To The Greek Slave Poem Analysis

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The previous examples centered around literature, whereas Hiram Powers’ 1851 statue The Greek Slave garnered responses that involved interactions with sculptures. The statue engages audiences in such a way that inspires individuals to create their own works of art, such as poems to create a dialogue with the statue, often expressing their desire for the statue, especially for those who have a deep lust for statues and sculptures. One such example is a poem titled “To The Greek Slave” that appeared in The Literary World of September 18, 1847. The speaker of this poem addresses the feminine statue and reminds her that she will “become a soul, sweet marble life,/A pleader for the good, not knowing evil strife” (Boston 13). In order to interact …show more content…
If this is in fact the case, then the poem’s desire for the statue is not just metaphorical but also literal. Considering the precision that goes into creating a sculpture, the statue may have such an amount of detail that it appears to be a living naked woman. Keeping this in mind, the courting the speaker engages in can be interpreted as a sincere attempt to express their lustful desire for the statue, rather than simply complimenting the artistry behind it. Viewing the poem through this lens, the poem transforms as a form of fulfilling this lust for the statue by animating it so it can reciprocate the affection. In this case, the speaker uses the poem, filled with compliments and poetic language, in order to court the statue as if it were alive. Rather than just simply approaching the statue and talking to it, the speaker chooses to compose a work of art in order to potentially impress and woo her. Hiram Powers’ The Greek Slave offers the speaker an opportunity to explore their own intense desire for ideal qualities in a potential lover, as well as a possible way explore and express their lust for

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