Farewell to False Love Analysis

Topics: Love, Poetry, Walter Raleigh Pages: 3 (986 words) Published: March 16, 2012
The reason behind Sir Walter Raleigh’s “A Farewell to False Love” is evident in the title, the first few lines, and throughout the entire poem. It repeats over and over the theme of love being false and untrue. The poet portrays love as being a horrible thing, a liar and a deceiver. The poem is structured in the ababcc format, which was a common simple style of the time. The poem portrays love as being warm and fuzzy on the outside, but really just a "poisoned serpent covered all with flowers." This poem has a very depressing and angry feel to it, as if the speaker had a very bad experience with love and is now raging against it. In the last lines, despair and acceptance is evident in the lines, “Dead is the root whence all these fancies grew”. This is basically the speaker saying, in layman’s terms, ‘My heart is dead.’ The poem is filled with many different literary devices and a certain disliking, possibly hatred, for the idea of love. The opening line the poet uses is, "Farewell false love, the oracle of lies." An oracle is a prophecy, or a foretelling of what is to come. Knowing this, the line means that love is just a foretelling of lies about the future and false pretenses of good things to come. In reality, all love leaves is poison, pain, and despair. This metaphor is also seen in the poet’s comparison of love to “a gilded hook that holds a poisoned bait.” Love is shiny and it makes you want to take a bite, but in the end the bait you take is all poison. In fact, the entire poem is a metaphor to compare with this false love that he is saying goodbye to. Metaphors are the biggest and most obvious literary device that the poet keeps returning to in order to show his utter distaste with love. In line 2 and 3 the, "A mortal foe and enemy to rest,/ An envious boy, from whom all cares arise..." means that love is the enemy to everyone, not something to be sought after. Love is not safe, love is going to hurt you. The poet suggests that one should flee from...
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