Never Give All the Heart Summary

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In the poem, “Never Give All the Heart” by William Butler Yeats, the speaker of the poem is a man with a broken heart. Literally, the poem speaks about a man blinded by love, who has given his whole heart to a woman just to have it broken. The speaker also belittles women in the poem because he wants to let those who are reading know that women are definitely not always what they seem. The poem insinuates that the speaker was a player in the woman’s game of love and had lost. By simply reading the title of the poem, one realizes that Yeats is giving out a warning to never love wholeheartedly. In the opening lines of the poem, “Never give all the heart, for love / Will hardly seem worth thinking of”, the speaker continues his warning. These lines are saying that when one does give all of their heart for love, they hardly even think about it. The speaker is generalizing love as being blind. In the following lines, the speaker portrays women as deceitful. Lines 3-7 indicate that a woman had tricked the speaker. Based on the lines, “To passionate women if it seem certain”, the author thought the woman he loved to be passionate, however, that is only how she seemed. Good moments of the relationship are also emphasized with the use of the words “kiss”, “dreamy, and “delight”. He also says that “everything that’s lovely” seems great at first. However, just as the speaker is placating the reader under the spell of love, he then restates his warning emphatically. The speaker adds on to his previous lines and states the real heartache. “For they, for all smooth lips can say, / Have given their hearts up to the play.” He states that the woman he gave his heart to was just playing a game. Apart of his message is that if one gives their heart to a woman he is just giving it away to the game of love. In the speaker’s case, he had lost the game. Because of his loss of love, he chose to write this poem as he states in the last lines, “He that made this knows all the cost,...
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