Renaissance Spark Project BY: Muhammad Ibrahim


I chose to learn about the Renaissance writer Ben Jonson. Jonson was born on June 11, 1572 in Westminster United Kingdom. He spent most of his life in Europe. Jonson was a classically educated, cultured man of the English Renaissance with an appetite for controversy which was either personal and political or artistic and intellectual. His cultural influence was unparalleled upon the playwrights and the poets of the Jacobean era (1603–1625) and of the Caroline era (1625–1642). Ben Jonson was a English playwright, poet, actor, and literary critic of the 17th century, whose artistry exerted a lasting impact upon English poetry and stage comedy. He created stage comedy and English poetry. Some of his works include "The Case Is Altered", "Eastward Ho", and "Devil is an Ass". Lord Aubigny, countess of Rutland (Sidney's daughter) and her cousin Lady Wroth were some of his most significant patrons. Renaissance ideals that are linked with this person can be humanism, because he liked to write comedies like satirical plays, and naturalism, because the characters in his plays were simple and had simple problems.


The name of the work I chose by Ben Jonson was his comedy called "The Devil is an Ass". "The Devil is an Ass" was first performed in 1616 and first published in 1631. You can see this piece being performed in theatres or you can see it as a video on the internet. It is not published throughout the world or located in a museum. This piece was significant because its publication was irregular, Jonson wanted to publish it with another piece but never ended up following his plan, releasing it by itself. The comedy was a follow up of Ben Jonson's greatest work "Bartholomew Fair". It’s unclear how the play was sold. There were no new techniques in the making of this piece.

In "The Devil is an Ass" there is a devil named Pug who wants to go to the human world to cause trouble and mischief. When Satan lets him he comes to a house of a man named Fitzdottrel. Fitzdottrel is being conned by 2 men named Wittipol and Manly. Wittipol wants to take his wife and Manly wants to take his money. They both devise plans to fulfill their desires. Pug tries to aid them but fails in the end and goes back to Hell after being thrown in jail. This story focuses on humanism, because it focuses on a devil who can’t handle humans in 1616 London but tried to anyway. The little devil did anything he could to create havoc in the Fitzdottrel household, but always failed. The reason I picked this story was because thought the title was hilarious, but it’s actually not that bad. In terms of plot development the story takes an underdog kind of tale and twists it so the underdog still loses in the end which is pretty funny.

You can find this piece if you search it up on the internet here is a link:

Works Cited:

"Ben Jonson." Ben Jonson. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2016.

Unknown. "The Devil Is an Ass." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2016.


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