English Literature – Section 1.
Language choice is often considered to be an important feature in poetry.
Discuss the use and effect of language choice in this poem.
A) The poet gives a powerful image and effect by the use of pronouns throughout the poem, ‘thee’, ‘thine’ and ‘thy’; the use of Middle English adds romantic appeal and directness to the reader. ‘Sweet’ and ‘beloved’ are strong adjectives used by love poets creative a positive, dream-like atmosphere and the long vowel sounds slow the poem with a passionate tone. Contrasting the positive with negative adjectives like ‘cold’ and ‘white’ in the last stanza emphasises the desperation for love. Use of tripling as well as strong verbs like ‘die’, ‘faint’ and ‘fail’ stresses the hunger the persona has for his lover’s affection giving a powerfully romantic and transcendent atmosphere.
Using two examples from the poem, explore this poet’s use of voice.
B) Addressing a seemingly female subject the poems voice is told in first person narrative giving a personal sentiment presumably from a lonely lover’s perspective. Having failed in previous attempts at love told in the third stanza, line two: ‘I die! I faint! I fail!’, the use of tripling and exclamation marks as a division into thirds promotes a very clear and strong voice of the persona in his monologue as well as determination to succeed. Stereotypical voice of a persistent lover is shown through the repetition of ‘O’ very clearly and being placed directly at the beginning of a new line places particular emphasis on the letter ‘O’, the singular vowel adds serenity and romance.
Using your knowledge of poetry, discuss what strikes you as being the important theme or themes in this poem and the ways in which they are developed.
C) The overall theme of the poem is ‘love’ as depicted from the title, serenades are generally used for romance which suits the strong voice of the poem. Further developing to create a theme of love as a whole and give a...