On My First Son explication essay

On My First Son explication essay - Rosenberg 1 Claire...

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Claire Rosenberg Mr. Winland Brit Lit/Creative Writing 11 April 2011 Explication of Ben Jonson’s “On My First Son” Composed at the dawn of the seventeenth century, “On My First Son” is a father’s brief, yet heartfelt response to the death of his treasured son. The author, Ben Jonson, was absent from the family’s London home when his only son and namesake died of the plague. While on one hand praising his son’s release from painful human life, Jonson battles too with depression over the loss he himself has suffered. This tension is explored throughout the poem as Jonson plays with various reasons attempting to understand why his son’s death occurred. Through the use of hyperbole, biblical allusion, and imagery, Jonson conveys his struggle between natural human emotion and a desire to rationalize death and the grief that follows when dealing with the loss of his son. The author uses hyperbole to show others his strong desire for a rational explanation of his son’s death. By comparing his son to a loan given to him by God, Jonson is able to logically justify God revoking the loan as a consequence of Jonson violating the loans terms, per say. This fatal violation was Jonson’s deep love and reverence for his son, which over time developed into a godly worship for the boy. In the “seven years [the son] wert lent to [Jonson]” (3), fatherly love became too much, and subsequently crossed over into blasphemy as God’s place was diminished in his heart. Jonson indicates throughout the elegy that one can in fact love another person too much, and that a line must be drawn separating earthly affection from divine worship. Jonson
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This note was uploaded on 10/05/2011 for the course ENGL 101 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '10 term at Georgia Perimeter.

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On My First Son explication essay - Rosenberg 1 Claire...

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