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To Althea, from Prison

To Althea, from Prison

by Richard Lovelace

To Althea, from Prison Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

"To Althea, from Prison" contains four eight-line stanzas (these are called "octaves"), each of which are regulated both by rhythm and by rhyme. Let's dive into it, shall we?The odd-numbered lines...

Speaker

So, we admit: this guy (and we're just assuming it's a "he") is a bit down on his luck. We're guessing, anyway, that being stuck in a seventeenth-century prison is really not that much fun. No fitt...

Setting

This poem is really all about the setting. It takes place in a prison, which is the main antagonist of the poem. In other words, the poem is really just a list of the ways that the speaker is able...

Sound Check

As we discuss over in "Form and Meter," this poem is governed by a very regular rhyme scheme (ABABCDCD). Every other line, in fact, shares an exact end rhyme. For example, in stanza 2, "round" rhym...

What's Up With the Title?

"To Althea, from Prison" really says it all as far as this poem is concerned. The title tells us that it is written from the perspective of a prisoner and that it is addressed to a woman named Alth...

Calling Card

Lovelace is often numbered among the Cavalier Poets, a group of seventeenth-century poets linked by their loyalty to Charles I in the 1640s (supporters of the king and supporters of Parliament batt...

Tough-o-Meter

Some of the seventeenth-century poets you will read can be a real pain. Lovelace, however, is usually pretty kind when it comes to difficulty. The biggest challenge with this poem is the second sta...

Trivia

Richard Lovelace was friends with a number of other famous poets, including Andrew Marvell and Sir John Suckling. (Source.) Richard Lovelace was once quite wealthy, but he died in poverty. Bummer....

Steaminess Rating

There's a guy and a girl here, and she visits him in prison and "whispers" to him. He also seems to get tangled up in her hair and hypnotized by her eyes. So we can't say that this is totally G-rat...

Allusions

Charles I, King of England, 1625-1649 (19-22)Lucy Sacheverell, Lovelace's supposed lover (3, 5-6)

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