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I'm struggling to analyse the poem 'The Well-Beloved' by Thomas Hardy

I wayed by star and planet shine
Towards the dear one's home
At Kingsbere, there to make her mine
When the next sun upclomb.

I edged the ancient hill and wood
Beside the Ikling Way,
Nigh where the Pagan temple stood
In the world's earlier day.

And as I quick and quicker walked
On gravel and on green,
I sang to sky, and tree, or talked
Of her I called my queen.

- "O faultless is her dainty form,
And luminous her mind;
She is the God-created norm
Of perfect womankind!"

A shape whereon one star-blink gleamed
Glode softly by my side,
A woman's; and her motion seemed
The motion of my bride.

And yet methought she'd drawn erstwhile
Adown the ancient leaze,
Where once were pile and peristyle
For men's idolatries.

- "O maiden lithe and lone, what may
Thy name and lineage be,
Who so resemblest by this ray
My darling?--Art thou she?"

The Shape: "Thy bride remains within
Her father's grange and grove."
- "Thou speakest rightly," I broke in,
"Thou art not she I love."

- "Nay: though thy bride remains inside
Her father's walls," said she,
"The one most dear is with thee here,
For thou dost love but me."


Then I: "But she, my only choice,
Is now at Kingsbere Grove?"
Again her soft mysterious voice:
"I am thy only Love."

Thus still she vouched, and still I said,
"O sprite, that cannot be!" . . .
It was as if my bosom bled,
So much she troubled me.

The sprite resumed: "Thou hast transferred
To her dull form awhile
My beauty, fame, and deed, and word,
My gestures and my smile.

"O fatuous man, this truth infer,
Brides are not what they seem;
Thou lovest what thou dreamest her;
I am thy very dream!"

- "O then," I answered miserably,
Speaking as scarce I knew,
"My loved one, I must wed with thee
If what thou say'st be true!"

She, proudly, thinning in the gloom:
"Though, since troth-plight began,
I've ever stood as bride to groom,
I wed no mortal man!"

Thereat she vanished by the Cross
That, entering Kingsbere town,
The two long lanes form, near the fosse
Below the faneless Down.

- When I arrived and met my bride,
Her look was pinched and thin,
As if her soul had shrunk and died,
And left a waste within.
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04MR17
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(Original post by spaghetti12)
I'm struggling to analyse the poem 'The Well-Beloved' by Thomas Hardy

I wayed by star and planet shine
Towards the dear one's home
At Kingsbere, there to make her mine
When the next sun upclomb.

I edged the ancient hill and wood
Beside the Ikling Way,
Nigh where the Pagan temple stood
In the world's earlier day.

And as I quick and quicker walked
On gravel and on green,
I sang to sky, and tree, or talked
Of her I called my queen.

- "O faultless is her dainty form,
And luminous her mind;
She is the God-created norm
Of perfect womankind!"

A shape whereon one star-blink gleamed
Glode softly by my side,
A woman's; and her motion seemed
The motion of my bride.

And yet methought she'd drawn erstwhile
Adown the ancient leaze,
Where once were pile and peristyle
For men's idolatries.

- "O maiden lithe and lone, what may
Thy name and lineage be,
Who so resemblest by this ray
My darling?--Art thou she?"

The Shape: "Thy bride remains within
Her father's grange and grove."
- "Thou speakest rightly," I broke in,
"Thou art not she I love."

- "Nay: though thy bride remains inside
Her father's walls," said she,
"The one most dear is with thee here,
For thou dost love but me."


Then I: "But she, my only choice,
Is now at Kingsbere Grove?"
Again her soft mysterious voice:
"I am thy only Love."

Thus still she vouched, and still I said,
"O sprite, that cannot be!" . . .
It was as if my bosom bled,
So much she troubled me.

The sprite resumed: "Thou hast transferred
To her dull form awhile
My beauty, fame, and deed, and word,
My gestures and my smile.

"O fatuous man, this truth infer,
Brides are not what they seem;
Thou lovest what thou dreamest her;
I am thy very dream!"

- "O then," I answered miserably,
Speaking as scarce I knew,
"My loved one, I must wed with thee
If what thou say'st be true!"

She, proudly, thinning in the gloom:
"Though, since troth-plight began,
I've ever stood as bride to groom,
I wed no mortal man!"

Thereat she vanished by the Cross
That, entering Kingsbere town,
The two long lanes form, near the fosse
Below the faneless Down.

- When I arrived and met my bride,
Her look was pinched and thin,
As if her soul had shrunk and died,
And left a waste within.
How far have you got?
What is your brief? What are you supposed to be anaylsing? Just the poem as a whole?
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username4276962
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(Original post by 04MR17)
How far have you got?
What is your brief? What are you supposed to be anaylsing? Just the poem as a whole?
I haven't done anything so far. It's supposed to be about feminism, the question is 'To what extent does Hardy present the repressed records of female experience'. Thanks
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04MR17
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(Original post by spaghetti12)
I haven't done anything so far. It's supposed to be about feminism, the question is 'To what extent does Hardy present the repressed records of female experience'. Thanks
Okay, who's talking in the poem?
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Okay, who's talking in the poem?
I think it's a man speaking but apart from that I don't know anything else about the poem. I couldn't find anything on the internet about the poem.
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(Original post by spaghetti12)
I think it's a man speaking but apart from that I don't know anything else about the poem. I couldn't find anything on the internet about the poem.
Focus on the words, not on google. What is the man doing? Who does he talk to?
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Focus on the words, not on google. What is the man doing? Who does he talk to?
The man is on his way to a woman's house who he claims is his bride. She could literally be his wife or he could be travelling to her house with the intent of asking her to be his wife. He is fantasising about the woman and her physical qualities - from a feminist perspective you could argue that his focus on her physical form is objectifying the woman. He then comes across woman and asks about her lineage showing how women were judged on their family name and not who they are as a person. The mysterious woman then claims that his bride remanis with her father which implies that men had control over their daughters and that women had no freedom. But from stanzas 10-17 I'm not quite sure what's happening.
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(Original post by spaghetti12)
The man is on his way to a woman's house who he claims is his bride. She could literally be his wife or he could be travelling to her house with the intent of asking her to be his wife. He is fantasising about the woman and her physical qualities - from a feminist perspective you could argue that his focus on her physical form is objectifying the woman. He then comes across woman and asks about her lineage showing how women were judged on their family name and not who they are as a person. The mysterious woman then claims that his bride remanis with her father which implies that men had control over their daughters and that women had no freedom. But from stanzas 10-17 I'm not quite sure what's happening.
Stanza 10, the man asks about his bride and where she is. The woman replies "I am thy only Love." thy means your in this instance. What Hardy presents here is seduction. Historically women were often blamed for affairs because it was their fault for seducing the man, this was commonplace due to the subordinate position of women.

I think you also missed something of the plot here...

A shape whereon one star-blink gleamed
Glode softly by my side,
A woman's; and her motion seemed
The motion of my bride.


The man mistakes the second woman to be his bride.

What you need to capitalise on is that this is all coming from the man's perspective. And he believes he's doing no wrong here. He confuses someone else with his bride (that's how committed he is) and then blames her when he realises his error. The female experience in this narrative is being oppressed because the audience is only exposed to the man's version of events.
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Stanza 10, the man asks about his bride and where she is. The woman replies "I am thy only Love." thy means your in this instance. What Hardy presents here is seduction. Historically women were often blamed for affairs because it was their fault for seducing the man, this was commonplace due to the subordinate position of women.

I think you also missed something of the plot here...

A shape whereon one star-blink gleamed
Glode softly by my side,
A woman's; and her motion seemed
The motion of my bride.

The man mistakes the second woman to be his bride.

What you need to capitalise on is that this is all coming from the man's perspective. And he believes he's doing no wrong here. He confuses someone else with his bride (that's how committed he is) and then blames her when he realises his error. The female experience in this narrative is being oppressed because the audience is only exposed to the man's version of events.
Thank you for your help
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