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Poetry Analysis: You Charm’d Me Not With That Fair Face

681 words - 3 pages

While it is not one of his most famous poems, John Dryden wrote You charm’d me not with that fair face sometime in the mid to late 17th century and added to his career as one of the greatest English poets of his time. Born into an English Puritan family in 1631 and dying in 1700, Dryden became known for his satire and other occasional poems; however, he was also a well-known playwright and critic. In this particular poem, You charm’d me not with that fair face, John Dryden wrote about unexpected conflicts in love using multiple literary devices throughout the poem, including quatrain, rhyme scheme, and alliteration.
First of all, quatrain is one of the most obvious literary devices used by Dryden in this poem, as there are four stanzas with four lines each. In You charm’d me not with that fair face, each quatrain tells a different part of the story/topic of the poem, which is what makes this literary device significant. In the first stanza, Dryden wrote about how it was not a woman’s beauty, but the fact that she was “taken” by another man that made him want her. Then, in the second stanza, he showed how the woman began to have feelings for the other man, and in the third stanza the man ultimately won the woman over and tried to keep her as his own. Finally, in the third stanza, Dryden tried to get across that the man was paranoid that the woman he had stolen would be stolen from him, while also making the point that “passion,” which made the man go after the woman in the first place also made him afraid/paranoid that she would leave him easily in the end. Through these four separate stanzas with each telling a different part of the story, the theme of unexpected conflicts in love was clearly revealed in the stealing of the woman from another man followed by the paranoia that she might leave the new man like she left the first relationship....

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