An Explication of W.H. Auden "Musee Des Beaux Arts"

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In poetry, the use of allusions is very common. There are briefs, usually indirect references to another work or to real or historical events or persons, traditionally as a way of connecting those elements as well as enriching the meaning of the current work through associations with the other. In his poem "Musee des Beaux Arts", W.H. Auden uses allusions as a way of drawing connections between his poem, Peter Brueghel's painting " The Fall of Icarus", the myth, and the humanity indifference toward one's suffering.

Icarus, the subject of this poem, was a figure from Greek mythology. He was the son of Dedalus, who, in order to escape from prison in Crete, made two pairs of wings, one for him and one for his son, Icarus. As Icarus and
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In the painting, the young Icarus falls out of the sky and is swept away in death's cold embrace while the ploughman continued plowing. The ploughman did not care about the splashing sound Icarus made, when he felt into the water. Auden's allusion to the fallen Icarus in Breughel's painting is seen as a significant event as to make the point of the poem stronger: apathy of human suffering.

Like many other sonnets, " Musee des Beaux Arts" is divided into two parts. In general, the first lines of the poem explore the depth of humanities indifference to one another. Auden makes allusion to the old master painters of the museum of fine art, who were never wrong about suffering. The "old masters" understood that people often turned a blind eye to one another's suffering. The Old Masters were artists of the 18th century whose works, masterpieces of the Renaissance, also are called old masters. They often painted classical scenes of pagan Greece and Rome as well as scenes of life and death, like the Fall of Icarus.

About suffering they were never wrong,

The old Masters: how well they understood

Its human position; how it takes place

While someone is eating or opening a window...

How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting

For the miraculous birth, there always must be

Children who did not specially want it to happen...

The poem reveals that suffering is part of everyday life, so much that those…