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F/H On My First Sonne by Ben Jonson. F/H The Poet Ben Jonson (1572-1637) was an actor, playwright and a poet at the same time as Shakespeare. His reputation.

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Presentation on theme: "F/H On My First Sonne by Ben Jonson. F/H The Poet Ben Jonson (1572-1637) was an actor, playwright and a poet at the same time as Shakespeare. His reputation."— Presentation transcript:

1 F/H On My First Sonne by Ben Jonson

2 F/H The Poet Ben Jonson ( ) was an actor, playwright and a poet at the same time as Shakespeare. His reputation was greater than Shakespeares during his life His son died at a young age He was convicted of murdering a fellow actor, Gabriel Spencer, but escaped punishment by claiming holy orders

3 F/H The poem The poem is an elegy which is a mournful poem written to lament the dead In it Jonson contrasts his sadness with what his faith teaches he should feel, joy Jonsons strong Christian faith comes through in this poem The speaker in the poem is most definitely Jonson himself

4 F/H The poem Themes: Parent-child relationships) Death of a child Guilt Loss Religion/Faith Key terms: Monologue Rhyming Couplets Enjambment & End- stopping Iambic pentameter Epitaph Extended metaphor Contrast/Paradox

5 F/H Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy; My sinne was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy Seven yeeres thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay, Exacted by thy fate, on the just day. O, could I loose all father, now. For why Will man lament the state he should envie? To have so soone scap'd worlds, and fleshes rage, And, if no other miserie, yet age? Rest in soft peace, and, ask'd, say here doth lye Ben. Jonson his best piece of poetrie. For whose sake, hence-forth, all his vowes be such, As what he loves may never like too much. What is the poet saying and to whom? Stresses the importance of the child Religious image: Jesus sits at the right hand of God. This emphasises not just the poets view of the son but also his religious nature The language used clearly shows his love for his son

6 F/H Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy; My sinne was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy Seven yeeres thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay, Exacted by thy fate, on the just day. O, could I loose all father, now. For why Will man lament the state he should envie? To have so soone scap'd worlds, and fleshes rage, And, if no other miserie, yet age? Rest in soft peace, and, ask'd, say here doth lye Ben. Jonson his best piece of poetrie. For whose sake, hence-forth, all his vowes be such, As what he loves may never like too much. What is the poets sin? Is he to blame for his sons death? fate used as an instrument of God, it cant be helped. just he sees it as fair, would you agree? The boys life is a loan from God which must be repaid. The extended metaphor is that all people belong to God. What does this tell us of the poet? The church had very strict rules in the 17th Century. Your relationship with your loved ones should have been seen as second to your relationship with God. Maybe Jonson feels that his relationship with God was not as it should have been and that as a result, God has taken his son away? FACT: Jonsons son was also called Benjamin and this Hebrew name means child of my right hand

7 F/H Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy; My sinne was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy Seven yeeres thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay, Exacted by thy fate, on the just day. O, could I loose all father, now. For why Will man lament the state he should envie? To have so soone scap'd worlds, and fleshes rage, And, if no other miserie, yet age? Rest in soft peace, and, ask'd, say here doth lye Ben. Jonson his best piece of poetrie. For whose sake, hence-forth, all his vowes be such, As what he loves may never like too much. father is lost or he wants to lose a father. Who could this father be? father could be God; is Jonson struggling with or questioning his faith? He has lost being a father with the death of his son Again, questioning the contrast he feels. He is upset but his faith tells him to be pleased that his son has returned to God and heaven

8 F/H Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy; My sinne was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy Seven yeeres thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay, Exacted by thy fate, on the just day. O, could I loose all father, now. For why Will man lament the state he should envie? To have so soone scap'd worlds, and fleshes rage, And, if no other miserie, yet age? Rest in soft peace, and, ask'd, say here doth lye Ben Jonson his best piece of poetrie. For whose sake, hence-forth, all his vowes be such, As what he loves may never like too much. His questioning/wondering continues, he should be pleased that his son has escaped the rage of the world and the flesh He imagines his son would have had a happy life with old age his only misery End-stopping with question marks stresses the confused, questioning nature in this section of the poem Jonson blames himself in the opening of the poem. Is he now trying to relieve his guilt and comfort himself with the notion of a better place for his son or is he genuinely questioning his faith? Could it be both?

9 F/H Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy; My sinne was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy Seven yeeres thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay, Exacted by thy fate, on the just day. O, could I loose all father, now. For why Will man lament the state he should envie? To have so soone scap'd worlds, and fleshes rage, And, if no other miserie, yet age? Rest in soft peace, and, ask'd, say here doth lye Ben Jonson his best piece of poetrie. For whose sake, hence-forth, all his vowes be such, As what he loves may never like too much. An epitaph for his son? Laying to rest his own grief and guilt? He links his son to his poetry. His two creations The greatest of which is his son His best piece of poetry Could this be praise of God for a wonderful creation?

10 F/H Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy; My sinne was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy Seven yeeres thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay, Exacted by thy fate, on the just day. O, could I loose all father, now. For why Will man lament the state he should envie? To have so soone scap'd worlds, and fleshes rage, And, if no other miserie, yet age? Rest in soft peace, and, ask'd, say here doth lye Ben Jonson his best piece of poetrie. For whose sake, hence-forth, all his vowes be such, As what he loves may never like too much. Links back to the poets earlier admission of sin, he promises not to make the same mistake again. Could this be a plea for another chance or a warning to others or a guard against being hurt again? For his sons or Gods sake? Vows are traditionally promises to God

11 F/H Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy; My sinne was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy Seven yeeres thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay, Exacted by thy fate, on the just day. O, could I loose all father, now. For why Will man lament the state he should envie? To have so soone scap'd worlds, and fleshes rage, And, if no other miserie, yet age? Rest in soft peace, and, ask'd, say here doth lye Ben Jonson his best piece of poetrie. For whose sake, hence-forth, all his vowes be such, As what he loves may never like too much. Written as a monologue, suggesting inner thoughts and personal reflection or possibly prayer Written in iambic pentameter, the most popular metre of the time. Does it lend a conversational or informal tone? Is this a prayer to God?Is this a conversation with his son? What evidence can you find to support either view? Enjambment gives this a grief-stricken, rambling feel Could this poem be said to be as much about Jonsons father/son relationship with God as with his own son?

12 F/H Comparisons Song of the old mother First person monologue OMFS uses the poets voice whereas Song is fictional Youth and age/parent child Both lament lost youth Song could be seen as bitter towards youth whereas OMFS idolises the youth that will never grow Mid-term Break Father-son relationships Grief and loss of a relative Different reactions to grief Can you add any more possible comparisons? Can you think of any other poems to use?

13 F/H Review What do you do when sad things happen? Do we reach for some sort of faith or explanation Do we turn away from these? This poem is written from the viewpoint of the father. You will all be someone's child but wont have your own children yet. Does this affect the way you read the poem? Do you see it from the poet's point of view, or identify with the child who has died?


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