We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

See Pricing

What's Your Topic?

Hire a Professional Writer Now

The input space is limited by 250 symbols

What's Your Deadline?

Choose 3 Hours or More.
Back
2/4 steps

How Many Pages?

Back
3/4 steps

Sign Up and See Pricing

"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Back
Get Offer

Contrast in Percy Bysshe Shelley’s To Me This World’s a Dreary Blank

Hire a Professional Writer Now

The input space is limited by 250 symbols

Deadline:2 days left
"You must agree to out terms of services and privacy policy"
Write my paper

Shelley’s poem is a melancholy meditation on the transience of youth and life’s happiness. This central idea is explicitly made obvious through different stylistic devices. To begin with, the theme is mainly built on contrast. The speaker’s sense of loss is in fact reinforced by a central thematic opposition between past happiness and present sadness. The vanished pleasures of the speaker’s youth are indeed contrasted to the difficulties and sadness of his present as an old man.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Contrast in Percy Bysshe Shelley’s To Me This World’s a Dreary Blank
Just from $13,9/Page
Get custom paper

Stanzas, too, are constructed on a structural opposition between past and present. This is evidenced by the obvious alternation between the simple present and simple past tenses. On the level of the lexis, this opposition is also demonstrated by the use of opposite semantic registers. The past is in fact associated with positive images of “endless bliss and joy,” and of “jocund” and “gay” moments. The gloominess of the present, on the other hand, is underlined by negative images of blankness, “sorrow,” “tear,” “sigh,” and “death.

Numerous figures of speech are also used to elaborate the theme. Among these we can mention personification. The speaker’s world is depicted as a treacherous entity whose “smiling” aspect is only illusive, as it turns to be deceitful and “ungrateful”. The metaphor “this world’s dreary blank” also reinforces the speaker’s deep sense of meaninglessness. Once his joyful youth is gone, life has become for him a frightful emptiness.

The pattern of opposition between past and present is also reinforced by similes. Thus, for the speaker, the “pleasures” of life tend to fade “as dropping flower”. This simile evokes the fleeting nature of beauty, as well as the transience of life. The speaker’s comparing his thought to “blackening clouds in a stormy sky” also confirms his pessimistic vision of life. This deep sense of void and despair is also expressed by means of synecdoches.

In this respect, the sorrowful old man is relegated to a heavy “heart that bears deep sorrow’s trace,” dragging “a dull and lengthened pace. ” He is also reduced to a “sunken cheek” and “humid eyes. ” Such synecdoches aim to evoke the old man’s present paleness, weakness, and vulnerability. Death, therefore, becomes preferable to the life of woes and affliction that the speaker experiences. The oxymoron “friendly death” clearly presents death as a kind of solace; it is the speaker’s only hope for a final moment of repose.

Cite this Contrast in Percy Bysshe Shelley’s To Me This World’s a Dreary Blank

Contrast in Percy Bysshe Shelley’s To Me This World’s a Dreary Blank. (2016, Dec 18). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/contrast-in-percy-bysshe-shelleys-to-me-this-worlds-a-dreary-blank/

Show less
  • Use multiple resourses when assembling your essay
  • Get help form professional writers when not sure you can do it yourself
  • Use Plagiarism Checker to double check your essay
  • Do not copy and paste free to download essays
Get plagiarism free essay

Search for essay samples now

Haven't found the Essay You Want?

Get my paper now

For Only $13.90/page