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|Title:||Names and Naming in Ben Jonson's Epigrammes: Preforming the Social Performance|
|Authors:||Jago, David Charles|
|Keywords:||English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>This study will discuss and seek to clarify the<br />significance of Ben Jonson's use of names in the Epigrammes,<br />as published in his 1616 folio edition of the Workes. My<br />central argument here is that Jonson's use of names in this<br />text is an integral part of an effort to preform a social<br />performance. Jonson, in accordance with the Christian<br />humanist view that poetry should morally edify its reader,<br />attempts to modify the thought and behavior of an<br />anticipated reader by disseminating an ideologically<br />influenced interpretation of ordinary social phenomena -- a<br />social performance -- in his poetry.</p> <p>Jonson's repeated use of names in the "Epigrammes"<br />will be read as reflecting a commitment to both confirm and<br />conform to a Christian mythos which incorporates and<br />services a dichotomous view of reality. At its most basic<br />level, my paper will show that Jonson dichotomizes his<br />collection of Epigrammes by giving names as a reward to some<br />subjects and attributing mock-names as punishments to<br />others. From this observation I will argue that for Jonson<br />the name acts as a cornerstone of an interpretation of a<br />social performance that has religious, political, cultural<br />and personal implications.</p> <p>The merit of this study is that it places Jonson's<br />use of names in an expansive context. Criticism to date on<br />the subject has treated names only as a means to show that<br />the collection possesses a unity of form and function. In<br />this study Jonson's use of names is not looked upon as an<br />isolated event whose significance is strictly limited to the<br />text of the Epigrammes. Historical, sociological and<br />psychological aspects of naming are discussed and related to<br />naming in Jonson's Epigrammes. By incorporating materials<br />from a number of disciplines the study allows the religious<br />and political significances of the action of naming to be<br />fully appreciated. Such an approach to the subject of<br />naming in the Epigrammes has never been attempted. In the<br />end, the true value of this study is that affirms that<br />naming is a vital form of expression in Jonson's poetic art.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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