Introduction: What is the Difference Between Ben Jonson’s “On My First Son” & “Song to Celia?”
Ben Jonson was an English poet and playwright who lived from 1572-1637. His poems, unlike those of many other poets of the same time period, are written in iambic pentameter. They are full of sarcastic, humorous and satirical rudeness. He was very critical and he often criticized the church, government and other social institutions. His poems have been popular since they were first published in 1617. His famous works include: Every Man in his Humour, Bartholomew Fair, Volpone the Fox, The Alchemist and The Masque of Blackness.
Ben Jonson’s “The Masque Of Blackness” is written as a poem that is critical of the Catholic Church. There are two poems in this section, both of which involve Celia and her song. They are “Song to Celia” and “On My First Son.” In the first poem, it talks about the danger of the Catholic religion. The second poem examines how women were treated in those times. Both Celia in “Song to Celia” and Mary in “On My First Son” are very different characters, but they both have the same features that make them stand out.
The most striking difference between these two poems is the way each speaker presents his argument. Celia uses song and imagery to persuade her audience that men should be free from religion. In contrast, Mary’s speech is made up of angry words and things she has experienced. She believes that men should be government-bound. Mary says that she must take into account what the government and church say, but she does not accept their regulations.
The Influence of Social Structure on Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson’s works conveyed his criticism of social structure in his time. The society in which he lived and worked was a patriarchal society. The main concerns of the men were with matters of business, economy and politics. As men were the rulers, they thought it was their right to be their children’s masters. Parents controlled young people and they had the right to do so. Parents even had the power to take away their children. They believed that they were doing it for their children’s own welfare and self-interest, but they were too strict and severe with them to destroy their confidence and self-esteem. The girls, on the other hand, were subordinate to their parents and they had even less freedom than boys. Girls were expected to be obedient, gentle, modest and well-mannered women. They were supposed to direct their lives toward marriage and family. In general, life in the society was very strict and regulated as there were rules for everything. Although, the rules gave people orientation in their lives, but at the same time, they made people feel frustrated because they couldn’t do anything just as they wanted. The social structure had a strong influence on Ben Jonson because he was very much aware of the surroundings, so he reacted to them by his works.
Differences in Form & Style Between On My First Son and Song to Celia
Ben Jonson’s On My First Son is a satire that criticizes the social structure of his time. The title of the poem is a pun on the words “On My First Son” which means that it refers to someone’s first born son. It refers, however, to all babies from all men in society as they were all referred to as “my son.” In contrast, Song: To Celia was written at a different time and in a different place. It was written about Celia, who lived in London and was a famous singer. It was written by way of her own request because she wished to write some poems on her own. Unlike On My First Son, the title of Song: To Celia does not have any hidden meaning. It serves only to describe the style of writing. It is in rhyme, it has a strong meaning and message, and it follows a structure similar to that of On My First Son. Both of these poems are poems with the same message, but through different styles and techniques. These techniques include form (how the poem is structured), rhyme scheme (how the rhymes are organized), length, vocabulary, and tone (the tone within which it was written).
Comparison of Style in On My First Son as Compared with “Song To Celia”
The following are examples of differences in style, form and tone between On My First Son and Song: To Celia: 1. Word count:
–On My First Son: 929 words
–Song: To Celia: 6 lines of verse
2. Style and subject matter:
–On My First Son is narrative, “a narrative voice informed by a human experience”, while Song to Celia is lyric, with a direct line of vision behind it as opposed to the more distant one found in On My First Son.
–On My First Son largely deals with death and the effects of death on the living, while Song to Celia is about love.
–On My First Son is a poem, but Song to Celia is a song
–The form of On My First Son has structure and symmetry; Song to Celia has an irregular rhyming scheme 4. Tone:
–On My First Son is bereaved, Song to Celia is more light-hearted 5. Conclusion: