Lycidas poem RTC

no more, woful shepherds, weep no more,

For Lycidas our sorrow is dead,

Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor.

So sinks the day- star in the ocean bed,

And yet anon repairs his drooping head,

And tricks his beams and with new spangled ore,

Flames in the forehead of the morning sky:

So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high,

Through the dear might of him that walk`d the waves.

Reference:-   These reflective and mournful extract have been taken from one of the best work Lycidas by John Milton, who was consider the most significance writer after Shakespeare. The poem was published in 1638 to commemorate the death of the Edward King, a friend from Cambridge university of Milton who drowned in a shipwreck in August 1637. Hence, it is a conventional pastoral elegy, which has its origin in the loss of a friend.

Context: –  ‘Lycidas’ by John Milton also known as ‘monody’ (a poem that, lamenting a person’s death) is an elegy  written in 1637 is a tribute to Edward King. It is a sonnet that shows the accidental death of Edward king. Edward king is addressed as Lycidas by John Milton. The poem mourns the loss of virtuous and promising young man about to embark upon a career as a clergyman. Adopting the conventions of the classical pastoral elegy, Milton muses on fame the meaning of existence and heavenly judgement. This poem is divided into six sections I Prologue, four main parts and Epilogue.

Critical Comment:-  Lycidas as a monody dedicated to Edward king by John Milton. This poem has been described as the heavenly bliss that is Lycidas’s fortune after death. Therefore, the poet tells his fellow Shepherd to stop weeping, because Lycidas isn’t really dead even, though he has sunk into the ocean, but the sorrow is not dead. In one interpretation sorrow modified Lycidas as in the man for whom you feel grief is not dead.

Furthermore, the speaker is addressing Lycidas himself saying, hey Lycidas your sorrow isn’t over because you`re not really dead; therefore you`re still going to suffer. The sun appears to sink into the ocean in the west, but it rises next day in the morning in the sky, so maybe Lycidas will rise again just the same way. Here, ‘anon’ means to reappears or to again, so when the sun does rise again, he tricks or adores his beams with “new spangled ore” new sparkling gold.

John Milton in Lycidas has drawn two traditions of allegorisation of the ‘Shepherd’, the classical, in which shepherds are poets and the Christian, in which shepherds are spiritual and religious leaders. Thus, the Shepherds in the poem represents as both, the poem and the religious guides.

The narrator describes that, like how the sun has sunk but, rise again through the power of Jesus Christ same Lycidas has also risen to a place resembling heaven or paradise.

In Lycidas, the complex theme and narrative movement of the poem by John Milton has render its structure and somewhat mysterious. The poem is written in classical way and tightly interwoven in classical as well. The poem is written in Ottava rima (a sestet+ a couplet), lengths of the line vary and rhymes has no fixed order, indeed the poem seems to rely heavily on internal rhymes within the same line or set of lines. The poem contains irregular rhymes and meter characteristics of the Italian canzone (Canzone is a polyphonic lyrical form) form with the monody. Further, the sense of sorrow and bewilderment is intensified by the lines’ and the refusal to be confined to consistent lengths and specific rhyme patterns.

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