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Ben Jonson's On My First Sonne Essay

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Ben Jonson's On My First Sonne


Ben Jonson writes On My First Sonne from a father’s point of view
grieving over the death of his very young son. The title alone
suggests which time period this poem is from i.e. it is from the 17th
century (1603)- when the poet’s son Benjamin died- through the use of
language of the time. This poem has been written in memory of a seven
year old child whose death has dealt a great blow to a father.
Throughout the poem, the use of religious comparisons and words
creates a vivid picture of the thoughts running in the mind of Ben
Jonson and we know almost exactly what he feels.

The inter-relation of father and son in this piece of poetry leads us
back to the beginning of the poem. The son, sitting on the right hand
of his father, would remind a Christian reader of the Creed, in which
the Son 'sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From
thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.' What others
would interpret from the line-“Farewell, thou child of my right hand,
and joy;” is that a father is bidding farewell to his most loved one
and his heir.

Again in line 2, when the poet says “My sinne was too much hope of
thee, lov’d boy”, the poem suggests that Ben had taken his son much
for granted as if now he possessed him and so loved him too much. It
is ironical as he is comparing the love towards his son as a sin. As
mentioned, he now considered that, love, his “sin” which has a deep
meaning from a religious point of view. A sin, in the eye of GOD is a
bad deed but in this case means a mistake or an error. The language
used, hence in relation with religion, exclaims Ben Jonson’s sorrow
and love for the child; despite the fact that he is in a way happy
...


... middle of paper ...


...es of the poem.

Contrastingly, in Refugee Mother and Child, the mother still showed
her love and affection towards the child in the last few days. She
cannot let go as easily. Most mothers would in this situation have
lost hope and would have “ceased / to care…” but not her. She would
‘fight’ this sorrow till the end.

Both poems hence clearly depict the true feelings about the death of a
child. We get the perspective from two points of view in either case
i.e. from a mother’s and a father’s point of view and the feeling
before and after the death of a child. The language used is very
specific and has been used in the most appropriate contexts. Sorrow
and remorse are the main themes of both poems along with death of a
child, yet there is another shadow of a theme i.e. the ‘sin’ of loving
the child so much which causes almost endless grief in the end.


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