AP Lit & Comp 235-Farrell
15 November 2012
Eros, the God of Love
While both poets portray Eros as a symbol of consummate love, Stevenson focuses on his physical attributes, whereas Bridges concentrates on his mysteriousness. In Eros, the speaker utilizes the grotesqueness of a brute to emphasize the awesome example of love that Eros emanates. Commencing with the rugged image of a battered thug “with [a] broken nose/And squinty eyes,” responding to a plea for help, the poem establishes Eros as the ultimate symbol of love, magnified by the contrast of what he stands for and the repulsive physical attributes that he possesses. (Lines 4-5, Eros) This mutilated gangster fated to inherent corporeal qualities of “boxer lips/And patchy wings,” answers to the call for assistance, mutilation of the human body no longer an archetype of evil and nefarious behavior. (Lines 7-8, Eros) When Eros arrives the surprised speaker of the poem questions cynically, “can this be you,” establishing the confusing circumstances that the distinction between his bodily traits and his innate symbol of love produces. (Line 6, Eros) Eros, frequently assigned as the God of Lust rather than the God of Love, materializes in the poem as deformed and injured, utilizing the imperfect experiences of the archetype of the human body as an attempt to illustrate Eros as an image of love rather than desire. The most conspicuous image, in stanza two, of the contrast of corporeal grotesqueness and Eros as an icon of love ---“My face that so offends you/Is the sum/Of blows your lust delivered/One by one”---effectively captures the intimacy of his suffering and distinguishes the rogue of his misery as desire. (Lines 13-16, Eros) The word “blows” institutes a sense of assault and attack from which Eros ultimately lacks to escape due to his innateness of love. Further, to illustrate his anger towards the misconceptions of his affection based character, he corresponds that...
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