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Besides What The Grim Wolf With Privy Paw Analysis

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foul contagion spread” connotates decay as he refers to the sheep who rot from the emptiness of their stomachs (127). The rotting sheep also represent the metaphorical “flock” of members in the Roman Catholic church, where “rot inwardly” refers to the rotting of their empty spiritual souls. Milton extends this pastoral metaphor with the wolf, as a common devourer of sheep, in “Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw” (128). The wolf operates as a symbol for the clergy that preyed on its members through the theft of money and religious freedom. The “privy,” or secret paw of the wolf in, “Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw,” alludes not only to wolves as a common threat to sheep, which further demonstrates Wilson’s ability to write about pastoral life, but it also alludes to Henrietta Maria’s practice of secret conversions in the Roman Catholic church (Greenblatt et al. 1922). The idea of sheep with no control to stop the wolves who “devour” daily, is a metaphor for the increasing power of the archbishop and the church of England, and the diminishing power of the members who practice it (129). Milton’s extended sheep metaphor enforces the claims that bishops, reoccurringly untrained and out of tune with the holy spirit, neglected their religious duties, and caused more harm to their congregations than good. The speaker succeeds again at consistently illustrating the death of Lycidas through nature imagery in the following metaphor: So sinks the day-star in the
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