Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ben Jonson: Sejanus” as Want to Read:
Ben Jonson: Sejanus
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ben Jonson: Sejanus

3.39  ·  Rating Details  ·  75 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
One of Jonson’s greatest plays, Sejanus, has seldom been edited, and is here published, with full notes and introduction, for the first time since 1911. Mr. Barish shows that Jonsonian tragedy can be understood and appreciated only by clearing the mind of Shakespearean preconceptions. The present edition makes the play available in a modernized text, explanatory notes glos ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 11th 1965 by Yale University Press (first published 1603)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ben Jonson, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Ben Jonson

Hamlet by William ShakespeareMacbeth by William ShakespeareDon Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes SaavedraParadise Lost by John MiltonKing Lear by William Shakespeare
Best Books of the 17th Century
78th out of 146 books — 460 voters
The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas HarrisIt by Stephen KingMisery by Stephen King1984 by George OrwellHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
Best Villains
298th out of 339 books — 232 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 181)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 26, 2009 Alan rated it it was amazing
read at college, a searingly brilliant read, about political machinations of course, and with no illusions. The play of language is just perfect. You come away battered. Is that good? Yes.
Jun 28, 2015 Keith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a moderately entertaining play to read. It moves quickly and features some nice poetry as well as a crescendo of action that leads to a surprise twist at the end. Overall, though, its purpose outweighs its art. Jonson’s theme is painted with a blunt brush. Sejanus is a stock villain. There’s little subtlety or nuance in his portrayal.

Where another artist may have been ambiguous about Sejanus’ purposes, Jonson leaves no gray. Shakespeare’s Roman plays, Julius Caesar and Coriolanus, by co
Mar 28, 2014 Kyle rated it it was ok
Shelves: phd-studies
Those with a keen interest in the ups and downs of Imperial Rome, or the heedless comparison between this age and King James' England (even our own oily oligarchies) might find something of interest in this play. Others who have a fixation on line-for-line adaptation of classical historians like Tacitus would have a field-day here. Yet the poor unfortunate few who have stumbled upon this play and seek to be entertained have an uphill battle before them, almost as if Jonson wrote this history so ...more
May 02, 2014 Madeline rated it really liked it
The play is perhaps not the best *drama* (its first performance was a disaster apparently and it isn't too hard to guess why), but it's a good read, especially if you've read Tacitus' Annals or other works of Roman history.
Mike Jensen
Nov 04, 2010 Mike Jensen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much better than I expected: the story of a Caesar and the power mad General who seems to help him. It is a theme Jonson also visited in his comedies. Strongly drawn characters, an OK story, and Jonson's wit pervade. We would probably not read this play if Jonson did not write his comedies, but it is worth seeking out.
Apr 09, 2011 Rozonda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With powerful language and intense scenes, Jonson is not as wonderful as his admired Shakespeare (and I think he knew it at heart) but he's nonetheless one of the greatest playwrights I've read. His interpretation of the terrible fall of emperor Tiberius' favourite is both poetical and shocking.
Landon Kramer
Landon Kramer marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2016
Sam Fickling
Sam Fickling rated it really liked it
Jul 09, 2016
Rita marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2016
Nicole rated it it was ok
Jul 05, 2016
M.V. Gaius
M.V. Gaius marked it as to-read
Jun 24, 2016
Desiree rated it liked it
Jun 20, 2016
Igor marked it as to-read
Jun 01, 2016
Xavier marked it as to-read
May 16, 2016
doutzen marked it as to-read
May 06, 2016
Choirsoftheeye marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2016
Janice marked it as to-read
Apr 26, 2016
Maksym Onyshko
Maksym Onyshko marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2016
Jay Cardam
Jay Cardam marked it as to-read
Apr 12, 2016
Danbi added it
Apr 07, 2016
Jack Coopey
Jack Coopey marked it as to-read
Apr 05, 2016
Roma Dar
Roma Dar marked it as to-read
Apr 03, 2016
kate added it
Mar 26, 2016
Cherie marked it as to-read
Mar 22, 2016
Hepzibah marked it as to-read
Mar 21, 2016
John rated it really liked it
Feb 15, 2016
Danika added it
Feb 09, 2016
Saoirse Sterling
Saoirse Sterling marked it as to-read
Feb 08, 2016
Bjagga marked it as to-read
Feb 05, 2016
Michael rated it liked it
Jan 29, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Benjamin Jonson was an English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor. A contemporary of William Shakespeare, he is best known for his satirical plays, particularly Volpone, The Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair, which are considered his best, and his lyric poems. A man of vast reading and a seemingly insatiable appetite for controversy, Jonson had an unparalleled breadth of influence on Jacobean and ...more
More about Ben Jonson...

Share This Book