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To the Memory of My Beloved

To the Memory of My Beloved

by Ben Jonson

To the Memory of My Beloved Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Could you make a case that the speaker in this poem is anyone else other than Ben Jonson? How? Or is it totally impossible?
  2. Is this poem more about professional jealousy or professional admiration? How can you tell?
  3. Who is Jonson speaking to in the poem? Does this influence your interpretation of the work?
  4. Jonson writes that Shakespeare will never die as long as his works are still read, but does the poem imply that this is true for all authors? Why or why not?
  5. Do you agree with Jonson's statement that Shakespeare "was not of an age, but for all time?" How might you argue against that claim? Does the poem provide any support for the counter-argument?
  6. Books may have served to immortalize their authors during Shakespeare and Jonson's time, but is the same still true today?
  7. Could a similar thing be said of e-books? The Internet?
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