John Milton's Poem: An Analysis Of Closure In Lycidas

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Closure in Lycidas
What is the right response to death? How and to what extent should we mourn the ones we love? When John Milton's college friend, Edward King, drowned off of the Welsh coast 1,
Milton wrote Lycidas in memoriam. A pastoral elegy, the poem represents King as the lost shepherd Lycidas and uses agricultural imagery to portray loss. The majority of the poem is spent highlighting the irrevocability and completeness of death, that is until lines 165-168: "Weep no more, woeful shepherds, weep no more,/For Lycidas your sorrow is not dead,/Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor,/So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed..."2 These lines employ metaphors, repetition, alliteration, and a mood and tonal shift to bring closure to readers,
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In line 165, "Weep no more, woeful shepherds, weep no more," each part starts with the same "w" sound (2. 165). Creating a beautiful soft cadence, these sounds contrast the harsh rhythms of the beginning. For example, in the poem's first stanza, Milton writes "I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude/And with forced fingers rude" (2. 3-4). Compared to the w's, this line uses hard consonants that pack a punch when said. This is intended to scare readers with the idea of looming mortality. On the other hand, the delicate whispering effect in line 165 is comforting. Milton is now trying to console readers, showing them there is a time when the fear will dissipate and the healing will start. Moreover, because alliteration makes phrases more appealing to the ears, the lines are easier to remember. The repetition of "weep no more," not only in the same line, but once again in lines 182-183, "Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more;/Henceforth thou art the genius of the shore" further drives this phrase into readers' memories (2. 165/182-183). It is not the intense symbolism for death that Milton both repeats and alliterates; he, instead, emphasizes the call to an end for sorrow. Milton wants us leaving his poem thinking to ourselves "weep no more" because closure is the takeaway of this poem, not incessant …show more content…
165-168) mark a turning point in the poem. In comparison to how the poem starts, the mood, the tone, and the cadence are softer. The language and metaphors contrast the previous emphasis on death's permanence, showing us that by remembering those who had passed on, we can prevent losing them forever. These changes allow readers to feel a sense of closure because there is no right way to mourn, but a healthy one is one with an end in

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