Ben Jonson is overshadowed as a dramatist by Shakespeare, his great contemporary. As a poet, however, he stands high. His polished urbanity, direct expression and classicism have been especially valued in modern times. T.S. Eliot says Jonson incorporated his erudition into his sensibility , creatively assimilating Horace, Martial and Juvenal into his poetry and hence into English literature. Richard Dutton's introduction illuminates the structure and context of Jonson's Epigrams and The Forest . Dutton shows them to be carefully structured poem sequences that display Jonson's command of poetic forms and involve the reader in evaluating a range of shifting perspectives. Jonson's recurrent theme, the nature of truth and virtue, is as pertinent to day as it was in his own time.