Analysis Of Antonio Machado's 'Last Night As I Was Sleeping'

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The Journey of a Changed Heart
Enlightenment generally comes in increments and rarely with the flash of the proverbial light bulb switching on. Scripture portrays truth as coming “line upon line, here a little, there a little” (The Holy Bible). Within Antonio Machado’s poem “Last Night As I Was Sleeping,” the reader travels through one person’s journey of religious awakening through the use of metaphor, diction, and symbolism. The poem describes baptism, conversion from wickedness to righteousness, recognition of the Spirit and finally understanding God’s love. The poem uses metaphor to illustrate the religious journey of the speaker. Each stanza incorporates parts of religious foundational doctrine as the speaker discovers the changes that
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This means to change and most often is associated with the change toward religious feelings. The poem describes the change taking place by the work of the bees, in essence the speaker is telling the reader of the change that is taking place in his heart. He is describing the letting go of past sins and the forsaking of them in the future as his heart is changed and healed. The words “honey” and “white” are also used in this stanza. Honey is used eighteen times within the Bible in the context of “flowing with milk and honey” meaning a land most desirable (The Holy Bible). Just as the land with honey is desirable, the change that is taking place is also desirable. This is exemplified with the word “white”. White is the color of purity. White is defined as “morally or spiritually pure; stainless, spotless, innocent; and beneficent” (OED). The color white has been used as the highest standard of cleanliness and purity for millennia. Just as the honey indicated desirability, the color white adds to that desirability with the description of purity and goodness. The change of heart is not only desired, but of the highest …show more content…
The first is “steep”. As previously stated, this word means to soften, cleanse, imbue and saturate (OED). In the poem, the speaker is describing the sun purifying his heart through the steeping process. Just as Revelation 3:18 spoke of the value of gold, it also indicated that the purifying of gold to its highest form is through fire. Thus, when the poem describes the sun purifying his heart, the refinement is of the highest caliber and value. As well as the refinement of the speaker’s heart, the word “sunlight” is used to indicate that all shadows have been washed away and all acts are now clean enough to be viewed by all. Baptism has occurred, as well as the turning of the wicked actions into purity and now the conversion is complete and there is nothing to be ashamed of. This is further indicated by the word “shone”. Shone means “to look favourably upon, be favourable to, or of the face of God” (OED) as well as being the past tense of shine. This is additional evidence that the speaker is no longer ashamed of where his heart is and is willing to allow other to see him in entirety. All of these specifically chosen words are used to help the reader understand that this poem is not just a pretty little rhyme, but has deeper connotations of the religious change of heart he

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