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Shaggie Thighs and Aery Formes: Satyres and Faeries in Ben Jonson’s Oberon

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Chapter Summary

The impact of Jonson’s innovations in the masque form and his realignment of supernatural beings are fully conveyed to modern audiences who are not thoroughly immersed in court entertainment and the symbolism of satyrs and fairies. This chapter remedies the situation, by arguing the case for Jonson's imaginative vision in reducing the separation of antimasque and masque, which enabled the action and settings to develop in an unbroken sequence of entertainment and symbolic effect. Jonson accommodated and expanded the ranks of supernatural beings in the progress of the masque, allowing the satyrs with their shaggie thighs to be on stage to the very end of the performance, mingling with the fairies and other formes, so bright, and aery.

Keywords:Aery Formes; Ben Jonson; fairies; oberon; satyrs; shaggie thighs

10.1163/9789004258235_011
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