The Alchemist is a very popular social satire, performed in 1610, by king`s men and published in 1612. The Alchemist play is written by the 2nd most famous and important playwright Ben Jonson. The Alchemist is a comedy of humors, based on two conmen who make people believe that, they are expert of an` Alchemy` (an Alchemy is a person who transform undesirable thing into something more desirable). This play reflects glamourized vision of Renaissance which characterized the Jacobean society. The Jacobean Society was marked by greed and deception. Moral values were receded to lowest ebb.
In the Alchemist, Jonson satirizes the follies vanities and vices of humankind. People of all social classes are subject to Jonson` s satirical wit. Jonson strongly represented this play as a theater of city life. Jonson presents a large number of characters and subjects which the first crowd would have perceived audience.
The Alchemist as a Satire:
The Alchemist can be understood as a satire. Love wit is a man of his words who has gone to the nation however, his servant chose to stay around gambling, deceiving with his fellow friend Subtle including Doll (a prostitute). These three decided to con people and make money by enchantment (enchantment- the state of being under a spell). However, few characters like Dapper, Dragger, Epicure Mammon tricked by them also Surly disguised as a Spanish man hostile to theater to know the truth about their enchanted trick. Jonson, trying to mock human weakness and gullibility.
Face, Subtle and Doll spread rumors among the masses of turning baser metal into gold using the ancient technology of Alchemy. They procure huge amount of money by falsely pretending themselves to be Alchemist. Ben Jonson targeted the city of London for his satire which he proclaims in the prologue of the drama, “Our scene is London” because we would make known no country`s mirth is better than our own.
The Alchemist as a satire is tightly structured based on simple dramatic concept. All the characters play project a different kind of image. Jonson has satirize man`s insatiable lust for riches through his successive drama. Ben Jonson embroils the visitors to the fair in its myriad temptations, exposing the materialistic impulses beneath the apparent godliness of the Jacobean puritans. His other drama Volpone dramatizes the corrupting nature of the greed in an exuberant satire set in contemporary Venice.
The Alchemist as a satire, Jonson has neatly constructed the plot of the drama and overpowered other dramatist like Shakespeare in structural organization and elevated classical drama to a new height. The Alchemist as a social satire have been exceptionally recognizable to the complex London crowd in 1610. In any case, speculative chemistry had started to converge with real early substance look into with the rise of real exploratory researchers.
For instance, The Philosopher physicist Paracelsus who spearheaded the utilization of minerals in medication, somewhat like a comparative converging of soothsaying and cosmology in a similar age, the limits among science and enchantment were definitely obscured.
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