Ben Jonson, Sejanus: His Fall

Peter Byrne (Independent Scholar - North America)
Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

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 punctilious to the point of absurdity, often sacrificing dramatic…

2526 words

Citation: Byrne, Peter. "Sejanus: His Fall". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 August 2004; last revised 03 October 2005. [, accessed 21 June 2024.]

2191 Sejanus: His Fall 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.