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The Loves And Life Of Sir Thomas Wyatt

1870 words - 7 pages

Sir Thomas Wyatt was born in the year 1503. The son of Sir Henry Wyatt and Anne Skinner, he went on to attend St. John’s College in Cambridge. He first took a place at the court of King Henry VIII in 1516. In the year 1520 he was married to Elizabeth Brooke at the age of seventeen. His son, of the same name, was born in the year 1521. Wyatt’s marriage to Elizabeth was miserable and the couple is believed to have been “estranged by the second half of the 1520s” (Burrows). Thomas Wyatt and Elizabeth Brooke were separated in 1525 when Wyatt accused his wife of adultery. At this time Wyatt took an interest in Anne Boleyn, the future queen. Much of Sir Thomas Wyatt’s poetry is seen as being reflective of his love life. His personal relationships certainly served as inspiration for a notable amount of his work.
In Sir Thomas Wyatt’s poem “Blame not my lute”, the speaker addresses the unfaithful lover who has scorned him. The content of the poem strongly suggests that Wyatt himself is the speaker and the poem was written for his adulterous wife, Elizabeth Brooke. The lute player, the speaker of the poem, has changed the tune of his melody in response to the changes in his lover’s behaviour which have resulted in her unfaithfulness. The music no longer pleases her, but instead it aggravates her. The lute player’s melody makes her feel uneasy because it reminds her of her own unfaithfulness. The song that the speaker has written for his disloyal lover is actually the poem itself. The poem is written in iambic tetrameter with a rhyme scheme of ababccd. This gives the poem a very melodious rhythm when recited. Also, all of the rhyming lines in the poem are assonant, further enhancing the song-like quality of the poem. Taking into consideration that the poem is in fact the song it refers to, it is clear why the woman it is intended for would find it so distasteful. The lyrics of the song address her infidelity and place the blame for her current predicament entirely upon her shoulders.
Throughout the poem the theme of betrayal is present. The unfaithful lover has betrayed the speaker and blames the lute for creating music that she finds unpleasant. Wyatt conveys the message that false lovers cannot blame someone or something else for their unhappiness; they can only blame themselves. After their estrangement, Elizabeth’s brother attempted to “ensure that Wyatt made provision for his wife, which he was evidently failing to do” (Burrows). This lack of financial support from Wyatt would have most certainly made life more difficult for Elizabeth. The poem suggests that all her troubles are her own doing, and the jaded Wyatt is not responsible for her hardships. In the poem, the Lady's response is to break the strings of his lute. Wyatt uses the imagery of the broken strings to symbolize broken bonds, and it is the unfaithful lover who is breaking them. The speaker advises her that this is pointless because he will just replace the strings and keep playing...

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