Analysis of [My Lady Walks...] Essay

Decent Essays

When Henry Constable attempts to describe his “lady”, he paints the reader an image of love, pureness, and of natural beauty. In his sonnet, “[My lady’s presence makes the roses red]”, Constable talks to the various body parts of his “lady”, claiming that they inspire envy into flowers and that his “lady” is in fact the source of the power for the flowers. Using this personification of the flowers, Constable shapes his sonnet as one that is complementing and treasuring his “lady”, however, a deeper examination into the tone of his work shows a much more intriguing side of this sonnet and of Constable’s feelings toward his “lady”. A line-by-line dissection of this sonnet shows the multitude of personification and imagery used by Henry …show more content…

This creates distance between the speaker of the poem, who is assumed Constable, and this god-like woman. It is then mentioned that this woman is also the catalyst for the purple color of the violets, though unlike the previous flowers, this is not due to an emotion, but rather “the blood she made my heart to shed” (line 8). This is the first mention of beauty not directly caused from the woman, but rather a product of the woman’s actions onto the speaker. This plays a critical role in the tone of the sonnet and the location in the sonnet (end of the second quatrain) is a hint to the importance of this line. The third quatrain returns to the power this woman has on the beauty of the flowers. In lines 9-10, all of the flowers owe their sweet smell to the breath of this woman and then in lines 11-12, the woman has the actual power to grow the flowers. She is once again displayed with godlike powers and the ability to warm the ground and encourage the growth of the seeds simply by looking at the flowers. Constable’s “lady” is not only the reason why flowers became beautiful, but is not the explanation for why the flowers even exist. In the last couplet, the second mention of beauty not directly caused by this woman is present. In lines 13-14, the key ingredient for flower-growth is supplied not by the woman’s beauty, but rather from the tears that she

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