Who ever loved that loved not at first sight ? analysis Essay

1634 Words Nov 22nd, 2013 7 Pages
English II poem summary
Who ever loved that loved not at first sight?
This poem starts with the description of the young lovers: the incomparably lovely virgin, Hero, dedicated to the service of the love goddess – she is "Venus' nun"(line 45) -- and the handsome Leander. Both young people are described as having more than human beauty. Hero is so beautiful that the love-god Cupid mistakes her for that most beautiful of the goddesses, his mother Venus. Leander's description is even more extreme, and perhaps a bit bizarre. He is described as so attractive that even men find him beautiful. Marlowe shows his extreme handsomeness as feminine. "Some swore he was a maid in man's attire" (line 85). Later, Marlowe describes him, however, in
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When two are stripped, long ere the course begin
We wish that one should lose, the other win.
And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots like in each respect.
The reason no man knows; let it suffice
What we behold is censured by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Whoever loved that loved not at first sight?
After Leander has seen and fallen in love with Hero, Hero is subsequently shot with an arrow of love by the god Cupid. The two meet and speak of their prodigious attraction, but Hero has made a vow to the goddess Venus, no less, to keep her chastity. Though Leander uses clever-sounding rhetoric to assure Hero that remaining a virgin is no way to serve her goddess (or herself), "Vessels of brass, oft handled, brightly shine" (line 232), Hero demurs and returns to her tower.
Leander is afraid of being missed, and goes home across the water to Abydos. There, his father can tell by his face that he has fallen in love. Leander flees and goes to stand upon the rocks, gazing across the water at Hero's tower. He cannot bear to be parted from Hero any longer, so he takes off his clothes and dives into the water to swim back to her.
While Leander is swimming, the sea-god Neptune sees him and mistakes him for another famously handsome youth – the king of the gods Zeus's cupbearer Ganymede. Neptune has long coveted this young man, and takes this

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