Analysis of Hugo's 'The Rose and the Grave'

638 Words Jan 11th, 2018 3 Pages
In 1837, Hugo published Les Voix Intérieures (Inner Voices) a collection of poems that includes "The Rose and the Grave." "The Rose and the Grave" is a poem of transformation that explores issues of religion and nature.
In "The Rose and the Grave," Hugo personifies two inanimate objects, a rose that is often associated with nature and love, and the grave, which is typically associated with death and finality. The poem is constructed to follow a question/answer format. In the first stanza, the grave poses a question to the rose and the rose poses a question to the grave in return. In the second stanza, the rose provides an answer to the grave's question and the grave provides an answer the rose's question.
In the first stanza, Hugo writes, "The Grave said to the rose/"What of the dews of dawn, Love's flower, what end is theirs?" In this first line of inquiry the grave wants to know what happens to the dews at dawn. The rose answers his question with a question of its own before it provides an answer in the second stanza. Hugo writes, "And what of spirits flown,/The souls whereon doth close/The tomb's mouth unawares?" In this line of inquiry, the rose wants to know what happens to the spirits of the people who have departed this world, which it refers to as souls who have been placed inside the tomb's mouth a possible reference to…
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