Blog Topic #6

CREATIVE

Choose any one of the authors presented today and write them a letter explaining what is that you admire about their work.

Dear Ben Jonson,

How fascinating and amazing to read the celebration of your friend Shakespeare! I could feel the love you feel for him between the lines! I know that in 1619 you wrote “I loved the man and do honor his memory (this side idolatry) as much as any” proving your true admiration for him. While reading your work, I tried to understand why you had such a deep adoration towards him, and I thought maybe because you always recognised his superiority as a person and as a writer.

You are known worldwide today as the ‘man who knew Shakespeare’, someone who was so connected to him, rather than for what you did on your own. Simultaneously, a question rises in my mind: Were you envious of your rival? 

I have to admit that I can remember an infamous statement here where you say that Shakespeare had “small Latin, and less Greek.”. Ben, I think you were out of context here, in that your observation may seem condemnatory and you were not that able to hide your jealousy for him! I can read your “secret” envy for him!

Nonetheless, I really liked the way you personally addressed your friend in the first lines, before shifting and speaking directly to the English nation and the idea you transmitted that the country, personified by you as Britain, should “triumph” in Shakespeare, a genius “not of an age, but for all time!’. It was visible here how you rejected “silliest ignorance,” “blind affection,” and “crafty malice,” with the implication that your motives are pure, based on critical judgment. 

All in all, I think you did a great job, I would define your work as one of the finest poetic eulogies in the English language I’ve ever read!

I believe, after reading your work, that you admired Shakespeare immensely, despite some traces of envy in what you write and how you wrote. But there is nothing bad in it, or something you have to be ashamed of, it’s understandable how Shakespeare’s superiority and having him as a friend could’ve been frustrating at times-I would’ve reacted the same way as you did let me tell you! You did after all invent The first Dictionary of the English language so it’s safe to say that  you are not so much less than Shakespeare!

All the best 

Your friend,

Beatrice

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4 thoughts on “Blog Topic #6

  1. Hi Beatrice,

    I was drawn to your blog from a perspective of wanting to share the experience of Jonson’s love for Shakespeare.

    How well you express Jonson’s admiration for Shakespeare with the opening paragraph “I could feel the love you feel for him between the lines”, for that is exactly the impression one has upon reading Jonson’s “I loved the man and do honour his memory” (1619).

    I agree with the sentiment that Jonson is known worldwide as the “man who knew Shakespeare”, which is why I feel sad for Jonson when you ask him directly if he was envious of Shakespeare. It appears likely Jonson was envious of Shakespeare, but there is also a deep respect Jonson shows for him in this work.

    You have met the criteria of the set question well, expressing your own appreciation of both Shakespeare and Ben Jonson in the process. You have cleverly inserted relevant information on Ben Jonson, giving the reader insight into his work. This element gives your letter gravitas.

    I have little if anything critical to say about your work. There are one or two apostrophes you could have added (it’s), and at the end of paragraph 2, the word “where” should be changed to “were”. Also, as you sign off your letter as “Your friend Beatrice”, letter writing protocol would suggest you apply a less formal greeting at the start; Dear Ben Jonson” to simply “Dear Ben” would be fine. However, these minor issues do not detract from your work. It is a great letter, and I enjoyed reading it very much.

    Well done,

    Anne-Marie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beatrice,

    Your writing style has developed allot since the beginning of the semester, awesome work!! I really enjoyed reading your letter I can tell you put allot of hard work into it. The sentence structure is really good and there is a consistent syntax throughout the whole letter. This allows the ideas you are trying to convey come through smooth and clear.

    It was great how you kept going back to the text and drawing on quotes from it to back up what you were saying, as a pose to giving your opinion without giving the reasoning for it. I also liked your criticism of Jonsons apparent jealousy towards shakespeare. I thought it was great because it shows you are able to engage with the text on a deep level and form a well rounded opinion on what you think the author is saying.

    Great job 🙂

    -jesse

    Liked by 1 person

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