General Paper

1004 WordsAug 31, 20145 Pages
I GRIEVE, AND DARE NOT SHOW MY DISCONTENT What’s it all about? This poem is about someone having to hide their true emotions, as Queen Elizabeth hides her unhappiness at being unable to marry a potential suitor. However, can also be perceived to be more generally about someone in a role of great responsibility having to act and behave in a manner contrary to their own heart. Context By now, if you’ve no idea who Elizabeth I is then you’re screwed. All of this section of Songs of Ourselves is composed in her reign and we’ve already looked at a couple of her poems. This poem is elsewhere entitled On Monsieur’s Departure and is widely believed to have been composed after negotiations to marry a French prince, Francis, Duke of Anjou, broke down. She knew he’d be one of her last suitors as she was 46 and even though he was just 24 he was the only suitor she actually got to know. The idea wasn’t very popular in England and she was forced to call the whole thing off – the English have never been fond of the French and he was a Catholic to boot! Themes Poor Elizabeth. This poem deals with regret, duty and forlorn love. She regrets that she is not able to pursue her personal desires as a result of her commitment to her duties as a leader and as a result she never gets a chance to truly love. Content The opening stanza begins with huge contrasts between her internal emotions and her public display. She ‘grieves’ and ‘loves’, but is forced to show her subjects that she is not upset even feels ‘forced to seem to hate’. She feels she has to react this way to please her subjects. Elizabeth is clearly struggling with these two personas she has to maintain: her private feelings and how she must present herself as a Queen. ‘I am and not’ maybe suggests she feels like she is her own person, but also is never allowed to be because of her duty. Now

More about General Paper

Open Document