Ben Jonson

1572 - 1637

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Benjamin Jonson (c. 11 June 1572 – c. 6 August 1637) was an English playwright and poet. Jonson's artistry exerted a lasting influence on English poetry and stage comedy. He popularised the comedy of humours; he is best known for the satirical plays Every Man in His Humour (1598), Volpone, or The Fox (c. 1606), The Alchemist (1610) and Bartholomew Fair (1614) and for his lyric and epigrammatic poetry. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Ben Jonson has received more than 2,357,831 page views. His biography is available in 61 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 57 in 2019). Ben Jonson is the 894th most popular writer (up from 926th in 2019), the 675th most popular biography from United Kingdom (up from 749th in 2019) and the 82nd most popular British Writer.

Ben Jonson is most famous for his plays, such as "Every Man in His Humour" and "The Alchemist."

Memorability Metrics

  • 2.4M

    Page Views (PV)

  • 62.68

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 61

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 3.97

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 5.62

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Notable Works

The works of Ben Jonson
Dramatists, English
Ben Jonson
The alchemist
This edition brings together Jonson's four great comedies in one volume. Volpone, which was first performed in 1606, dramatizes the corrupting nature of greed in an exuberant satire set in contemporary Venice. The first production of Epicene marked the end of a year long closure of the theatres because of an epidemic of the plague in 1609; its comedy affirms the consolatory power of laughter at such a time. The Alchemist (1610) deploys the metaphors of alchemical transformation to emphasize the mutability of the characters and their relationships. In Bartholomew Fair (1614) Jonson embroils the visitors to the fair in its myriad tempations, exposing the materialistic impulses beneath the apparent godliness of Jacobean Puritans. Under the General Editorship of Michael Cordner of the University of York the texts of the plays have been newly edited and are presented with modernized spelling and punctuation. Stage directions hvae been added to facilitate the reconstructionof the plays' performance, and there is a scholarly introduction, detailed annotation, and a glossary.
Every man in his humour
Bartholomew Fair
Ben Jonson
Drama, Poetry (poetic works by one author), Drama (dramatic works by one author)
The alchemist, 1612
British and irish drama (dramatic works by one author), Open Library Staff Picks, Fiction
Samuel Taylor Coleridge said of Ben Jonson's The Alchemist that it had one out of the three most perfect plots in literature. This play, with its sharp portrayal of human folly, is considered by many to be Jonson's best comedy. First performed 1610, its popularity has endured to this day.
Drama, Inheritance and succession, Extortion
Every man in his humour
Criticism and interpretation, Drama, English drama
The works of Ben Jonson
English literature
Bartholomew Fair
British and irish drama (dramatic works by one author), Personnages : 26 (19h-7f), Dramatists


Among writers, Ben Jonson ranks 894 out of 7,302Before him are Cormac McCarthy, Julien Green, Silius Italicus, Kobayashi Issa, Hans Fallada, and Tukaram. After him are Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Eugène Scribe, Daniel Goleman, Roger Zelazny, Nikolai Ostrovsky, and Appius Claudius Caecus.

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Among people born in 1572, Ben Jonson ranks 5Before him are John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg, John Donne, Cornelis Drebbel, and Johann Bayer. After him are Sigismund Báthory, Jane Frances de Chantal, Cyril Lucaris, Izumo no Okuni, Maurice, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, Francis II, Duke of Lorraine, and Fakhr al-Din II. Among people deceased in 1637, Ben Jonson ranks 4Before him are Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy, and Christina of Lorraine. After him are Charles I Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, Isaac Beeckman, Robert Fludd, William V, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, Bogislaw XIV, Duke of Pomerania, Péter Pázmány, and Pierre Vernier.

Others Born in 1572

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Others Deceased in 1637

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In United Kingdom

Among people born in United Kingdom, Ben Jonson ranks 675 out of 8,785Before him are Bill Wyman (1936), Oliver Smithies (1925), Thomas Chippendale (1718), Gladwyn Jebb (1900), James Bradley (1693), and Brian Cox (1946). After him are George Porter (1920), Roy Hodgson (1947), James Francis Edward Stuart (1688), John Henry Newman (1801), James Clark Ross (1800), and Bruce Chatwin (1940).

Among WRITERS In United Kingdom

Among writers born in United Kingdom, Ben Jonson ranks 82Before him are Julian Barnes (1946), W. H. Auden (1907), Frederick Forsyth (1938), Wilkie Collins (1824), Aubrey Beardsley (1872), and Philip Pullman (1946). After him are Bruce Chatwin (1940), James May (1963), Ann Radcliffe (1764), Patrick White (1912), Percy Fawcett (1867), and H. Rider Haggard (1856).