Analysis Of The Poem "Lucifer In Starlight" By George Meredith

783 words - 3 pages

Examining a poem in detail can bring out new meanings and ideas. By careful analysis, the full beauty of the poem can be appreciated. The poem 'Lucifer in Starlight (p. 959)', by George Meredith, can be analyzed to refine the authors purpose, by examining every subtle hint, every possibility, for a deeper theme. Also, 'deciphering' formal literary techniques such as metaphor, connotation, and symbolism is the key to unlock other expressions. The main theme of the poem is that Lucifer has no place out of his hell, and anything he tries to reenter heaven is futile. As with any poem, it is best to first examine how the title, 'Lucifer in Starlight' relates to the body of the poem.Obviously, Lucifer is the defiant angel that was banished from heaven, and sent to the underworld of hell, where he known as Satan. The title refers to the devil as 'in starlight', so this means he has to rise to a place where the stars are visible, not the fires of hell. This rising from the underworld is summed up in the first line. It is later explained that he is doing so because he is tired of his 'dark dominion.' Ironically, the first line refers to Lucifer honorably, as a 'Prince', while in the second line he is tagged as a fiend. This leaves the reader feeling perplexed, yet still thinking of Lucifer as the enemy. At first it may seem as Lucifer has risen to the Earth, but it is further clarified that he has elevated himself above the 'rolling ball'. However, god imagined the world as planar, with heaven on a higher plane, and hell on a lower plane, not spherical as defined here. From his place in the stars above earth, Lucifer looks down through the clouds, and observes the sinners. He is talking about the denizens of the earth, for since Adam sinned in the beginning, all of his sons and daughters are also sinners. Perhaps he can relate to them, as he is also trying for entrance to heaven.For now , he sets his mind on the people who will become denizens of his hell eventually. Here Meredith shows how much hubris the devil really has, for the reader can just see Lucifer savoring over the masses entering his vile domain. Then, Lucifer peers at the most extreme places in the world, describing the sands of Africa....

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