The Eve of St. Agnes Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- Would you agree with the critics who claim that this poem is "one long sensuous utterance… unhappily short on meaning?" In other words, is this just really pretty, without a whole lot of substance? For that matter, do you think this is a good poem? Why or why not?
- What's this poem about? We know, that's a super-basic question, but there's a lot of debate about this: is this a poem about romantic love? If not, what is it about? How do you know?
- Does the St. Agnes' Eve ritual actually work? If so, how does it work? What makes it work?
- Is Porphyro a romantic hero or a deceptive jerk who wakes up his girlfriend from a really nice dream so he can trick her into running away with him? Why do you think so?
- Would you say that there's actual "magic" in this poem? There's a lot of supernatural-ish stuff floating around; how do you account for that?
- What's going on when Porphyro "melts" into the dream of Madeline?
- Does this poem have a happy ending? Why do you think so?
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