The persona reflects on the image of someone he cares for. This love interest accused him, with their eyes, of breaking their heart. The persona admits that both of them (he and the love interest) can make no excuses for his behaviour because the love interest does not take precedence over his land, or country. Despite this fact, the persona begs for mercy, pleading guilty for being seduced by his love interest’s beauty. This person protects him dearly and he admits that, as a result of this, he has committed treason against his country. He hopes that his country, his other dearest love, will pardon him because he loves both his country and his love interest.
Lines 4, 6-7: The love interest’s eyes constantly accuses and convicts the persona. This device highlights the extent to which the persona has hurt this person.
Lines 18-20: The persona hopes that his country, his other dearest love, will forgive him for the treasonous act of loving another. This highlights the patriotism that defines the persona’s relationship to his country.
The term heart’s-treachery implies that the heart, something so vital and indicative of love, has committed a terrible crime. It highlights the heartbreak that the persona has caused his love interest.
IMPORTANT WORD/ PHRASES
- ‘constant image’
This implies that the persona constantly, or always, remembers his love interest’s face. It emphasizes the guilt he feels in relation to this person.
- ‘grave attention’
The love interest’s eyes display grave attention. The word grave implies intensely serious, so this person is truly hurt.
- ‘world of knives’
A knife inflicts pain and destroys. The persona, therefore, is identifying his world with causing pain.
- ‘such blackmail with your beauty’
To blackmail someone is to have something over them that puts their will in your control. The love interest’s beauty has captivated the persona in such a way that he betrays his country with this person.
The mood of the poem is reflective. The persona is thinking about his two loves and how he is torn between them.
TONE: The tone of the poem is sadness and guilt. The persona is guilt ridden over this love triangle and sadness permeates the words that he uses to describe it.
THEMATIC CATEGORY: Love, guilt, patriotism, places, desires/ dreams