Nocturnal

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  • Nocturnal (Roman martyr- died blind for christ)
    • Structure
      • Triple rhyme; ABBADDDEE. Simple and coherent rhyme scheme- contains incoherent thoughts
        • Uneven meter and line length, contained by rhyme like 'chaos' described
      • Monosyllables 'as to the bed's feet life is shrunk'
    • Imagery
      • Light: 'midnight' 'squibs' 'st lucie's day' (itself is winter solstice- darkest possible time). Lack of light = ominous
        • 'unmasks' mystery of death? hardly revealed
        • 'Nothingness' 'privations' 'emptiness' 'shadow of light' 'squibs'
          • Death; 'bed's feet life is shrunk' 'dead and interred' 'epitaph' 'long night's festival'- her death is glorified compared to his 'interred'
      • Nature: 'sap is sunk' - trees microcosm of earth/ him- weakness.  Hydroptic earth; thirst - in need of something (her). 'Nor will my sunne renew' (she will not be reborn, sun will not shine- spring will not come.)
        • 'Yea plants, yea stones' less lifeless than plants and STONES have more character than him. (A sermon of his suggested stones are life forms)
      • Religious  're-begot'-  resurrection  'ruined' fall of humankind?
        • Creation and Great Flood; 'oft a flood' - God's punishment is their own fault
    • Techniques
      • Hyperbole; 'i am every dead thing', 'whole world's...' Macrocosmic metaphors. Only really HIS world . Also 'dull privations'
      • Personification of love as a male 'his art' 'he ruined me'. Symbolic of a patriarchal love?
      • Lists; eternal nature- 'absence, darkness, death' ... 'life, soul, form, spirit'. Also all encompassing so give illusion of no escape
      • Paradox- finishes on ' day's deep midnight is' - unnerving finish + ominous? Also first line- cyclical, no escape- problem hasn't been resolved
    • AO4
      • Alchemy; 'in whom love wrought new alchemy' 'limbeck'- he is a failed experiment. Believed it could be done at time. Other lovers futile as possible for them- false
        • Neoplatonism; ' withdrew our souls and made us carcasses' - emptiness without soul- physical love is not substantial 'carcass'
      • ' Oft a flood' 'we two wept' 'drowned the whole world' - Petrarchan convention
        • Flattery? Written for a subsidee? Tactical
      • Astronomy; 'Goat' - lustful image .. 'lust of spring'

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