When The Lamp Is Shattered Essay Samples
When The Lamp is shattered is a love poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley as an expression of loss of the affections of a woman that once loved him. Percy is renowned as one of the forces behind major English romantic poems. He is also revered by many admirers and critics alike for being one of the best lyric poets. His poems such as When The Lamp is shattered continue to show his strong position on political and social views. Much of his poetry, however, gained much fame after his death at a young age of thirty years. The poem, When The Lamp is Shattered, in this case was instrumental in conveying Percy’s position on love fused with poetic creativity. The poem manages to show the bitter side of love where one party fails to acknowledge the affections extended by the other. This poem utilizes various elements to proclaim the disillusionment associated with failed love.
In order to fully comprehend the poem’s subject, it is prudent to focus on the persona. The persona in this instance is a heartbroken individual that is nursing the pains of failed love. The persona laments how once love is extinguished the heart that once loved hurts. He relates this using various things such as light, rainbow, sweet tones and loved accents that become extinguished once their sources are terminated. The persona actually faults the nature of love in the last two octaves. He faults love for being unfair in that it mingles two hearts and leaves them. He also cites that love only prefers the frail hearts that cannot withstand its negative attributes. The persona further accentuates his hurt and his disillusionment with love by using a pessimistic tone. The tone is heightened by various lines within the poem. In the third stanza for instance the lines constitute of lamentations that are well capture by sad rhetorical questions such as “Why choose you the frailest/For your cradle, your home and your bier?”
Percy also uses poetic devices in his poem which enable his to convey his melancholic subject. The poet uses imagery extensively to depict the subject matter of the poem in a vivid and visual manner. Much of the imagery used in the poem is nature-centric. He achieves much of this by using similes, metaphors and personification throughout the poem. Simile is used in the 14th line to draw comparisons between the sad echoes of the heart with wind surging through a ruined cell. It is also used in the 28th line “Bright reason will mock thee/Like the sun from a wintry sky” to compare the proper reason with the sun that is surfaces in a clouded sky. The poem further employs metaphors within the poem to enhance its vividness on the part of the audience. In the 18th line in the third octave, the poet uses the “well-built nest” to illustrate the hearts that are well suited to harbor love. Metaphors are also used in the 3rd line where the poet cites “when the cloud is scattered” to signify a non-cloudy day. The poem further uses personification to enhance the underlying meaning of the subject matter. The 23rd line “Why chose you the frailest” appears to give love humanly abilities in making a choice on what which heart to affect. The 27th line “Bright reason will mock thee” also uses personification by availing human capability of mocking to the “bright reason”.
As for the structure, Percy the poem can be said to be a sonnet due to the presence of four stanzas that are further termed as individual octaves due to presence of eight lines for each. The poem can further be sad to have an iambic trimester and iambic tetrameter in varied ways. This achieves musical irregularity which entails the use stressed sounds in interval to accentuate the harmony of the iambic beat. There is evident use of consonance and assonance within the poem to attain this such as “The light in the dust lies dead”. This manages to bring out the persona’s sadness and disillusionment in the poem. Through an elaborate rhyme scheme ABABCDCD Percy manages to tap into weak rhymes that also happen to be feminine end through sound effects such as in the first stanza “shattered, scattered, dead, shed, broken, spoken, not, forgot”. Repetition also surfaces immensely in the poem to attain musicality and vividness in the poem. In the first stanza the word “when” is repeated four times to post various instances that lead to extinguishing of various sources of elements that are comparable to love.
In conclusion, Percy Bysshe Shelley in his poem When The Lamp is shattered manages to posit his dissatisfaction with love gone sour. He laments throughout the poem on the nature of love which discriminates on the faint-hearted such as him. He further shows how love as a force is integral in the normal human interactions conveying the notion that once love is extinguished nothing else remains. This message is successfully conveyed using poetic devices such as similes, metaphors and personification that all fall under the category of imagery. As aforementioned, Percy structures the poem as a sonnet consisting of iambic trimester and iambic tetrameter. The poem also uses consonance, assonance and repetition to back the poem’s elaborate rhyme scheme of ABABCDCD.