One of Jonson’s greatest plays, Sejanus, has seldom been edited, and is here published, with full notes and introduction, for the first time since 1911. Mr. Barish shows that Jonsonian tragedy can be understood and appreciated only by clearing the mind of Shakespearean preconceptions. The present edition makes the play available in a modernized text, explanatory notes gloss obscure phrases ignored by previous editors, and critical notes contain extracts in English translation of the portions of Tacitus on which Jonson based his plot. The critical introduction analyzes Jonson’s technique of metamorphosing history into poetry. Yale Ben Jonson, 3.
Mr. Barish is associate professor of English at the University of California.