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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

One of major differences between Jonson and Shakespeare was in what we might call their method and style. Shakespeare was incredibly creative, playful, and poetic. It's rumored that he never crosse...

Speaker

This, Shmoopers, is one of the few occasions where we feel comfortable saying that the speaker of this poem is Ben Jonson, the author. Your English teachers have cautioned you against making this a...

Setting

"To the Memory of My Beloved" is pretty inextricably intertwined with the historical time period in which it was written. In case you're curious, that would be England in the early 1620s. But there...

Sound Check

Rhythmically, this poem is pretty close to flawless. Just look at how PERFECT these feet are:To whom all Scenes of Europe homage owe.He was not of an age, but for all time !Jonson's a pretty faithf...

What's Up With the Title?

The title seems pretty straightforward, right? "To the Memory of my Beloved, the Author, Master William Shakespeare, and What He Hath Left Us." Sounds like it's just there to make sure readers know...

Calling Card

Ooooh, Shmoop used a fancy word. Given the context, however, it seems appropriate. We just couldn't resist.Erudition is a word a lot of people probably don't know, which is a wee bit ironic because...

Tough-o-Meter

Folks, picking where this poem falls on the tough-o-meter was, well, tough. Jonson's diction can be extremely tricky, and really getting the most out of this poem requires a decent bit of backgroun...

Trivia

Ben Jonson was actually questioned relating to the famous Gunpowder Plot of 1606. Remember, remember the fifth of November, indeed. (Source.)William Shakespeare was actually cast in one of Jonson's...

Steaminess Rating

There's a lot going on in this poem to be sure, but sex doesn't really take a leading role. In fact, it doesn't have a role at all. We mean, it is an elegy after all.

Allusions

William ShakespeareGeoffrey 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 d...
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