- Ben Jonson (Censorship (Ready Reference series))
- Ben Jonson (Critical Survey of Drama, Second Revised Edition)
- Ben Jonson (Critical Survey of Poetry: British, Irish, & Commonwealth Poets)
- Ben Jonson (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
- Ben Jonson (Dictionary of World Biography: The 17th and 18th Centuries)
At a glance:
- Author: Ben Jonson
- First Published: 1640
- Type of Poem: Meditation
- Genres: Poetry, Meditation, Cavalier poetry
- Subjects: Mythology or myths, Books, England or English people, War, Seventeenth century, Gods or goddesses, London, Fire, Greek or Roman times, Rome
This 216-line poem of heroic couplets was written on the occasion of a fire that destroyed Ben Jonson’s house and—most important—his books, in November of 1623. It derives its form from an attack on the Roman god Vulcan (Hephaestus in Greek myth), the god of fire and metalworking. A denigrated and crippled god, rejected by his mother, Juno, thrown from heaven by his father, Jupiter, Vulcan was married to, and cuckolded by, Venus, the goddess of love.
The poem starts with Jonson protesting his innocence. He has never ridiculed Vulcan or courted his wife. It...
(The entire page is 1416 words.)
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