Writer, Critic, Actor

By Tim Galamaga


Jonson was born in June of 1572 in Westminster, London. Johnson spent most all of his life in or around London, and attended classes at The Westminster School, considered to be one of the most elite schools in the world even to this day. He was later accepted to Cambridge University, but turned it down after being forced into an apprenticeship with his stepfather, a bricklayer. After spending a few years in the military following his apprenticeship, Johnson decided to start acting and writing both plays and poetry. These works include Volpone, The Alchemist, The Devil is an Ass, and Every Man in His Humour. His artistic and literary endevours were supported by royals such as Elizabeth Sidney, who were more than happy to provide Jonson with finances in exchange for private screenings of his work.


Ben Jonson's poem The Hourglass.

O but consider this small dust, here running in the glass ,By atoms moved.Could you believe that this the body was Of one that loved? And in his mistress' flame playing like a fly, Turned to cinders by her eye? Yes, and in death as life unblest, To have't expressed, Even ashes of lovers find no rest.

It is unclear when the poem was actually written, but it can still be found in many poetry collections and online databases. It is not necessarily a famous poem, but is indeed an interesting piece of artwork created by an interesting man. There is not much significance regarding the work itself, rather than the underlying tones conveyed by it that represent Jonson. I postulate that the description of a dead lover and the sadness that goes along with that represents a past love that Jonson had, possibly during his marriage. Jonson was very unhappy in his marriage and did not particularly like his wife. I think the love described in the poem still holds the key to his heart, and that he perhaps won't find love again, which is why he is so unhappy.


Fierce Rivalry With William Shakespeare

Jonson always was and still is living in Shakespeare's shadow. The two were rivals ever since the start of Jonson's career.

Works Cited

Jonson, Ben. "The Hourglass - Poem by Ben Jonson." Famous Poets and Poems - Read and Enjoy Poetry. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.

Gangster Shakespeare. Digital image. Twitter. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. <>.

Big Willy. Digital image. All Poster Images. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2015. <>.

Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2015. <>.

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