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To Lucasta, Going to the Wars

To Lucasta, Going to the Wars


by Richard Lovelace

War and Weapons

Symbol Analysis

We know from the title that the speaker's off to war, but we had no idea he was gonna like it so stinkin' much. And it's not just the shields, horses, and swords that have him all hot and bothered. As we find out in the last two lines, it's the honor that really gets him going.

  • Title: The title of the poem mentions the occasion of the poem, the speaker's departure for war, just so, you know, we don't have to wait until line 4 to figure it out.
  • Line 4: The speaker says he is "flying" (i.e., hurrying) to "war and arms." He is not literally "flying" so "fly" is here a metaphor to describe the haste with which he runs off to battle. Dude seems pretty gung-ho.
  • Lines 5- 6: The speaker compares the first enemy he'll encounter on the battlefield to a "mistress" in the world's most unfortunate metaphor
  • Line 8: The speaker notes how he now embraces with a "stronger faith" his horse, shield, and sword. Okay, rub it in why don't you?
  • Line 12: The speaker equates his love of honor with his decision to go into battle. "Honor" is often something we associate with war and battle; because Lovelace essentially substitutes "honor" for war and battle (things with which it is often linked) this could be considered an example of metonymy.

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