Who ever loved that loved not at first sight ? analysis

1629 WordsNov 29, 20137 Pages
English II poem summary Who ever loved that loved not at first sight? This poem starts with the description of the young lovers: the incomparably lovely virgin, Hero, dedicated to the service of the love goddess – she is "Venus' nun"(line 45) -- and the handsome Leander. Both young people are described as having more than human beauty. Hero is so beautiful that the love-god Cupid mistakes her for that most beautiful of the goddesses, his mother Venus. Leander's description is even more extreme, and perhaps a bit bizarre. He is described as so attractive that even men find him beautiful. Marlowe shows his extreme handsomeness as feminine. "Some swore he was a maid in man's attire" (line 85). Later, Marlowe describes him, however, in…show more content…
Descriptions of sea-nymphs and mermaids, and the wealth under the oceans, ensue. Once Neptune realizes that Leander is almost drowned, and therefore cannot be Ganymede (who was made immortal by Zeus), the god brings Leander back to the surface. Breathing air again, Leander begins to swim toward Sestos, but Neptune follows underneath him, kissing and caressing him at every stroke. Leander is frightened by this and cries out "O let me visit Hero ere I die!" (line 661) Neptune will not relent, and continues caressing him and talking of love. Once again Leander's sexual ambiguity is brought up – he tells Neptune he is no woman. Neptune at last sees that Leander will not give into him, and sadly lets him go. Leander reaches Hero's tower, and knocks on her door. Hero is surprised to find Leander standing there, dripping wet and naked. She brings him inside, and since he is cold she lets him lie next to her in bed. They engage in amorous embraces, but Hero, mindful of the value of her sacred chastity, attempts to hold Leander off for a time. Eventually they are overcome by their feelings, and, though they are both a little unsure of how to proceed, they consummate their love. The poem ends as morning dawns. Analysis Hero and Leander is a poem – an epyllion, that is, a short epic poem – which Marlowe composed based on work by the sixth-century poet Musaeus. The story, of course, is much older, based on various versions of a Greek myth. The narrative itself is
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