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