To Althea From Prison Analysis

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Looking Out From Within:
An Analysis of "To Althea From Prison"
Richard Lovelace was charming, handsome, and affluent. He embodied the disposition that any woman could fancy during his time, but outwardly that was all there was to him. If you were to ask around you would be told that he was well-off and distinguished and seemingly that was where his persona had stopped. So the question posed becomes, “why would a man so forgettable, be remembered for such a long period of time?” The works he composed such as "To Althea From Prison" answer as to why. Lovelace is known as a Cavalier poet, meaning he supported Charles I, the king of England at the time (Duncan 1211). This kind of adherence during the turmoil taking place at the time was not something
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Loyalty has seemingly played a tremendous part in the writing of this poem, specifically Richard 's loyalty to his king Charles I. When speaking of imprisonment, the reason that he was shackled down in the first place was because of the obvious love that he had for his ruler. A love strong enough that even as he wrote this poem in prison his writing contained descriptions of Charles I as the speakers "sweetness, mercy, and majesty" for whom he was not afraid to voice "aloud" his loyalty too (King 514). With this also came the importance of love especially pertaining to literature and art in the culture of that time. The speaker constantly refers to his love of something, whether it be towards the king, Althea, or his freedom, the concept of this love in so many different aspects of the speaker’s life supports the fact that this is what gives his mind the strength and capability to get through the imprisonment he is faced with. He then furthers this love towards what it is exactly that he is writing (Duncan 135). He talks about the loud singing of caged birds, singing about his majesty, and about speaking when he pleases as he pleases (24-32). This suggests that politics and imprisonment does possibly have to do with art, poetry specifically, that some opinions can only be heard both effectively and peacefully through literature, and that this may in fact be our one way of getting our ideas heard while simultaneous sheltering us from constraint and restraint (Lucasta

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