The Alchemist Criticism

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There is little information about how Ben Jonson's The Alchemist was received by critics and the public. Most scholars acknowledge that Jonson's plays were not generally well received. The audience was often loudly critical, and Jonas Barish noted that several of Jonson's plays were hissed from the stage. This is not necessarily because die plays were not entertaining or topical, but rather, the play's reception reflected the audience's acceptance of the author. Jonson is usually described as arrogant and difficult; that may be a generous report. Jonson inspired little neutral comment. Critics and contemporaries either loved and worshiped Jonson or they hated and scorned him.

Since plays were not reviewed during the period in which this play was composed, response to a play may be determined by examining how often it has been produced in the years since its creation. Another way to gauge a play's popularity is...

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This section contains 797 words
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The Alchemist from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.