Damn, looks like I’ve saved all my classic lit until the end of the year, eh? Here’s today’s offering Ben JonsonBen Jonson is among the best-known writers and theorists of English Renaissance literature, second in reputation only to Shakespeare. A prolific dramatist and a man of letters highly learned in the classics, he profoundly influenced the Augustan age through his emphasis on the precepts of Horace, Aristotle, and other classical Greek and Latin thinkers. While he is now remembered primarily for his satirical comedies, he also distinguished himself as a poet, preeminent writer of masques, erudite defender of his work, and the originator of English literary criticism.
Jonson’s professional reputation is often obscured by that of the man himself: bold, independent and aggressive. He fashioned for himself an image as the sole arbiter of taste, standing for erudition and the supremacy of classical models against what he perceived as the general populace’s ignorant preference for the sensational. While his direct influence can be seen in each genre he undertook, his ultimate legacy is considered to be his literary craftsmanship, his strong sense of artistic form and control, and his role in bringing, as Alexander Pope noted, “critical learning into vogue.”
Check out of the poems I had to write a paper about and I think I finally see why the teacher selected it. I think it was a compare and contrast with one Shakespeare sonnets. Enjoy.
F. M. Laster
“I only like two kinds of men, domestic and imported.” -Mae West
by Ben Jonson
Drink to me, only, with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I’ll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise,
Doth ask a drink divine:
But might I of Jove’s nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.
I sent thee, late, a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee,
As giving it a hope, that there
It could not withered be.
But thou thereon didst only breathe,
And sent’st back to me:
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself, but thee.