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Thread: L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Comparison

  1. #1
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    L’Allegro and Il Penseroso Comparison

    I have to write a comparison and contrast essay on these two poems and I don't understand them at all. Does anyone know where I could get a line by line interpretation or summaries of the poems??


    Esasy due 6/27/2008 so prompt responses are greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. #2
    is my namesian. Jamesian's Avatar
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    Umm, start with the titles perhaps? 'The Happy Man' vs. 'The Melancholy Man'
    I try to stay off these homework-help threads, but I'll venture a vague hint on this one. Formally, they are obviously almost the same (save that one is slightly longer) - yet they put forth completely opposing arguments. Consider the first ten lines of each, and then what follows.
    The book itself is a curious artifact, not showy in its technology but complex and extremely efficient: a really neat little device, compact, often very pleasant to look at and handle, that can last decades, even centuries. It doesn't have to be plugged in, activated, or performed by a machine; all it needs is light, a human eye, and a human mind. It is not one of a kind, and it is not ephemeral. It lasts. It is reliable.
    --Ursula K. Le Guin

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    King of Dreams MorpheusSandman's Avatar
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    Hate I found this thread so late as I just read these two poems. They're not all that complicated really - the language might be a barrier, but they're quite simply about two men proclaiming the merits of their chosen spirits (Mirth and Melancholy) and damning/rejecting the opposing one. L'Allegro revels in the happiness Mirth brings (and indeed, the poem is very happy and pastoral, like a warm summer day in the country) and Il Penseroso revels in the depths inspired by Melancholy (which opposingly, the poem is very dark and meditative, like sitting in a dark, solitary room in the woods on a stormy night). If the two were music, L'Allegro would be Mozart and Il Penseroso Beethoven.

    Even though it's too late to help your report, you might want to read the two HERE for a good, basic understanding of them.
    Last edited by MorpheusSandman; 08-02-2008 at 04:08 PM.
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." --Carl Gustav Jung

    "To absent friends, lost loves, old gods, and the season of mists; and may each and every one of us always give the devil his due." --Neil Gaiman; The Sandman Vol. 4: Season of Mists

    "I'm on my way, from misery to happiness today. Uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh, uh-huh" --The Proclaimers

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