Analysis of Ralegh's Nature, that washed her hands in milk Essay example
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Analysis of Ralegh's "Nature, that washed her hands in milk"
Nature, that washed her hands in milk” can be divided structurally into two halves; the first three stanzas constitute the first half, and the last three stanzas make up the second half. Each stanza in the first half corresponds to a stanza in the second half. The first stanza describes the temperament of Nature, who is, above all, creative. This first stanza of the first half corresponds to stanza four, the first stanza in the second half of the poem. Stanza four divulges the nature of Time, who, unlike Nature, is ultimately a destroyer. Time is introduced as the enemy of Nature, and Ralegh points out that not only does Nature “despise” Time, she has good reason for it…show more content…
We still die, and often we are not remembered.
Ralegh conveys this somber realization through his plain style of verse. Though he describes the mistress in detail, she is not the subject of his poem. Ralegh uses Love’s mistress and her destruction as a vehicle to address the destructive nature of Time. He approaches that subject in the plain style, using short, proverbial phrases intended to make the reader aware of time and mutability. The poem contains several lines that are made entirely of one-syllable words, which draw out the time it takes to read the line. Contrast lines 31-32 in “Nature, that washed her hands in milk” with lines 8 and 10 in Christopher Marlowe’s “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love” (p. 989). Marlowe describes the land in which he lives, where “Melodious birds sing madrigals,” and beds are made of “a thousand fragrant posies”. Marlowe’s verse sounds quick and light when spoken, simply because he uses fewer words in an eight-syllable line. Ralegh, in contrast, often uses seven or eight words to fill the same eight-syllable line: “Oh, cruel Time! which takes in trust/Our youth, our joys, and all we have…” Line 32 especially requires that the reader take more time to pronounce each syllable, which adds weight to each word.
Both structure and style are used to deliver meaning in “Nature, that washed her hands