The Alchemist

Ben Johnson Alchemist boat us in human nature in general as all the clients who come to Subtle are desirous of achieving wealth without any effort. The conspirators are providing all short of assurance on the basis of Philosopher stone and clients are credulous and easily believe anything by this each and every action contributes to the further supplement of the play.  Ben Johnson ProvedThe deceiver is more intellectual than deceived”. It is hard to grasp but it is shown in the drama as in my opinion the facts are true evidence.

There are several themes if we consider Greed as theme

The humor which has been represented in this play is a master passion of greed and this humor is implemented to make the people realize their own shortcoming, follies and in process try to make treatment of them or try to make aware of such absurdities, which generally found in human nature.

Well, the real theme of the Alchemist may be described as greed, as characters are involved in greed and wants an easy method to fulfill their needs. Each character has hopes with working wonders and having a protocol to implement it.

  • Consider Mammon: He wants to establish a new world where each and every thing is converted in to gold. He compares himself to Solomon’s king luxury life.  By the use of philosopher stone he can cure all the infectious disease like plague can be drive out of the country.
  • Consider Drapper (Lawyer Clerk): He wants to give up his profession and want to be a whole time gambler. He wants to acquire an attendant spirit so that he can win money at horse race, card games, dice games etc.
  • Consider Drugger : He wants a good luck sign for his shop. He wants to cross out unlucky days out of his life.  He also desires to marry the widow Dame Pliant.
  • Consider Ananias: He wants to manufacture of dollars at safest grounds. This act shows the greed and monetary gain as others.

Even all three conspirators’ sole aim to acquire as much money at any extend they can. Even the honest character Surly is not far from greediness. Although he was aware of all the fraud process, but with heroic passion (Not described), he want to marry Dame Pliant (A Widow) as she is a rich woman to make his bright fortune.

Lovewit who appears at the end of the play also proved himself a greedy man. He decided to take action against the conspirator’s and his butler but later he makes collaboration with Face, on finding opportunity to marry Dame Pliant as offered by Face.


One can consider it, as Face Intelligence to offer such bribe to his master, but it depends on internal consciousness of a man  to accept it or not. Lovewit accepted it and proved he too lack grace.

Lust as Theme

Consider a Mammon Case; with the use of Philosopher stone, he want of maintain harem, mistresses, secondary wives just to satisfy his lust. He wants erotic picture all around in room in addition there will be mirrors so that he can see the nude bodies of his mistress.

But all this is not enough, as with the use of philosopher stone he will pay the Parents of desire women asking them to lay with her to fulfill his sexual desire. It is a funny assumption according to my opinion that with use of stone he will achieve the power of Hercules to satisfy fifty women in a night.

By this Mammon wants a luxury live full of sexual pleasure, when he got the glimpse of Dol Common he ask face to provide her for his sexual pleasure hence it will not be a certain to say Mammon is blind man of lust. It seem a great irony, Mammon character with such intentions, too thinks to do charity, with the use of Philosopher stone he will  cure all the infectious disease like plague which can be drive out of the country. In process it can be assumed if he do so, he will just implement it on the beautiful women so after that he can kept them as his mistress. It is hard to digest the Mammon fly of imagination, mean time consider what is use Hercules power if it is not used for social justice.

Reality and Illusion

The character which have been duped is not because of deficiency of intelligent but due to there greed, blind faith. All of them are taken in assurance by conspirators and at last they receive nothing and all dreams collapsed. Only the Lovewit get the maximum benefit and receive rich prizes without having earned it.

Well, Ben Johnson let us to view and differentiate between Reality and Illusion. People what they actually are, are not actual. They are disguising deliberately according to situation.

In the starting of the drama, two of conspirator are involved in the quarrel (Subtle and Face), each of them were revealing the other realities.   By this one can easily assume there previous life.

  • Subtle: He was starving in hunger and he often walks around the food-shop but that time either his alchemy was helping him, neither he was capable to start this project.
  • Face: – He was a poor wretched man living with spiders, means the loneliness in part of life.

Conspirators are Intellectual


Later by their intelligence, yes by their intelligence, they duped their clients as I Said above “The deceiver is more intellectual than deceived”.  

They are eminent on their part, and they know how to impress clients, they have good vocabulary of technical words if anyone is not satisfy with it; they try to impress on scientific basis. Something same is done with Surly.

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