Ben Jonson wrote "An Ode to Himself" after a play was badly received.  What else does he want to convey? What are images in the poem, and what is its deeper meaning?

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The conclusion Jonson comes to in this poem is that although he has been buffeted terribly by the poor reaction to his most recent dramatic work, he is not a poor writer and must not allow himself to wallow in "sloth" because of poor reviews given by the "wolf" and the "dull ass" —his critics and audiences. The imagery he uses characterizes these people as animals, suggesting that they are incapable of properly appreciating Jonson's art. He describes the stage as a "strumpet": a prostitute, something that is fickle and cheap and unworthy of his artistry. Jonson's determination towards the end of the poem is that he will, instead of writing more dramas for people who will not understand them, "sing high and aloof," knowing that his works go above these people's heads.

Jonson uses classical imagery to depict himself as a bard or poet of the ancient world who uses a "lyre" to accompany him as he sings. He alludes to the Roman god Jove, suggesting that he himself is part of Jove's line and...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1096 words.)

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