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Analysis


Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

Dead friend? Check.Shepherds? Check.That's it, folks. That's all you need to know about this poem to conclude that "Lycidas" is a pastoral elegy. Great. But wait, what's a pastoral elegy? Awesome q...

Speaker

This guy is a free spirit. He's talking to the myrtles and the laurels, he's singing a song to no one in particular, and he's talking about strange-sounding nymphs, gods, and goddesses of which you...

Setting

Let's suppose you're a diligent student of English literature who knows that many of England's finest poets, including John Milton and William Wordsworth, attended Cambridge University. One autumn...

Sound Check

Is it a song, or a poem? With all the blurring between the two that goes on in "Lycidas," you'd be forgiven for wanting to belt a few lines out in the shower. The problem is, this poem is so irregu...

What's Up With the Title?

"Lycidas" is a poem that mourns the death of Milton's college buddy Edward King, whom he refers to in the poem as Lycidas. You're probably wondering why in the world Milton would write a poem for h...

Calling Card

Even the best of us can be left scratching our heads at some of Milton's lines. Our guy is known for his crazy syntax (that's a fancy word for sentence structure), requiring us readers to go huntin...

Tough-o-Meter

(7) Snow LineWith its wonky syntax, obscure classical allusions, and confusing vocabulary, "Lycidas" makes for a tough and tricky read. Our man Milton was practically a legend when it came to makin...

Trivia

When John Milton wrote his most famous poem , Paradise Lost, he was completely blind. He had to dictate the whole thing, which is as long as a novel. Talk about patience (Source).After he went blin...

Steaminess Rating

This is a poem about the death of a good friend, so as you might expect, that means there is no sex to be found in "Lycidas."

Allusions

This poem has more shout-outs than drive-time radio. The echoes, allusions, references, and sources in "Lycidas" are practically innumerable. We've included a number of the most important and mains...
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