A seminal work of English Literature, The Alchemist by Ben Jonson has been described as "the greatest farce in the English language".

As well as being very funny the play also offers insight into life in London at the beginning of the 17th century, giving a contemporary perspective on the emergence of the middle class in England as well as satirising the hypocrisy present at all levels of society.

From a literary perspective the play provides a fine example of stylistic satire in Jonson's treatment of the conventions of romantic comedy.