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Poetaster


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A comedy by Jonson, performed 1601, printed 1602.

Set in the court of the Emperor Augustus, the main plot concerns the conspiracy of the poetaster Crispinus and his friend Demetrius (who represent Jonson's contemporaries Marston and Dekker) and a swaggering captain, Pantilius Tucca, to defame Horace, who represents Jonson. The matter is tried before Augustus, with Virgil as judge. Horace is acquitted, the ‘dresser of plays’ Demetrius is made to wear a fool's coat and cap, and Crispinus is given a purge of hellebore and made to vomit up his windy rhetoric. Marston and Dekker replied to the attack in Satiromastix, where the main characters of this play reappear.

Subjects: Literature.


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Authors

Ben Jonson (1572—1637) poet and playwright


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