Analysing An Essay On Criticism Poem English Literature Essay.
In "Sonnet 46" of his works about the blond young man, William Shakespeare presents a unique view on the classic debate about physical lust versus emotional love. The poet struggles to decide if his feelings are based upon superficial desire and infatuation, represented by the "eye" (1), or true love independent of the physical world, symbolized by the "heart" (1). With a deft movement from violent imagery in the first two lines to the civilized language of law, Shakespeare dismisses the commonly accepted view of a battle between the eye and the heart. The diction of warfare denotes two very separate alien sides clashing in destructive confrontation. Shakespeare advances quickly away from such wording, setting his debate in the civilized context of a courtroom. While the parties engaged in a lawsuit are competing, they are not seeking the destruction of their opposition. A common bond exists between the two sides of a legal case, the bond of society. They are parts of the same whole, or they would not be bound by the laws of that whole. The same holds for the eye and the heart, as well as their metaphysical counterparts, lust and spiritual bonding. The eye and the heart are but organs that make up the body. Physical desire and emotional attraction are just aspects of the overlying concept of love. This is Shakespeare's final point: both physicality and emotional attachment combine to form the powerful force humans know as love.
The opening quatrain of "Sonnet 46" sets up the conflict of infatuation versus true love, acknowledging the classic view of a battle between opposing forces, but swiftly moving beyond such a black and white portrayal of the issue. The first line of the poem seems to say that Shakespeare, like many others, sees infatuation and spiritual attraction as hostile, warring parties. He even chooses to modify "war" (1) with the word "mortal" (1), signifying a conflict to the death with no possibility for reconciliation or pacification. But in the next line he contradicts himself. Though the poet continues to utilize martial imagery such as "conquest" (2), his choice of verbs subtly changes the meaning. "[D]ivide" (2) suggests that both parties in the conflict will receive some portion of the prize, an unlikely occurrence if the eye and heart are truly in "mortal war" (1). Shakespeare underscores this change in direction by substituting a trochee for the standard iamb as the initial foot of the line. Already, the poet is shifting focus away from the idea of warfare and onto the image of a courtroom.
The second quatrain completes that movement and establishes equality between the two sides. Words of violence are conspicuously absent from this point on in the poem, replaced by legal vocabulary, such as "plead" (5), "deny" (7), and "lies" (8). No longer bitter enemies, the eye and the heart become the plaintiff and the "defendant" (7) in a civil dispute over the possession of Shakespeare's love. The diction in this section of the poem also serves to contradict the traditional negative connotations of infatuation. Physical attraction is often portrayed as course or unclean, but Shakespeare disagrees. He describes eyes, the tangible representation of lust, as "crystal" (6), an adjective that implies colorless beauty and perfect purity. Crystals are used in folklore to divine the future, to perceive the truth, and, by using this word to modify eyes, Shakespeare implies that physical attraction stands on equal footing with true love. The meter echoes this equality. Lines 5-6, and 7-8, which present the arguments of the heart and eye respectively, are identical sets of rhymed, un-variated iambic pentameter, separated only by an initial trochee in line 7 which underscores the clear distinction between the heart's contention and that of the eye.
The third quatrain builds suspense, as the poet's internal trial nears conclusion. Having established equality between lust and true love, Shakespeare moves on to introduce the fulcrum that adjudicates the balance between the two--the mind. Continuing with his legal imagery, the poet builds a "quest of thoughts" (10) to try the case and "determine [. . .]" (11) the "verdict" (11). He throws in a curious twist, informing his readers that the members of the jury are all "tenants to the heart" (10). In doing so, Shakespeare once again calls to mind the classic view of the heart's pure love versus the tainted infatuation of the eye. Despite the apparent bias of the mind toward the heart, the poet does not now share that bias. He once again describes the eyes with diction of purity and cleanliness, naming them "clear" (12). The conflict between eye and heart is manifesting itself in the conflicting message of the third quatrain. Leading his readers into the terminal couplet, the author builds tension by utilizing alternating spondaic and pyrrhic feet in line 12. This produces an effect of slowness followed by celerity, almost like a human consumed by indecision, reaching a solution and then falling back into doubt.
Such a build-up leads readers to expect a dramatic conclusion, a declaration of victory in favor of either true love or infatuation; but Shakespeare provides only a simple, anti-climactic division between the two. The couplet seems to blend in with the rest of the poem, having almost no metrical variation and a recycled rhyme scheme. Usually the final couplet of a Shakespearean sonnet presents an ironic turning point, and therefore often begins with an initial trochee in line 13 to sign-post that reversal. This couplet is different. Because Shakespeare is proving that physicality and emotional attachment are simply parts of the same whole, he strives not for reversal in the couplet, but for harmony. Therefore, he begins line 13 with an iambic foot, "As thus" (13), allowing the third quatrain to flow directly into couplet. The poet also repeats the rhyme of "part" (13) and "heart" (14) from lines 12 and 10 of the third quatrain, tying the couplet even closer to the body of the poem. Shakespeare presents a common sense solution to the problem, declaring the entire conflict to be almost irrelevant. Lust is based on external aesthetic appeal, so the poet bestows the "outward part" (13) of the poem's young object upon the eye. True love draws its strength from an internal bonding of spirits, and therefore Shakespeare deeds the "inward love" (14) to the heart. And these two halves together form love.
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The tragic loss and helplessness also exemplified through a removed and nostalgic . When reading the poem, feels distant and detached. A caesura, or a natural pause, is created by the gap between the two stanzas. This mid-sentence pause almost as if the home is sighing in pain or suffering. When read aloud, it sounds as if the home is talking, and stops mid-sentence to reminisce about the times when it still had its family. The home , it does not have the courage and ability to forget about its loss and become only a building, a structure, a house, " and turn again to what it started as . . ."(5-6). The home cannot bear to face the fact that it no longer has the means to stay alive, stay a home. It does not want to accept the fact that it no longer has its family. The lines describing this denial are broken up between two stanzas. Something as simple as the white space dividing the beginning and end of the sentence creates hesitation, the same hesitation the home feels about accepting its loss. Also, all of the words in the poem are very monotonous and simple. Larkin easily could have , but he uses words like "so sad", "stays"(1), and "you can see"(8), for a reason. establishes an empty and lacking tone, which is similar to how the home is portrayed to feel. Similarly, simple and short lines, consisting of sentences broken up often by commas also work together to create this reflective and distant tone. These words also suggest more about the character of the home. The simple shows that the home is genuine rather than pompous or selfish. If, perhaps, the home were more concerned about itself rather than its inhabitants, we would see more of a lavish extravagant tone, instead of one that is plain and distant. The detachment also helps with the speaker's apparent view that the distance between what one originally plans and what one ends up achieving can be greater than expected. The family came into this house, and the house welcomed the family with a "joyous shot at how things ought to be"(6). Unfortunately, those joyous shots do not materialize and the home is left mourning their evaporation. The detached tone of the poem illustrates how the home becomes more and more hopeless with the passing of time by wishing for a shot at hope that has "[l]ong fallen wide". Furthermore, the deterioration of the home's hope can also be seen in the deterioration of the structure and syntax of the last stanza.
On the surface, a "house" and a "home" are interchangeable words. They both describe a place where someone lives, but with a deeper analysis, we find that a house is simply the structure or the building. An actual home is much more complex. It is filled with objects and memories, which grow and change along with its residents. Home is a place we come back to after a long day's work, the place where we go to seek shelter and . When the world is changing outside, home remains constant, molded to the people who live and breathe inside. It is "home, sweet home". This popular cliché sheds a warm and comforting light on a home, giving it personality and feeling, the main factors that distinguish it from a house. However, in Philip Larkin's poem "Home Is So Sad", the a home with a personality different from the "sweet" stereotype, portraying it as a place of loneliness and longing after its inhabitants have long deserted their dwellings. No longer is home thought of as sweet or warm. Ironically, even without its family, the house still remains a home, which is yearning and waiting for its family to . The speaker personifies the house and its objects, using a melancholy and detached tone, to illustrate the breaking down of universal hope and the emptiness that results when a home is abandoned by its family.
Exemplar Poetry Essay - Analysing An Unseen Poem - …
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