In This Strange Labyrinth Analysis

1088 Words 5 Pages
In Lady Mary Wroth’s “In this Strange Labyrinth,” the speaker, on a denotative level, addresses her concerns about where to turn in a maze, but on a connotative level the speaker is conflicted with decisions in his life. The speaker struggles, but follows her heart in the end. Similarly, in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet is the most intellectual among her sisters and she enjoys walking, even alone, both of which oppose the standards for a woman in Georgian society. Elizabeth judges that Mr. Darcy is too proud of his wealth and rude upon their first meeting, but as she learns more about Mr. Darcy, she begins to have feelings for him; however, she is indecisive about these feelings, for she is embarrassed of her family, tarnished …show more content…
In a state of indecision the speaker begins the poem, “In this strange labyrinth how shall I turn, / Ways are on all sides while the way I miss: / If to the right hand, there, in love I burn” (Wroth, lines 1-3). Here, she uses “strange labyrinth” as a metaphor for her life to represent the doubt she feels, for in a maze, one can never know which direction is the right way to go. Yet, she mentions “the right hand” first, as if it is the way she is most tempted to pursue. Also, her use of the word, “burn” highlights her hesitation, for it has two very different connotations. She could either be referring to being in intense, stinging, pain or experiencing lust. Taking this route presents the biggest risk to the speaker. Although the speaker is full of doubt, love ultimately captivates her, as with Elizabeth, love leads her to Darcy, regardless of the extent to which she avoids it. The speaker in Wroth’s sonnet also expresses feeling shame from society. The reader can see that the speaker considers returning into societal boundaries when she says, “Let me turn back, shame cries I ought return” (Wroth, line 6). Wroth personifies “shame” to highlight the fact that whichever way the speaker goes in the labyrinth, or her life, she is

Related Documents