World Literature 1113 1:30
Dr. Jacob Lewis
“A Challenge to a Lover Who Has Offended Her”
Even though a man can do much harm to a woman’s ego, mind, and body, there is always something about the man that can lead her back into his arms. The poem “A Challenge to a Lover Who Has Offended Her” by Veronica Franco demonstrates just that. Franco goes on to describe how she has been lied to and cheated on by the love of her life. Yet, towards the end of the poem, instead of describing how she wants to tear him limb for limb, she would rather challenge him to a love match in bed, if that would better suit him as well.
At the beginning of the poem, Franco talks about letting the attendant (the man is never named in the poem) choose the place, weapons, and seconds for the “duel”. As soon as he sees that she is serious, hopefully he will understand how “ungrateful and faithless” (14) he has been towards her. In lines 16 through 20, Franco rests assured that she is not going to go back on her word of “tearing [his] living heart from [his] very breast” (18), but there is always that chance in the back of her mind that she will.
Franco, like many other women in todays age, has a very hateful tongue when talking about the man that deceived her. While elaborating on how she is going to make her man suffer, one could easily tell that she has regret in her heart. “Although I hope, SMITH 2
without any doubt, to spill/ a a river of your blood-indeed, I am certain/ I can, without shedding a drop of my own-/ what if you were to offer me peace,” (67-70).
Next in the poem, Franco leaves it up to the man to decide if he wants a bloodshed fight, or a love match in her bed. Even after he has deceived her, she is still willing to make love to him in her bed. “...I’d not, perhaps, depart/ from what is decent and proper to do,” (77-78). Here, Franco is saying that even though her getting revenge on him would be the right thing...
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