Chapman's humor theory

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Roena Virginia Gallimore (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Joseph Bryant

Abstract: The Comedy of Humors was developed near the close of the sixteenth century principally through the efforts of Ben Jonson and George Chapman. Although both men appear concurrently in the field, Jonson is generally credited with the development of this new dramatic type. His play Every Man In His Humour is considered to be the model humor comedy from which all others were derived. However, Chapman constructed and presented on stage two humor comedies before Jonson1s play was completed in 1598. Chapman first introduced the humors and humorous characters as subjects for comedy in The Blind Beggar of Alexandria. His next play An Humourous Day's Mirth, which appeared one full year before Jonson's play, introduced the new dramatic type and presented on stage all the characteristics and techniques of the humor comedy as later developed by Jonson. It is also known and accepted that Chapman and Jonson were close friends during this early Henslowe period and even collaborated on some plays. Consequently, it would seem quite possible that Chapman first suggested and developed the humor theory, which Jonson later perfected in his own dramas. Chapman's following play, his masterpiece, All Fools, shows great advances in his dramatic art in that the humors are now integrated into the plot. However, he reverts to his old methods of presenting the humors in Sir Giles Goosecap. Even though his interest in the humors continues, these four earlier plays show his major contributions to the humor comedy.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1967
Chapman, George, $d 1559?-1634 $x Criticism and interpretation
Chapman, George, $d 1559?-1634 $v Humor

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