Analysis Of Paris Spleen, By Charles Baudelaire

2261 words - 9 pages

Charles Baudelaire was a French poet in the late eighteen hundreds. He composed many short poems that didn’t necessarily rhyme. Most of his texts allow for several interpretations. The poems were concentrated around feelings of melancholy, ideas of beauty, happiness, and the desire to escape reality. Baudelaire uses these notions to express himself, others, and his art.

Baudelaire fuses his poetry with metaphors or words that indirectly explain the poems to force the reader to analyze the true meaning of his works. The first instance of this action begins with the title, Paris Spleen. Since the original writing was in French it would be harmless to say that he lived in Paris and named the book after the city. According to Webster’s, a Spleen is an “…organ that is located… near the stomach or intestine…and is concerned with final destruction of red blood cells, filtration and storage of blood…” (Spleen, Entry 1). By this definition the reader obtains the understanding that Baudelaire is connecting Paris with a function of the body that controls or care’s for the blood. In other words, Paris could represent the blood that flows through him, wherein, ‘storage of blood’ could mean Paris is forever in his heart or ‘destruction of red blood cells’ could resemble how the city destroyed him. It could also be interpreted in a negative way by another definition, “feelings of anger or ill will often suppressed” (Spleen, Entry 2). The majority of his writings are melancholy based so the Spleen could signify his feelings towards Paris or himself during his time there. When a person thinks of the word Spleen they conclude it’s a seemingly grotesque organ in the body not worth caring for. So, in yet another instance, the title’s words could contradict one another with Paris representing the beautiful city he lives in, while Spleen could represent the disgust he see’s or feels. From just the title of the book the reader can get an understanding of where Baudelaire comes from and who he seems to be by the way he associates himself and his home to the spleen or to emotions.

In order to comprehend how Baudelaire views others, we need to acknowledge how he thinks and justifies himself. A reader can uncover Baudelaire in many of his poems by finding the right line to interpret within the text. Baudelaire values his experience and morality over responsibility because a few of his writings have a ‘live for the moment’ aspect to them. In Beat Up The Poor, Baudelaire expresses his acceptance of the idea of survival of the fittest. When he decided to fight with a poor man he does so to express his anger. Also, he used the man as an outlet of himself, so by wanting to hurt himself he hurt someone else. Once the poor man fights back Baudelaire understands that although he is poor, he can fend for himself. That quality is something Baudelaire admired and therefore replied to the man with, “Sir, you are my equal!” (Baudelaire, 102). The fight was a new...

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