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To the Memory of My Beloved

To the Memory of My Beloved

by Ben Jonson

Analysis: Allusions

When poets refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary and Philosophical References

  • William Shakespeare
  • Geoffrey Chaucer, author of The Canterbury Tales and famous British writer (20)
  • Edmund Spenser, author of The Faerie Queen and famous British writer (20)
  • Beaumont, famous British dramatist and poet (20)
  • John Lyly, famous British dramatist, poet, and playwright; author of Euphues, The Anatomy of Wit and Euphues and His England (29)
  • Thomas Kyd, famous British playwright; author of The Spanish Tragedy (30)
  • Christopher Marlowe, famous British poet and playwright; author of Doctor Faustus and The Jew of Malta (30)
  • Aeschylus, ancient Greek tragedian and author of Prometheus Bound (33)
  • Euripides, ancient Greek tragedian (34)
  • Sophocles, ancient Greek tragedian and author of Antigone and Oedipus the King (34)
  • Pacuvius, tragic poet from ancient Rome (35)
  • Accius, Latin poet to whom Aesop's Fables are attributed (35)
  • Seneca the Young ("him of Cordova dead"), Roman philosopher and playwright (35)
  • Aristophanes, comic playwright from ancient Athens commonly known as "The Father of Comedy" (51)
  • Terence, ancient Roman playwright (52)
  • Plautus, ancient Roman playwright (52)

Historical References

  • Poet's Corner, a famous area of Westminster Abbey where great authors are traditionally buried or memorialized (19-22)
  • Eliza, reference to Queen Elizabeth I, Queen of England and fan of Shakespeare's plays (74)
  • James, reference to King James of England, the present King of England when Jonson was writing (74)
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