Presentation on theme: "Matt Dutton. English Elizabethan dramatist and prose pamphleteer Born c. 1572 Died August 25, 1632 Career spanned several decades Known for."— Presentation transcript:
English Elizabethan dramatist and prose pamphleteer Born c. 1572 Died August 25, 1632 Career spanned several decades Known for particularly lively depictions of London Little is known about his social life “So obscure, so disorganized, so wretched was his life,” proclaimed Hardin Craig, “that we know neither the date of his birth nor of his death. We know only that his life was largely wasted” (The Complete Works of Shakespeare, 801).
Born to a family of Dutch immigrants living in London First mentioned as a London playwright in 1598. Over 30 year career wrote or contributed to at least 42 plays Wrote to support himself yet apparently remained in debt for much of life Imprisoned for debt in 1599 by the Poultry Counter and from 1613-1619 by the King’s Bench Likely died still in debt
Had dispute with Ben Johnson known as the “Poet’s War” or the “War of the Theatres” Satirized in Ben Johnson’s Poetaster (1601) Attacked Johnson in his work Satiro-mastix (1601) Collaborated with such writers as Thomas Middleton, John Webster, Philip Massinger, John Ford, and William Rowley Nine plays written solely by Dekker survive Thirteen plays in which Dekker collaborated on also survive
Best known works are Shoemakers Holiday (1600) and The Honest Whore, Part 2 (1630) Shoemakers Holiday was performed for Queen Elizabeth on New Year, 1600 takes place in London and provides a variety of vivid portraits of Londoners and their daily life Wrote mainly in a romantic style similar to Shakespeare’s which was considered to be out of style by the early 1600’s “These plays are typical of his work in their use of the moralistic tone of traditional drama, in the rush of their prose, in their boisterousness, and in their mixture of realistic detail with a romanticized plot.” “Dekker’s ear for colloquial speech served him well in his vivid portrayals of daily life in London, and his work appealed strongly to a citizen audience eager for plays on middle-class, patriotic, and Protestant themes.” --- Britannica.com
The Wonderfull Yeare (1603)- about the plague The Belman of London (1608)- about roguery and crime The Guls Horne-Booke (1609)- about behavior within the London theatres Only information about Thomas Dekker comes from Debtor’s Prisons and the diary of Philip Henslowe From 1598 to 1600 wrote at least 28 works either individually or collaboration By 1628 he had only written 14 more works
Westward Ho (1604), The Famous History of Sir Thomas Wyatt (c.1604), and Northward Ho (c. 1605) with John Webster The Honest Whore, Part I (1604) and The Roaring Girl (1610) with Thomas Middleton The Virgin Martyr (1620) with Philip Massinger The Witch of Edmonton (c.1621) with John Ford and William Rowley Patient Grissel (1600) with Henry Chettle and William Haughton