Saturday, October 9, 2010

a brief introduction to tone


Tone:
The attitude of the author towards the subject of his work.

Example:
“Had we but world enough, and time This coyness, Lady, were no crime, We would sit down and think which way To walk, and pass our long love's day.” (Line 1-4), “But at my back I always hear Time's winged chariot hurrying near;...”(Stanza 2, Lines 1 and 2), “Now therefore, while the youthful hue Sits on they skin like morning dew, And while they willing soul transpires At every pore with instant fires, Now let us sport us while we may,” (Stanza 3, Lines 1-5)

Function:
In the poem, “His Coy Mistress” by Andrew Marvell, we follow a brazen courtier talking to his mistress. He begins his proposition by complementing his lady. How beautiful she is, and how much he loves her. If he had enough time in fact, he would spend thirty thousand years admiring her body. “An age at least to every part”. However, these promises of love and affection end quite abruptly in the second stanza with, “But at my back I always hear Time's winged chariot hurrying near;...”(Stanza 2, Lines 1 and 2). He is saying that death is coming fast, and there is no way to avoid it. That doesn't make sense, however, without the first few lines of the first stanza. “Now therefore, while the youthful hue Sits on they skin like morning dew, And while they willing soul transpires At every pore with instant fires, Now let us sport us while we may,” (Stanza 3, Lines 1-5). So since they don't have time to be this loving couple because death could come at any moment, they should have sex. This unearths the courtier's true nature. He doesn't really care about the girl, but instead he only cares about the sex he can have with her. The authors objectivity of the woman is irreverent, because he gives her no respect as a person. This tone also changes the way you read the poem. At first it seemed like you started the conversation with them, but after understanding the tone, we can see that the conversation began much before we came in. The courtier seems a little annoyed because he cant get what he wants from the girl. So instead of the talk being clever and biggotory, we can see it as a flustered pleading for sex. The insight we get from that can tell us a lot about Andrew Marvell, who is probably much like his character in the poem. It can also tell us a lot about the time period, and the mans desire to strip away the coyness and formality of sex.

16 comments:

  1. lol this is like english class all over again XD

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  2. Oh wow I really didn't expect the tone of the story to go so dark o.o;

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  3. it's always about sex isn't it

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  4. Pretty helpful for writing, nice

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  5. awesome post, bro! waiting for MOAR

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  6. Tone is really tough to put a finger on, sometimes.

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  7. I dont like the tone of your voice! haha jks :D Nice post.

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  8. Thanks for the comments on my blog :)

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  9. thanks for the comments on my blog!

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  10. Wow, i did not know about that e___e

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  11. No matter how hard you try to hear the tone of my written words, you never will. Words are silent, yet they speak volumes. What a conundrum...

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  12. Always had a misunderstanding between tone and theme. Actually cleared this up for me better than my old English teacher.

    http://quarterqwerty.blogspot.com/

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