To Marguerite by Matthew Arnold

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Stanza 1

  • 'sea of life enisled' - metaphor, we are the islands, life is all around us like water is
  • ('enisled' - to become an island)
  • 'watery wild' - alliteration -> waves and water
  • 'millions live alone' - people are secluded and by themselves, emphasised by italics, juxtaposition -> ironic
  • 'islands feel' - personification
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Stanza 2

  • 'And' - repeated frequently ->endless list of positivilty
  • 'balms of spring' - positive, harmonious theme, youth
  • 'in their glens' - personification
  • 'nightingales' - represents hope (perahps for people to reconnect)
  • 'sounds' - links people together, connection
  • 'channels pour -" - spiritual, divine meaning, interrupts the peace and makes the stanza disjointed
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Stanza 3

  • 'Oh!' - caesura, shock -> image of despair, interjection, exclamatory
  • 'longing' - desperate for connection of humanity
  • The emotional stanza
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Stanza 4

  • 'longing's fire' - warmth, hope, passion
  • 'A God, a God' - repetition emphasises his beliefs about God, pinning the blame on God, disagrees with his plan on separating humanity, religious views that God has separating him from other people
  • 'salt' - makes wounds more painful
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Whole Poem

  • Themes: religion, unrequited desire, isolation, humanity
  • A lot of alliteration - joining them together (connection)
  • The whole poem is an extended metaphor that the sea represents life
  • Controlled, regular rhyme scheme: ABABCC
  • Iambic tetrameter
  • Rhyming couplets reflect desire for connection
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