Thesis paragraph for Essay #2

I couldn’t remember if I had to post the original and the revised or just the revised, so here goes both–

Original:

In “The Tyger,” the speaker, who is Blake himself, is observing the creature very closely.  On the outset, it seems that his observations are merely quizzical; he wonders where the tiger came from, and how such a sinister creature could be created.  However, through close analysis of Blake’s form, the reader learns that the speaker’s commentary goes much deeper, to the concept of creation of the entire universe.  Using the tiger as an extended conceit, the poem calls into question whether God himself brought about evil and violence during creation.   A network of anatomical imagery in the poem helps to carry out that conceit.  Furthermore, the ballad form and rhyme scheme help to carry out the quizzical, mysterious element of questioning creation.  The accompanying illustration carries the conceit out further, merely by the way the tiger is drawn, and its surrounding environment.  The illustration, at first, seems simple: just a tiger in front of a tree.  However, in the context of the poem, it delivers a much deeper meaning, questioning where the tiger and the tree came from in the first place.  Blake sets the stage to ask a huge, overarching question with his poem: what really is the original source of good and evil in the world, Satan, or perhaps God himself?  In this poem, Blake uses the tiger to analyze and question the validity of the story of creation the world has become so familiar with.

Revised:

In “The Tyger,” the speaker, who is Blake himself, is observing the creature very closely.  On the outset, it seems that his observations are merely quizzical; he wonders where the tiger came from, and how such a sinister creature could be created.  However, through close analysis of Blake’s form, the reader learns that the speaker’s commentary goes much deeper, to the concept of creation of the entire universe.  Using the tiger as an extended conceit, the poem calls into question whether God himself brought about evil and violence during creation.  A network of anatomical imagery in the poem helps to carry out that conceit. In using anatomy, Blake takes into account what makes up the body, and whether or not the tiger is the same as every other one of God’s creations.  Furthermore, the ballad form and rhyme scheme help to carry out the quizzical, mysterious element of questioning creation.  They help to make the poem more like a riddle.  In this case, it is the riddle of creation.  The accompanying illustration carries the conceit out further, merely by the way the tiger is drawn, and it’s surrounding environment.  The illustration, at first, seems simple: just a tiger in front of a tree.  However, in the context of the poem, it delivers a much deeper meaning, questioning where the tiger and the tree came from in the first place.  Blake sets the stage to ask a huge, overarching question with his poem: what really is the original source of good and evil in the world, Satan, or perhaps God himself?  In his poem, Blake uses the tiger to analyze and question the validity of the story of creation the world has become so familiar with.

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Rewritten first paragraph of essay #1

In 1595, the time in which Edmund Spencer wrote his Amoretti, poetry was an incredibly important art form.  People looked upon poets and their works with respect, and the ability to create excellent works of poetry was even a requirement for Elizabethan courtiers.  It is no surprise, therefore, that a poet may attempt to capitalize on that importance in a specific work.  Edmund Spenser does just this.  At first glance, Amoretti 75 is a love story just like seemingly any other sonnet that has ever been written, in which the speaker wishes to find a way to tell his love that he will always love her.  However, Spenser’s sonnet take this to another level.  Spenser shows that poets are not subject to time and mortality specifically.  Their work will always live on, and therefore they, as the crafters of the poetry, will also.  The imagery, turn, and Spenser’s use of poetic liberties makes it so that we learn so much more than just the lengths the speaker will go to to ensure that his lady will always know that he loves her.  Each brings to the reader’s attention a sort of double meaning, in which we also learn that poets believes that they do not have to answer to all known universal bounds.  Edmund Spenser attempts to defy time and mortality in his Amoretti 75, and in doing so displays the assumed inherit power of the poet to defy to usual constraints of time and space.

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Meter and Syntax

Satan’s soliloquy employs enjambment in lines 93-108.  In this part of his speech, Satan is having an internal debate with himself on what it would mean for his life if he were to ask God for his forgiveness for all of the sins he has committed.  He could do this, it is true, but would it be an accurate depiction of Satan?  Even if he were to ask and receive forgiveness and return to Heaven, it would be hard for him to give God the proper praise and respect because Satan himself knows what it is to rule over a kingdom.  In his case, it is Hell.  Satan IS hell. “Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell” (75).  It is easier on Satan if he continues with the way things are.  The enjambment here helps enforce the meaning of this section of the poem because the run-on nature of the sentence structure seems to symbolize Satan’s thoughts.  He is having an internal battle between what is good and should be expected and what he feels is right for himself.   These thoughts jumble in his head, and so too do the sentences.  Because they are one big run on sentence, they are a jumble, like thoughts bouncing around in a head.  They are a perfect symbolism of Satan and the decision he needs to make.

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Sonnet Form and Meaning.

For my blog entry this week, I chose Keat’s “When I Have Fears.”  In this sonnet, the speaker is expressing his fears of an unfulfilled life.  He has much that he wants to do before he dies, and sometimes the fears of not carrying these goals out catch up with him.  In particular, he pays attention to the needs for fame and love, a common theme in sonnets such as this one.

In the first quatrain, he states: “When I have fears that I may cease to be/Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain,/Before high-piled books, in charact’ry,/Hold like rich garners the full-ripened grain;” (1-4).  Here, he expresses his need for fame.  He wants his poetry to convey all of the many ideas he has in his head, fill books, and bring him great notoriety before he dies.  The “full-ripened grain” (4) here is his brain.  He wants to immortalize himself and his thoughts in his poetry, and, by so doing, be remembered and famous.

In the second quatrain, he states: “When I behold, upon the night’s starred face,/Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,/And think that I may never live to trace/Their shadows with the magic hand of chance;” (5-8).  Here, he expresses his longing for a romance.  He looks at the stars, “huge cloudy symbols of a high romance” (5), and fears that he will never have the chance to feel their power over him.  He wants to love, and be loved in return, or his life is nothing.

Finally, in the third quatrain, he states: “And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,/That I shall never look upon thee more,/Never have relish in the faery power/Of unreflecting love!” (9-12).  Here, he reflects upon a specific woman he loves, and his fear of being separated from her in death before even getting to experience the goodness of her love in life.  He feels that experiencing these things (love and fame) will change his empty life into a meaningful and fulfilled one.

For this sonnet, the turn occurs in the middle of line 12: “-then on the shore/Of the wide world I stand alone, and think/Til Love and Fame to nothingness do sink” (12-14).  He brings about a solution to alleviate his fears.  He seems to advise himself to stand back and take in the world around him until these needs for love and fame leave him.  He needs to remind himself that there are things bigger and more important than his seemingly petty wants and needs.  Once he realizes this, his fears leave him.  As long as he is able to bring himself back into check, he is alright.  He seems to go against the conventions of poets of the time in NOT glorifying love and fame in the same way. Other poets write of how important it is to obtain these things, while Keats acknowledges that there are things bigger and more splendid than those selfish needs.

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Figurative Language in Donne’s “The Sun Rising”

In Donne’s poem “The Sun Rising,” the central conceit seems to be the treatment of the sun as a person.  This is effectively carried out in the first stanza.

Donne begins with “Busy old fool, unruly sun,/Why dost thou thus,/Through windows, and through curtains call on us?” (1-3).  Each morning, the sun rises, and it comes in through the bedroom windows and illuminates the room.  Here, in the case of the two lovers that Donne is speaking of, the sun is being treated as an unwanted guest, or an intruder even, that has interrupted their time together, and they don’t appreciate it.

He goes on to say “Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide/Late school boys and sour prentices,/Go tell court huntsman that the king will ride,/Call country ants to harvest offices;” (5-8).  He accuses the sun of being “pedantic,” which, according to the OED, means “pedagogic, schoolmasterly, of or relating to teaching.”  In this accusation, he likens the sun to a schoolmaster, who would reprimand children for doing the wrong thing.  The speaker, however, wants this schoolmaster sun to go elsewhere to do his disciplining.  He doesn’t feel that this intrusion of the lovers is necessary and wants it to stop immediately.

To end the stanza, Donne says “Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,/Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.” (9-10).  In this last line, the speaker asserts himself, or even the love that he is sharing with his lover at that moment in time, as more powerful than this “sun” person that has interrupted them.  Their love cannot be stopped by the intrusion, and will stop for nothing.  Because of this, the lovers have the authority and force the “person” out of their presence.

The surprising thing about this conceit is that Donne take something so powerful as the sun, puts it onto a human level, and turns it into something that a mere man can control.  He takes a lot of poetic license with this device.

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Imagery in William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 – February 6, 2011

In understanding this sonnet, I see it as a reference to the mindset that love is unchanging, no matter what the circumstances may be.  The speaker is sure of his observation and if he is perceived as wrong, then he feels no one truly understands love.  The two networks of imagery I have employed to understand this are change & measurement (which becomes agent of change) and human & life.

Shakespeare says:
“Love is not love/Which alters when it alteration finds,/Or bends with the                             remover to remove:” (3-5)
In using the words “alter,” “bends,” and “remove,” Shakespeare is showing ways of change.  He also shows that change invalidates any claim of love by saying that love is not love if it changes.  However, in the use of the word “ever-fixed” in Line 5, his is emphasizing his point that there really is no change.

Shakespeare also makes many references to elements of humanity and life.  Perhaps most important is his personification of the word love.  Shakespeare says:
“Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks/Within his bending sickle’s                   compass come:/Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks” (9-11)
This shows that love becomes a basic human instinct.  Shakespeare goes further in his link to humanity in the final couplet, in which he says:
“I never writ, nor no man ever loved.” (14)
He brings home the point that if his assessment of love is wrong, then no man (human) really knows what it is.

The two images converge here:
“Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks/Within his bending sickle’s                   compass come” (9-10)
Time is personified here, and time is a reflection of change.  Love, also personified, is not time’s fool, because love, as the speaker believes, does not change.

 

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