The scrutiny

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Key points:

-'Why should you swear i am forsworn'– the rhetorical question creates an arrogant, cocky tone and makes it clear that the poem is a monologue.

-'That fond impossibility' – disingenuous tone, making the situation seem nicer than it is, ‘impossibility’ implies genuine inability to be monogamous

-'A tedious 12 hours space' – the alliteration reflects the boredom and tediousness of the perceived situation

-'I must all other beauties wrong' - use of ‘beauties’ reinforces the objectification and commodification of women in this era, as well as revealing the narrator’s priorities when it comes to women

-'Like skilful mineralists that sound for treasure in un-plowed-up ground'– implications of virginity being a priority, something to claim. ‘treasure’ makes women into inanimate objects to be found and used, as well as playing into the theme of love equating to wealth

-'With spoils of meaner Beauties crowned' – ‘spoils’ ties in with the idea of a battle, that women are conquests

– overall: ‘The Scrutiny’ focusses on lust rather than love, and forces the female into a passive position by creating a dramatic monologue.

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Richard Lovelace

  • Born: December 1617
  • Died: 1657 (aged 40)
  • He had four brothers and three sisters. His father was from a distinguished military and legal family; his family owned a considerable amount of property in Kent.
  • He was a cavalier poet who fought on behalf of the king during the Civil War.
  • The poem was written about how much he loves a particular woman, that no matter how many other women he loves, he'll always come back to her.

  • His best known works are "To Althea, from Prison," and "To Lucasta, Going to the Warres.“
  • The Lucasta of his poems was Lucy Sacherevell, whom Lovelace liked to call Lux casta. Upon hearing that Lovelace had died of the wounds he received at Dunkirk, she married another.
  • In 1642, he presented a royalist petition to Parliament. He was imprisoned in Westminster for these actions.

    Following his release from prison he went to fight in the Low Countries and was wounded in battle at Dunkirk. He remained in Holland and France until 1646, and then returned to London.

    Upon his return he was imprisoned for complications probably involving disturbances in Kent. He was released from prison in 1649. He died in poverty of his battle wounds in 1658. 

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