Thursday, June 6, 2019
Poetry Analysis- A Litany In The Time Of Plague Essay Example for Free
Poetry Analysis- A Litany In The Time Of Plague EssayContextNashe is most famous as a pamphleteer. an odd course that now would see him working for some Chinese restaurant or another. In Elizabethan times a pamphleteer was a human activity more self-aggrandising as pamphlets were one of the most effective looks to spread ideas or news across the country. Nashes pamphlets were app arntly pretty controversial in pedestal and his poetry alike caused a bit of a stir, see if you can work out whyAnd make me happie, stealing by degrees. First redundant hir legs, then creepe up to her knees Unhappyie me, quoth she, and wilt not stand? Com, let me rubb and chafe it with my handDo you re eachy need to know this? No, hardly has it do you grimace? No? Well, on with the relevant stuff thenSo, weve established he was a naughty boy and in no way deserving of salvation, now lets talk about the Black Death. It was a plague that swept around Europe for hundreds of years and is estimate d to get under ones skin killed 200 million people. At the time people were particularly put out by it because they had no idea what was causing it and thither was seemingly no cure and people from all reaches of life were effected equally Queen Elizabeth I was really scared of the plague and devised various quarantine measures to protect herself.You can imagine how an unexplained mordant disease killing everyone around you would make you a curt terrified for your own life, feeling like the sword of Damocles is hanging over you head and qualification you seriously contemplate what happens next.ThemesThe big one here is obviously mortality, but it closely associated with salvations and therefore religious faith could be considered here too.ContentRight, its six stanzas and itll take forever to do if I go through in too much detail so youre going to have to be satisfied with an overview.Lets start with the title. The word litany is now quite commonly used, but at the time was deri ved from and focused on a service in a church. We can take a litany to be a series of prayers or the livelong service, which aims to convey a message to a congregation listening to the priest or preacher delivering it.The first stanza gives us an overview of whats on Nashes mind hes a bit fixated on what he sees as the certainty of his approaching death. He mentions how much fun and joy there is in the world, but sees them as being overshadowed and made to seem inconsequential by the shadow of death (Death proves them our joys all but toys) and our mortality. He tells us that none from his darts can fly indicating the inevitableness of death we all know well die, but he seems to be implying that none can effluence from death from the plague as he says I am sick, I must die as one inevitably leads to the other.The following four stanzas effectively say the same thing no one is impregnable from the plague and nothing will protect you. He starts off by addressing the wealthy and as sures them Gold cannot buy your health. Hes a little bit wrong here as wealth probably would ensure a bit of distance from the plague and the wealthy wouldnt live in the crowded, filthy and rat infested confines of the cities, so would probably be less likely. However, this is besides the point, hes telling them their money wont living them safe.Stanza 3 next addresses the beautiful and warns them that wrinkles will devour them and their looks and that so far beautiful Queens have died young. He uses a classical allusion in Helen (the face that launched a thousand ships because she was so pretty the Greeks went to rescue her from her Trojan captors) as well to convey the idea of beauties dying young and thus telling the young that even they are not safe from the plague.Strength and intelligence (wit) are the next two subjects. Even the most powerful will eventually flux for the worms, or rotting in the grave, once again demonstrated with a classical allusion, this time to Hector (the Trojan hero). The intelligent are unable to argue their way out of their fate as Hells executioner, or the plague, has no ears for them to appeal to.So basically hes saying that everyone is screwed and there is nothing you can do to avoid the plague. That should give you an impression of people felt at the time this plague was almost like a distinction of judgement day as they didnt know what caused it, it punished everyone equally and it a particularly unpleasant way to die.But hang on there is one way we can be saved unfortunately it still requires us to die. Our only salvation is in heaven and Nashe is telling us to embracing our death, but make sure we have lived our lives in a way that will mean we can mount unto the sky and head off to heaven. pleasant HmmLanguage and techniquesHundreds of things to talk about, so dont feel confined to the few examples Ive chosen to zoom in on.First of all Id analyse the language used to describe the plague. We are told that none can operate its darts making our death seem like a certainty it travels full swift by as if it is an unstoppable wind and once were sick, we die confirming that once affected there is no hope. These associations suggest that humanity has no chance of survival against this mysterious and unexplained disease.Then we have the really disturbing imagery about how people die. in that location is certainly no glory in death as we might believe as wrinkles devour beauty or consumed and distort it, while the watertight are reduced to patheticweaknesses as worms feed upon their flesh with them unable to fight back. These images both have a literal association with the plague as huge blisters often formed on victims making them quite repulsive, while victims were reduced to extremely frail conditions thanks to fever and sickness (also suggested by the circumstance the strong stoop to the grave, almost unable to stand). However, these images are meant to shock us and make us scared of the diseas e and for our mortality.Id also mention how fatalistic the poet is. The plague did not effect everyone and yet we have an almost apocalyptic expression of the certainty of death that recurs throughout the poem again and again and again. Each stanza repeats the final two lines that link sickness absolutely with death and then beg for divine mercy, but we also get a unique element of the certainty of demise in each stanza 1st None from his darts can fly no one can escape from death/the plague. 2nd All things to end are made everything dies 3rd wrinkles will devour no uncertainty about decay. 4th Swords may not fight with fate you cannot fight fate, death is inevitable. 5th the first two lines less convincing here intelligence certain to be overcome by the bitterness of death.Then youve got that last stanza and the last line of each stanza. Lord, have mercy on us is a desperate plea to a higher(prenominal) power to make things better the next place they go, a plea for salvati on and against being damned to hell. The whole of this stanza seems to indicate the importance of faith as were told To welcome destiny presumably by being morally good to please the lord, and that earth is just a players order meaning that it is sort of a rehearsal or an audition for the real deal of life in either heaven our heritage or hell. twistWell, the first thing to say is that this is a litany. It is set out as a prayer and deliberately sounds like one of those religious fables telling us how to live our lives ultimately with God and faith at the centre.We get the opening stanza setting the scene for the devastating impact of theplague as if it is actually destroying the whole world, as if it is beckoning judgement day. The middle stanzas show us things that people rely on while on earth, but proves how useless these things are against death/the plague. Finally, we are given the message about how we can defeat this certain death by dying as good Christians and going to he aven.Ive already mentioned it above, but you could also discuss why the last two lines repeat in each stanza. Yes, it makes it like a prayer, but also it emphasises the certainty of death and the poet cannot escape this preoccupation with the end being nighTonePretty sombre as at every turn this guy wants to remind us and himself that he is certain to die and in a pretty gruesome and debilitating way. However, there is also an element on preaching here as he is trying to tell us what we have to do be good and die horrible, but live on in heaven.