who so list to hunt i know where is an hynde.

Intro and summary

  • As the poem begins, the speaker ask the reader who enjoys the hunt. He declares that he knows a worthy female deer (Anne Boleyn).
  • He further describes, contrary to the first line, that he regreattably is not up to the chase now.
  • In the third line, the speaker mentions that his effort has gone in vain and he is quite exhausted. He says that now he is at the back of the hunting party.
  • In the following two lines, the speaker says that he can't take his tired thoughts away from the deer, while the deer runs before him and he follows her. he is exhausted.
  • Eventually, he gives up the chase because he knows it is futile to try to keep a wind in a net.
  • When the speaker reaches the ninth line, he declares that the people who follow the hunt know this pursuit is fruitless.
  • There is a collar around the neck of the deer. It has diamond letters saying not to touch her as she is Caesar's, and she is wild though she looks tame. (could be reffering to the belief of Anne Boleyn being a witch.)
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Critical analysis

  • Petrarchan Sonnet was introduced to England by Wyatt. There are 8 lines (an octave) and six lines (a sestet). The eight lines introduce a problem and the six lines offer a resolution.
  • The poem has an imabic pentameter. The poem begins with a question, thus challenging the reader. The speaker's words have an invitation.
  • The exclamation at the start of the first line suggests that the speaker is excited at the idea. In those days, hunting used to be a favourite past time in the court of Henry VIII.
  • In the second line of the poem, the speaker reveals that he os not part of the hunt. The second line also emphasises the emotion of regret and frustration. The introduction to the poem and the subject is obviously contradictory. 
  • There is the use of assonance in the third line.
  • The speaker describes his hunting efforts as a 'vain travail'. The poem is actually and extended metaphor for the end of a relationship.
  • In the fifth line of the poem, the speaker reveals how he is at the tail end of the pursuit and has not deviated from the hunt.
  • The poet has also used enjambment and caesura across the sixth and seventh lines to show to discord that appears at the end of a relationship.
  • In the last line of the octave, the poet emphasises on the futility of his former quest. The line 'catching the wind in a net' proves that the chase is vain.
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Critical analysis carried on.

  • In lines nine and ten, the speaker appeals to the people who want to join the hunt, but he tells them about the futility (incapable of producing anything, impossible) of the whole thing. 
  • The extended metaphor is continued in the eleventh line. The bejeweled collar of the deer indicates that the deer already has an owner. 'Noli me Tangere' meaning 'do not touch me' on the collar. (religious - jesus said this to Mary Magdeline.)
  • This expression can also be interpreted as Anne Boleyn is the deer and king Henry VIII is her new owner (it was rumoured that Wyatt had an affair with Anne Boleyn).
  • When this poem was written, Anne and Henry were married and Wyatt could not continue to compete for her affections.
  • By describing Henry using the allusion of Caesar, Wyatt bestows on his monarch the qualities of a reputation of greatness and incisive rules.
  • Caesar was, like Henry, a leader early in late teens, a handsome and strong, young man and was significant in the political and aesthetic changes and developments of his realm. Both were literate charismatic and influential.
  • However, other less favourable parrallels can be made. Both Caesar and Henry VIII incurred huge debt during their respective offices.
  • There were many subjects who held captive and exacuted on charges of treason. Caesar faced questions regarding his sexuality and unsuitable choices of women.
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Critical analysis carried on 2.

  • Wyatt may also be alluding to these less appealing aspects of Caesar in his comparison if we see the passion in the poem to be borne of frustration and anger.
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