Analysis of critical reception of Marston, also revealing for light it sheds on relations between dramatists of late 16c early 17c.John Marston, the most infamous of the late 16th and early 17th-century English satirists and dramatists, achieved both fame and notoriety, and an accepted place in the Elizabethan/Jacobean canon, for his scathing satires such as The Scourge of Villanie, and other plays, most notably Antonio's Revenge; his works are characterised by a highly individual verbal style and a variety of lurid theatrical devices.
Fred Wharton's study answers a long-felt need for a full-length analysis of Marston's critical reception, a story almost as wild and extravagant as the rhetoric of Marston's own work. He suggests the reasons underlying Marston's fall and rise, and examines those features of his work most likely to repel or attract successive readerships.
Literary Criticism in Perspective
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"A major contribution to the history of criticism of the drama, for the case of Marston has much to reveal about general critical trends as well as about personal critical preferences. Moreover, Marston is a writer worth reading, and this story of his reputation puts his work into interesting light." BIBLIOTHEQUE D'HUMANISME ET RENAISSANCE