Sir Walter Raleigh's Poem 'The Conclusion'

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Sir Walter Raleigh poem “The Conclusion” was discovered in his Bible shortly after his death which was on October 29, 1618. Thought to have been a revised copy from earlier life, the poem discusses life; its youth, joy, and its earthly ending. In the first stanza of the poem, the poet speaks about the life of youth. The speaker encourages the youth to have joy and enjoy life because time will eventually pay with dust, the grave, and ultimately death. In this way, “The Conclusion” is like the book of Ecclesiastes, which was written by the richest and wisest man to ever live. In this book, Solomon also talks about life on earth and what comes afterward. He then speaks of the wandering ways of the human nature to show that one day …show more content…
A poet, soldier, courtier, and adventurer, he was born in 1554 to a Protestant family in Devon, England. He was the youngest child of Walter Raleigh and Katherine Champernowne. According to Ellen Bailey, in her biography of Sir Walter Raleigh, at age twelve Raleigh attended Oxford University, but left without obtaining a degree. Later in life, Raleigh joined the Huguenot army in France (1). Also, he served in the English army against Irish rebels. When he assisted in the defeat of the Irish army, Raleigh returned to England and became one of Queen Elizabeth’s favorites, and she made him a confidant and advisor at court. Also, during his life, he spent time and effort looking for a way to pay Queen Elizabeth back for her kindness (2). In fact, according to James Cook, Raleigh founded colonies in the New World. Although the colonies were a failure, he did introduce potatoes and tobacco from the colonies to England. Later, Raleigh became politically isolated because he had an affair with the queen 's maid of honor (2). As a result, Raleigh and his lover spent a month in the Tower of London and were banished from the court an additional four years (Bailey 3). After the death of Queen Elizabeth, Raleigh was imprisoned by King James I for allegedly opposing his succession. However, “Raleigh was released in 1616 to make another voyage to the …show more content…
The literary devices he uses are anaphora, rhythm, religious imagery, diction, tone, a figure of speech, and form. The first literary device Raleigh uses is anaphora in the following line: “Our youth, our joys, our all we have.” This emphasizes his point of a person’s brief time on earth (line two). Secondly, he uses rhythm to drive this theme. For example, words like “silent grave”, and” all of our ways” start the rhythm and displays the continuous structure (lines 4-5). Thirdly, Raleigh uses religious imagery to generate the conclusion of a lifecycle. The religious imagery is the fact that he explains we do not live forever, but God knows where we will spend our eternity. Along with religious imagery, he also uses simple diction and repetition to emphasize the theme of the poem. The word “trust” which is repeated has a different meaning from the first line to the last line both of which are easily understood. In the first line, he used it as mankind’s trust in time; however, in the last line, he uses it as putting trust in the almighty God who is able to give mankind immortality. The next literary device, the tone of the poem, seems very depressed and low-spirited to show the hopelessness of mankind in the hand of time. The poet has a sense of resentment because of the fact that every man has the same fate. Next, Raleigh uses a figure of speech to explain the poem better. “And pays us

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