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It's been called the greatest farce in the English language, with one of the three most perfect plots in all of literature. What are you waiting for? Get thee to the first installment!
The plague has brought life to a standstill in London as the curtain rises on Ben Jonson’s 1610 play The Alchemist. A crafty servant left behind in a comfortable home when his master flees to a country refuge decides to take advantage of his peculiar situation. What better way to indulge his own greed than to swindle other greedy Londoners? The servant, Face, asks his friends, a con artist named Subtle and a prostitute named Dol Common, to help him with his plan. Together, they will convince their hapless “clients” that Subtle is an alchemist who can turn any substance into gold. The Alchemist has been celebrated as one of the greatest dramatic works ever written and makes for devilishly funny social satire.
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Opening Lines (Experimental)
BY BEN JONSON.
SUBTLE, the Alchemist.
FACE, the Housekeeper.
DOL COMMON, their Colleague.
DAPPER, a Lawyer's Clerk.
DRUGGER, a Tobacco Man.
LOVEWIT, Master of the House.
SIR EPICURE MAMMON, a Knight.
PERTINAX SURLY, a Gamester.
TRIBULATION WHOLESOME, a Pastor of ...
Reviewed by santu4fenz on Dec 25, 2010
Reviewed by Kell1976 on Feb 17, 2009
This book reads like a fairytale, full of mysterious wise men, omens, dreams and a destiny to follow. There’s a simplicity here – the story flows from scene to scene at a gentle pace, but there is so much happening under the surface, and at each step there is a lesson to be learned.
There is something timeless about The Alchemist - it could be set in any period, past, present or future – and will remain relevant in a way that some other books written in the latter part of the 20th Century may not, due to its complete lack of reference to anything that could possibly date it.
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Ratings for 'The Alchemist' by Jonson, Ben