Literary work is a reflection of what is happening in the society. Authors normally voice their opinion about issues affecting the society through various themes. The three pieces of literature, “How the Plague was ceased in Rome”, “The Three Messengers of Death” and “John Audelay’s Number 51”, are skillfully written and address various issues in the society.
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They explore relevant themes which make them appealing to readers on the theme of death and morality. These themes are closely linked together through analysis of the Lydgate’s composition.
Thus, this reflective treatise analyzes the three poems “How the Plague was ceased in Rome”, “The Three Messengers of Death” and “John Audelay’s Number 51” on the message of the poems, language, themes.
John Lydgate Poetry
How the Plague was ceased in Rome
“How the Plague was ceased in Rome” refers to a poem drafted by John Lydgate. Indeed, “How the Plague was ceased in Rome” was one of the best pretty and premium poems of John the greatest renowned Carpe Diem rhyme in the State.
The poem was composed several centuries back. Thus, this reflective paper attempts to analyze themes of time, death, morality and captivity in the poems “How the Plague was ceased in Rome”, “The Three Messengers of Death” and “John Audelay’s Number 51”. Besides, the paper provides a brief reflection on critic of this literature.
Same as views presented by John, tragedy delves on love, life and tyranny in the poem “How the Plague was ceased in Rome”. As a matter of fact, the key antagonists and protagonists demise eventually. Interestingly, death is presented as a redeemer of what each character stands for.
The main theme in this poem is death. Particularly, the death forms the focal story line. Death is an obsession in the life of this society (Lydgate 24). Ironically, John paints the affluent as weaklings with small physique to withstand the realities of a plague.
He asserts, “He lyste send his grace” (Stanza 6) to acknowledge defeat. Rather, the word ‘lyste’ has the same meaning as will. This will forms the foundation of religious belief as a solution to plague of diseases and moral decay.
Severally, the poem points at the society as vacillating personality who appears confused as the plague widens. Besides, John is a distrustful and bitter loner who has bitter hatred towards the effects of a plague. To affirm the bad feeling, his poetry adopts a somber mood in displaying loyalty as abnormal circumstances that knock indiscriminately.
This poem described how plague raids when least expected. In the third stanza, John expressed how he would be devoted to the almighty in dedicating indefinite quantity of time to beg for revival since the high and mighty in the society has no control. He asserts, “But God (thorugh) his…doth his miracle” (Lydgate 3).
Indeed, John would use much time to esteem every organ of the body towards religious endeavors. Actually, man’s denial to conform to John’s request would not daunt him. Moreover, John recalled how short a person’s life was in the second verse (Lydgate 6).
Reflectively, once life has gone, the chance to make pleasure with one another person would have already gone since nobody would enjoy life in grave. Death is presented as a natural thing, and despite the fact that it is a sad affair, it might be less hurting if someone dies a natural death, and if they are left to live the full years that they were intended to by God (Steele 76).
The Three Messengers of Death
Irrespective of social class, religious inclination, size of accumulated wealth, epoch inclination, and beauty, death kisses people equality every time it knocks on the door of its victim as indicated in the poem “The Three Messengers of Death”. John urged mankind to accept the request, explaining that such passionate affection would enable them to use the most little time they had to exist in the world.
The theme of time was illustrated in the poem. Indeed, John considered time as a marvelous nasty task (Guthke 56). Actually, John intended to turn over features of time in order to command over time. Furthermore, John was distressed with time. However, this was never a surprise to people.
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In fact, time was a controversial debate in 1600s. Actually, John lived when Sir Newton Isaac and Galileo transformed the manner people perceived time (Steele 19). Indeed, time was a mystery in life. John’s poem, therefore investigated the mystery of time.Theme of religion also presented itself in the poem.
In fact, if time was a marvelous nasty task to John, then religion was a fantastic power that he wanted to dominate over his adversary (Guthke 26). Indeed, religious idea was rarely discussed in public of the Rome society.
However, with intelligence and braveness, John talked about religion in an open, attractive and agitating language. Actually, religion comprised one of mysteries that many poets never dared to investigate upon. Indeed, according to Guthke, John’s dedication possibly overlaid the approach for more public debate about religious matters (24).
Furthermore, the conflict in the poetic narrative was due to religious vision in the third verse that associated with time rather than the mankind. Actually, John explained that religious relation would enable him to command over time (Lydgate 21). However, such idea was sarcastically intended. Indeed, this was an eventual remark to the short feature of religious pleasure in life.
The unique language used in these poems is difficult to understand and interpret. The traditional English language makes this poem difficult to understand. Within the complex language, the author uses satire, metaphor, and imagery to add taste to a rather somber topic.
Specifically, in the poems “The Three Messengers of Death”, the author conceals identity in imagery and use of words that convey different meaning to his theme of death. For instance, such a word as ‘ginne’ means strength (Lydgate 24).
John Audelay’s Number 51
Theme of morality that meant death was discussed in the poem “John Audelay’s Number 51”. Actually, the poet described his apparition of death. Though, such apparition was decently perceived depending on what the poet conversed and wished; such hope was beyond and far from his dream.
Actually, John believed that death came due to deficiency to control and command over time (John Audelay’s Number 51 44). Moreover, the poet was a humorous narrator who built an interesting and amusing poem. According to John’s poem, death was associated with time.
John also presented theme of captivity and liberation. Indeed, John discussed how his mind was imprisoned and viewed ways he thought to liberate his situation. He asserts, “Pau take my soule into pi rest” (stanza 49). John poem called for freedom in human life (John Audelay’s Number 51 47). Besides that, captivity was just a metaphorical figure in the poem.
Reflectively, John expected adequate amount of time that would perpetually last beyond his hope. Reflectively, the second verse of the poem attempted to suggest a swift change of imagery which entailed Worms, marble vaults and grave (John Audelay’s Number 51 44).
John’s deliberated to use such metaphors to portray a practical and ruthless death which lies ahead of lovers. In this aspect, John aimed to use such statement to frighten mankind in order to come into his compliance and interest.
Nevertheless, critics viewed John’s use of complicated and implied metaphors as a challenge to the recognized conception of the poem. For instance, in this poem, John’s use of the Pau has the same meaning as God or the supernatural power (Lydgate 48).
Furthermore, the poem elevated doubt of irony and actually misled readers with incorrect and strident imagery. Moreover, certain critics perceived this poem as a sarcastic declaration on death as an affectionate embrace.
Indeed, the three poems are significant, although they express concealed implications to readers. Despite presenting dissimilar information, the baseline ideas are related, imperative and vital to readers in general.
As a matter of fact, the two poems are analogous of their relation regarding vast imagery, visual outcome and atypical rhythmic construction that presented special consequence (How the Plague was ceased in Rome (23), The Three Messengers of Death (36) and John Audelay’s Number 51 (47)). Rhythmic construction of the poems was built using effectual words’ selection and uniqueness of the poet’s technique.
Moreover, the poems shares rich similarities depicting different societal setups. These themes form the foundations upon which the societies are built. They resonate across generations as their influence is inherent. The themes such as identity crisis, tradition, manipulation, and death are universal.
However, the genres have differences as a result of uniqueness of each time, mood, and intention of the composer. The endings of the three poems do not much up. They both end up in different circumstantial incidences. As a result, the poems “How the Plague was ceased in Rome”, “The Three Messengers of Death” and “John Audelay’s Number 51” present numerous differences that require further deliberations.
Conclusively, poets normally intend to make their poems intricate to readers. Readers should not be discouraged when analyzing poems. Actually, poems are composed indirectly and in a tricky manner in order for readers to think deeply for implied meanings.
“How the Plague was ceased in Rome”, “The Three Messengers of Death” and “John Audelay’s Number 51” poems presented amusing experiences since poets built fun to populace who always indict poets of attempting to mislead readers. Therefore, changing information and making such ideas indefinite and ambiguous enable readers to notice the implications.
The themes brought ultimate query to prime of all historical world, particularly to the current literature development. Human interaction and competition elevated visions of human society in the quest to understand love, death, and morality.
However, this was threatened by sudden changes in the social systems of the society such as plague. This brought questions on how people need to stay together and to attain their needs equitably, without involving in overindulgence, selfishness, myopia as proposed by John Lydgate.
Guthke, Karl. The Gender of Death: A Cultural History in Art and Literature. London: Cambridge University Press. 1999. Print.
Lydgate, John. How the plague was ceased in Rome. Michigan: Paul, Trench, Trübner. 1894. Print.
Lydgate, John. John Audelay’s Number 51. Michigan: Paul, Trench, Trübner. 1894. Print.
Lydgate, John. Lydgate and Burgh’s Secrees of old philisoffres. Alabama: Kraus Reprint. 1981. Print.
Lydgate, John. Original series / early English text society, Issue 133. California: University of California. 1907. Print.
Lydgate, John. The three messengers of death. Michigan: Paul, Trench, Trübner. 1894. Print.
Steele, Robert. Lydgate and Burgh’s Secrees of old philisoffres: a version of the “Secreta secretorum. Michigan: Paul, Trench, Trübner. 1894. Print.