Drama. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Progress Of The Drama. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
The Drama Generally, And Public Taste. . . . . . . . . 27
Shakespeare, A Poet Generally. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Shakespeare's Judgment equal to his Genius. . . . . . . 43
Recapitulation, And Summary Of the Characteristics
of Shakespeare's Dramas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Outline Of An Introductory Lecture Upon Shakespeare. 59
Order Of Plays. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
Notes On The “Tempest.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
“Love's Labour's Lost.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
“Midsummer Night's Dream.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
“Comedy Of Errors.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
“As You Like It.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
“Twelfth Night.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
“All's Well That Ends Well.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
“Merry Wives Of Windsor.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
“Measure For Measure.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
“Cymbeline.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
“Titus Andronicus.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
“Troilus And Cressida.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
“Coriolanus.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
“Julius Cæsar.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
“Antony And Cleopatra.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
“Timon Of Athens.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
“Romeo And Juliet.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
Shakespeare's English Historical Plays. . . . . . . . . . 139iv Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher
“King John.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
“Richard II.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
“Henry IV.—Part I.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
“Henry IV.—Part II.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
“Henry V.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163
“Henry VI.—Part I.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
“Richard III.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
“Lear.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
“Hamlet.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183
“Macbeth.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211
“Winter's Tale.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225
“Othello.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229
Notes on Ben Jonson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241
Whalley's Preface. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243
“‘Life Of Jonson.’” . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244
“Every Man Out Of His Humour.” . . . . . . . . . . . 244
“Poetaster.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245
“Fall Of Sejanus.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246
“Volpone.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248
“Apicæne.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249
“The Alchemist.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251
“Catiline's Conspiracy.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252
“Bartholomew Fair.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 253
“The Devil Is An Ass.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 256
“The Staple Of News.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257
“The New Inn.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258
Notes On Beaumont And Fletcher. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261
Harris's Commendatory Poem On Fletcher. . . . . . . 262
Life Of Fletcher In Stockdale's Edition, 1811. . . . . . 263
“Maid's Tragedy.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 263
“A King And No King.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266
“The Scornful Lady.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266
“The Custom Of The Country.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268
“The Elder Brother.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269v
“The Spanish Curate.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271
“Wit Without Money.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271
“The Humorous Lieutenant.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273
“The Mad Lover.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 274
“The Loyal Subject.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 275
“Rule A Wife And Have A Wife.” . . . . . . . . . . . 276
“The Laws Of Candy.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277
“The Little French Lawyer.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278
“Valentinian.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279
“Rollo.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 282
“The Wildgoose Chase.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283
“A Wife For A Month.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284
“The Pilgrim.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 285
“The Queen Of Corinth.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 286
“The Noble Gentleman.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 286
“The Coronation.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 287
“Wit At Several Weapons.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 288
“The Fair Maid Of The Inn.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 290
“The Two Noble Kinsmen.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 290
“The Woman Hater.” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 291[001]Shakespeare, With introductory
matter on Poetry, the Drama, and the
Stage.
Definition Of Poetry.
Poetry is not the proper antithesis to prose, but to science. Poetry
is opposed to science, and prose to metre. The proper and
immediate object of science is the acquirement, or communi-
cation, of truth; the proper and immediate object of poetry is
the communication of immediate pleasure. This definition is
useful; but as it would include novels and other works of fiction,
which yet we do not call poems, there must be some additional
character by which poetry is not only divided from opposites,
but likewise distinguished from disparate, though similar, modes
of composition. Now how is this to be effected? In animated
prose, the beauties of nature, and the passions and accidents
of human nature, are often expressed in that natural language
which the contemplation of them would suggest to a pure and
benevolent mind; yet still neither we nor the writers call such a
work a poem, though no work could deserve that name which
did not include all this, together with something else. What is
this? It is that pleasurable emotion, that peculiar state and degree
of excitement, which arises in the poet himself in the act of
composition;—and in order to understand this, we must combine
a more than ordinary sympathy with the objects, emotions, or [002]4 Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher
incidents contemplated by the poet, consequent on a more than
common sensibility, with a more than ordinary activity of the
mind in respect of the fancy and the imagination. Hence is
produced a more vivid reflection of the truths of nature and of
the human heart, united with a constant activity modifying and
correcting these truths by that sort of pleasurable emotion, which
the exertion of all our faculties gives in a certain degree; but
which can only be felt in perfection under the full play of those
powers of mind, which are spontaneous rather than voluntary,
and in which the effort required bears no proportion to the activity
enjoyed. This is the state which permits the production of a high-
ly pleasurable whole, of which each part shall also communicate
for itself a distinct and conscious pleasure; and hence arises the
definition, which I trust is now intelligible, that poetry, or rather a
poem, is a species of composition, opposed to science, as having
intellectual pleasure for its object, and as attaining its end by
the use of language natural to us in a state of excitement,—but
distinguished from other species of composition, not excluded
by the former criterion, by permitting a pleasure from the whole
consistent with a consciousness of pleasure from the component
parts;—and the perfection of which is, to communicate from each
part the greatest immediate pleasure compatible with the largest
sum of pleasure on the whole. This, of course, will vary with
the different modes of poetry;—and that splendour of particular
lines, which would be worthy of admiration in an impassioned
[003] elegy, or a short indignant satire, would be a blemish and proof
of vile taste in a tragedy or an epic poem.
It is remarkable, by the way, that Milton in three incidental
words has implied all which for the purposes of more distinct
apprehension, which at first must be slow-paced in order to be
distinct, I have endeavoured to develope in a precise and strictly
adequate definition. Speaking of poetry, he says, as in a paren-
thesis, “which is simple, sensuous, passionate.” How awful is
the power of words!—fearful often in their consequences when