Marston, John

Marston, John,

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.

Bibliography

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).

Marston, John

 

Born circa 1576 in Coventry; died June 25, 1634, in London. English poet and playwright.

Marston graduated from Oxford University. His first works were burned by order of church authorities. In 1605 he collaborated with B. Jonson and G. Chapman on the satirical comedy Eastward Ho, for which the authors were subsequently arrested. Marston’s tragedies, such as Antonio and Mellida (1599) and Antonio’s Revenge (1602), are noted for their complicated plots and intense passion. They are characteristic of late Renaissance drama.

WORKS

The Plays, vols. 1-3. Edinburgh-London, 1934-39.

REFERENCES

Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 1, issue 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1945.
Ellis-Fermor, U. M. The Jacobean Drama. London, 1958.
Finkelpearl, P. J. John Marston of the Middle Temple. Cambridge (Mass.), 1969.
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Above right: The South Birmingham College table (from left) Eddie Marston, John James, John Duckers, Clive Henderson, Helen Henderson and Andrew Skinner
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However, things then began to fall apart as the Town lost Rink Three by a solitary shot 21-20 despite the squad of Tony Green, Harry Marston, John Greyes and Trevor Manning taking a 14-5 lead at one stage only to lose their way over the closing ends including a seven in the last roll up.