Essay about Sonnet to Science by Edgar Allen Poe

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Sonnet to Science by Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe's "Sonnet- to Science" is an example of how the structure of a poem can both aid and hinder the poet in communicating his or her thoughts. Usually, when the poet chooses to structure his poem in the form of a sonnet, he is, through his speaker, asking a question and reaching an answer. In this poem, however, the speaker, probably a young poet, questions Science but reaches no conclusion. Poe uses the English sonnet to communicate his youthful speaker's feelings of disdain for science and facts as opposed to mythology and fantasy, which inspire poetic musings. He implores Science as to why "she" must impose her "dull realities" on the hearts of poets like himself, squelching their
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The first time the speaker uses a personal pronoun is in line 13, at the "turn" of the sonnet. He states that Science, in addition to undoing the magic of classical mythology, has stolen his personal "summer dream." The speaker is evidently a dreamer and poet disappointed by the damper that fact places on fancy. The tone throughout the poem is one of questioning, like most sonnets. However, in this particular poem, the speaker is disdainful to the subject, Science. He angrily accuses Science of preying like a vulture upon the poet's heart. The speaker seems to have personal resentment against Science, because he names himself as suffering a loss at the hands of fact and reality along with the mythological Diana, Hamadryad, and Naiad.
In the first line of the poem, "Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!," the speaker appears to be respectful toward Science, and the reader might mistake this poem for a tribute to the subject. However, the tone immediately changes when he describes Science as having "peering eyes" in line 2. This is the reader's first indication that the speaker holds contempt for the "daughter of Old Time." The speaker's descriptions of Science grow worse as he accuses her of dragging Diana "from her car," the moon, and "driving the Hamadryad from her wood," a tree which she is never supposed to leave. When the speaker finally mentions himself as a victim of Science's "dull realities,"

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