Ben Jonson: Sejanus: His Fall

(2526 words)
  • Peter Byrne (Independent Scholar - North America)

Ben Jonson's Sejanus, his Fall (1603) is one of only two tragedies produced by this prolific dramatist. Like its companion piece, Cataline, his Conspiracy (1611), the play was a disastrous failure with the popular audience; indeed, it appears to have prompted something like a riot at the Globe. But it was much admired by fellow authors like Chapman and Marston, as well as the lettered members of the aristocracy, whose patronage encouraged Jonson to publish the work in 1605. Such appreciation has not, unfortunately, sustained subsequent interest in the play—and it is easy to see why. Though it contains the marvelously rich language and sustained moral tone that mark Jonson's more successful works, it is historically …

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Byrne, Peter. "Sejanus: His Fall". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 August 2004; last revised 03 October 2005.
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. English Renaissance Theatre - Jacobean