John Marston

John Marston, 1576–1634, English satirist and dramatist, b. Oxfordshire, grad. Oxford, 1594. In accordance with his father's wishes he studied law at Middle Temple, but his interests soon turned to literature. His first published works, a licentious, satiric love poem entitled The Metamorphosis of Pigmalion's Image and The Scourge of Villanie, a volume of coarse verse satires, appeared in 1598. After both these works were burned in 1599 by order of the archbishop of Canterbury, Marston began writing for the stage. His most notable plays are the love story Antonio and Mellida (1599); its sequel, the revenge tragedy Antonio's Revenge (1599); his masterpiece, The Malcontent (1604), a tragicomedy that derides aristocratic behavior; and The Dutch Courtezan (1605), a bitterly anti-female comedy. Marston was involved in the war of the theaters against Ben Jonson from 1599 to 1601, while both playwrights were writing for rival companies of child actors. Later, the two men became friends and collaborated with George Chapman in writing Eastward Ho! (1605). Marston ended his literary career c.1607, and two years later he took holy orders.

See his plays ed. by H. H. Wood (3 vol., 1934–39); his poems ed. by A. Davenport (1961); study by P. J. Finckelpearl (1969).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

John Marston: Selected full-text books and articles

The Dutch Courtesan By John Marston; Martin L. Wine University of Nebraska (Lincoln campus), 1965
Antonio and Mellida: The First Part By John Marston University of Nebraska (Lincoln campus), 1965
Antonio's Revenge: The Second Part of Antonio and Mellida By John Marston University of Nebraska (Lincoln campus), 1965
The Poems of John Marston By John Marston; Arnold Davenport Liverpool University Press, 1961
Comicall Satyre and Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida By Oscar James Campbell Adcraft Press, 1938
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VI "John Marston's Early Satire Plays"
Humor in British Literature, from the Middle Ages to the Restoration: A Reference Guide By Don L. E. Nilsen Greenwood Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: "John Marston (C. 1576-1634)" begins on p. 156
Jacobean Theatre By Edward Arnold, 1960
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IV "English Folly and Italian Vice: The Moral Landscape of John Marston"
Prostitution in Elizabethan and Jacobean Comedy By Anne M. Haselkorn Whitston, 1983
Librarian’s tip: "John Marston: The Dutch Courtesan" begins on p. 56
An Introduction to Stuart Drama By Frederick S. Boas Oxford University Press, 1946
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VI "John Marston - Thomas Dekker: Melodrama and Civic Comedy"
The Rhetoric of the Body from Ovid to Shakespeare By Lynn Enterline Cambridge University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "'Be Not Obsceane though Wanton': Marston's Metamorphosis of Pigmalion's Image"
Writing and Revenge: John Marston's Histriomastix By Bednarz, James P Comparative Drama, Spring-Summer 2002
Temporizing as Pyrrhonizing in Marston's the Malcontent By Hamlin, William M Comparative Drama, Vol. 34, No. 3, Fall 2000
The Jacobean Drama: An Interpretation By U. M. Ellis-Fermor Methuen, 1936
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IV "John Marston"
Playing Companies and Commerce in Shakespeare's Time By Roslyn Lander Knutson Cambridge University Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Histrio-Mastix and Company Commerce"
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