Comparative Ideas Within

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Comparative Ideas within "To Penshurst"

Literary comparisons and descriptions of ideas, people, places,objects, and circumstances in a beautifully written fashion is not an unordinary occurrence, especially among 17th Century poets. Ben Johnson's "To Penshurst" provides more than ample evidence of this very thought. In his poem to the estate of Robert Sidney, the younger brother of Sir Philip Sidney, Johnson clearly praises the Sidneys by expressing a certain adoration concerning many aspects of the estate and its inhabitants. Johnson notes, and admires, the generosity and kindness provided by the hosts to their guests and servants. He also displays a comparative look at the natural and cultural atmospheres of Penshurst.

Johnson begins the poem by stating "Thou joy'st in better marks, of soil, of air,/Of wood, of water; therein thou art fair"(7-8). He quickly acknowledges that Penshurst is a place where the natural resources are richer than most and he further establishes a separation between rural and town life with "therein thou art fair." Johnson creates an image of a beautiful place within the mind of the reader using eloquently descriptive words and phrases such as "Then hath thy orchard fruit, thy garden flowers,/

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