- Honoria and Mammon
"Honoria and Mammon" is a Caroline era stage play, written by
James Shirleyand published in 1659. It is a revision and expansion of Shirley's earlier morality play" A Contention for Honor and Riches" (c. 1630, printed 1633), and illustrates the persistence of influence of archaic forms of drama through the final phase of English Renaissance theatre.
As with the work's earlier form the "Contention," no data on the stage history of "Honoria and Mammon" has survived. It is uncertain when or even if the play was ever acted — though it is possible that the drama may have been designed "for the schoolboys Shirley taught after the closing of the theatres" in 1642. [Logan and Smith, p. 166.] The play was first printed in 1659, in an octavo volume issued by the bookseller John Crook that also contains Shirley's "
The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses." In that edition, "Honoria and Mammon" bears a dedication by Shirley "To the Candid Reader." The scene of the play is identified as "Metropolis, or New-Troy."
The Lady Honoria has three suitors for her hand in marriage: Alamode, a courtier; Alworth, a scholar; and Conquest, a colonel. Lady Aurelia Mammon — "widow / To the late high treasurer, Sir Omnipotent Mammon" — has two suitors of her own, a wealthy Londoner named Fulbank and a countryman called Maslin. Honoria introduces Alworth to Mammon, but she dismisses him as beneath her consideration. Alamode and Conquest fight a duel over Honoria; Conquest wins, disarming Alamode and knocking him down. Maslin and Fulbank similarly quarrel over Mammon, though mutual cowardice saves them from serious fighting. Lady Mammon's gentleman usher, a demon called Phantasm (the Vice in the earlier version), helps Fulbank to win his Lady's hand; Phantasm then tempts a lawyer named Traverse to steal Mammon from Fulbank. Traverse succeeds in this — but then Alamode wins her from Traverse and takes Mammon to his country house. Once in the country, though, Alamode is supplanted by Maslin, who in turn is displaced by Conquest.
Meanwhile, Honoria has chosen Alworth over his competitors. She tests him, pretending she has changed her mind; and from his response, she judges him worthy of her. After the strain of the trial, however, Alworth faints, and a physician is called. The lawyer Traverse, who is tempted by Honoria's availability as well as Mammon's, masquerades as a doctor treating Alworth; he tells Honoria that Alworth is dead, and when she faints, he carries her away to his own country house. Conquest then rescues Honoria from Traverse with a band of his soldiers. Alworth shows up, in disguise; yet when he reveals himself to Honoria, Conquest recognizes him and takes him prisoner. Phantasm reveals his demon nature to Lady Mammon, and deserts her; sobered, she accepts Conquest as her husband, and he gives up Honoria to Alworth. The suitors who have lost out console themselves as best they can.
* Forsythe, Robert Stanley. "The Relations of Shirley's Plays to the Elizabethan Drama." New York, Columbia University Press, 1914.
* Logan, Terence P., and Denzell S. Smith, eds. "The Later Jacobean and Caroline Dramatists: A Survey and Bibliography of Recent Studies in English Renaissance Drama." Lincoln, NE, University of Nebraska Press, 1978.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
A Contention for Honor and Riches — is a Caroline era stage play, a short drama or interlude written by James Shirley and first published in 1633. Generally classed as a morality play, it illustrates the continuing influence of archaic forms of drama on the relatively sophisticated … Wikipedia
The Contention of Ajax and Ulysses — for the Armour of Achilles is a Caroline era stage play, an interlude written by James Shirley and first published in 1659. As its title indicates, the subject of the play is a staple of the classical literature; Shirley most likely drew upon… … Wikipedia
Cupid and Death — Contents 1 Background 2 Publication 3 Source 4 Plot … Wikipedia
James Shirley — (or Sherley) (September, 1596 ndash; October, 1666), was an English dramatist. He belonged to the great period of English dramatic literature, but, in Lamb s words, he claims a place among the worthies of this period, not so much for any… … Wikipedia
The Court Secret — is a Caroline era stage play, a tragicomedy written by James Shirley, and first published in 1653. It is generally regarded as the final play Shirley wrote as a professional dramatist.Though The Court Secret can seem, to a modern taste, a… … Wikipedia
The Triumph of Beauty — is a Caroline era masque, written by James Shirley and first published in 1646. The masque shows a strong influence of Shakespeare s A Midsummer Night s Dream. The plot of the masque draws upon one of the most famous tales of Greek mythology, the … Wikipedia
1659 in literature — The year 1659 in literature involved some significant events.Events* Andrew Marvell becomes a member of Parliament.New books*Richard Baxter The Holy Commonwealth *Thomas Hobbes De Homine *Christiaan Huygens Systema Saturnium *Ninon de l Enclos La … Wikipedia