Ben Jonson: The Masque of Queens (918 words)


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The Masque of Queens was the third masque Ben Jonson wrote for Queen Anne. It was presented at Whitehall in 1609 and when it was published Jonson wrote that

It was my first and special regard, to see that the nobility of the invention should be answerable to the dignity of their persons. For which reason I chose the argument to be, A Celebration of honourable and true Fame, bred out of Virtue… her Majesty . . . had commanded me to think on some dance or show that might proceed hers, and have the place of a foil, or false masque.

Obeying the Queen’s request, Jonson devised the first anti-masque, which was to be a feature of the masques from now on. It came before the masque p…

Citation: Lewcock, Dawn. "The Masque of Queens". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 June 2007 [, accessed 19 June 2021.]

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