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The War of the Poets

Julian Glover and Adrian Schiller in King Lear
Julian Glover and Adrian Schiller in
"King Lear"
The rise in popularity of the Boys' Companies is instrumental in a rift between Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare. The spat takes in other poets and playwrights supportive of the Boys' Companies and their detractors and also opens a rift between purveyors of classically based works (Jonson) and more populist works (Shakespeare).

Tit-for-tat hostilities ensue, and volleys of witty insults and torturous puns are unleashed in a Helm's Deep style battle for linguistic dominance.

No one dies, but some language is badly mangled.


Ben Jonson portraitBen Jonson

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