PoetryAS-Level - Songs of Ourselves - Part 1GCSE - Songs of Ourselves - Part 4NovelFasting, FeastingHalf of a YellowSunDramaGCSEExam Skills

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Sir John Suckling

Why, so pale and also wan, fond lover?

Prithee, why so pale?

Will, as soon as looking well can’t relocate her,

Looking ill prevail?

Prithee, why so pale?


Why so dull and also mute, young sinner?

Prithee, why so pale?

Will, once speaking well can’t win her,

Saying nopoint do’t?

Prithee, why so mute?


Quit, quit, for shame; this will not move,

This cannot take her.

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If of herself she will not love,

Nothing have the right to make her;

The adversary take her!


What’s it all about?

The poetic voice (man talking) is questioning the allude of his friend’s love sickness. This lover is making himself sick and also going into his shell, which is leading to all of his friends embarrassment and also the poetic voice is discussing the pointlessness of his misery and also informing him, quite aggressively, to obtain over this girl and relocate on via his life.

Context (what background details do you actually need to know about Sir Suckling and also the poem?)

Well, initially of all, this is a song from a play Suckling composed called ‘Aglaura’ in 1637. It is automatically introduced by Orsames who claims it is: ‘A little bit foolish counsel… I offered to a friend of mine… as soon as he was falling into a consumption’. So, it is advice to a friend who is feeling lovesick.

Suckling lived in between 1609-42 and also was a Cavalier poet (basically one of Charles I’s fanboys) that were associated through carecost-free gallantry. Therefore he had an exciting life, which he filled via his share of womanising and gambling. This might perhaps define his attitude to womales in this poem.

Knowing this is not massively valuable for this poem, however you never recognize.


Love, love, love. Unrequited love. However, don’t be fooled right into thinking this is a romantic poem; it is not in anyway. This poem tells us a lot about the poetic voice (which appears pretty equivalent to what you can suppose of Suckling) thinks around love and also women: don’t acquire soppy about it, just relocate on if she won’t have actually you.


The first stanza provides rhetorical inquiries to make the lover consider why he is making himself sick. ‘Pale’ and also ‘wan’ both suggest a face without colour, so someone experiencing from physical sickness. Lines 3-4 are supplied by the poetic voice to indicate that if this girl does not want him ‘when looking well’ (healthy) then why would certainly she desire him as soon as he looks sickly.

In a comparable manner the second stanza encounters the change in this lover’s personality. If the poetic voice is friends through the lover you would certainly think that he generally finds him amazing and also engaging, but in the open lines he questions why the lover is ‘dull’ and also ‘mute’ arguing that he has actually stopped talking or being affiliated and also is coming to be a little of a bore to all about him. Aobtain the middle lines of the stanza, 8-9, emphasise exactly how futile the lover’s reactivity to rejection is, as he is never before going to win the girl round through his silent sobriety if she didn’t desire him once he is ‘speaking well’. Both these stanzas highlight the ridiculous nonfeeling that is love sickness – if she doesn’t favor you at your best, she’s not going to be interested once you’re a blubbering mess.

The last stanza is a little of a adjust and also is maybe the first supportive comment from the poetic voice to the lover. The initially line is a plea for the lover to snap out of it through the repetition of ‘quit’ emphasising the voice’s frustration with him and also ‘shame’ tells the lover he is embarrassing himself and his friends. However before, it then becomes fairly abusive towards the object of the lover’s desire as the voice says that if she won’t love him then ‘the adversary take her’, which is a sixteenth-seventeenth century tantamount for ‘sod her’. He is slagging her off to make the lover feel a bit better around himself and hopeful to get him to relocate on.

Language and also techniques

The primary methods to discuss is the poet’s use of rhetorical questions and also repetition. Once you’ve explored the way the poem creates an image of love sickness affecting both physical appearance and social behaviour, the continual usage of rhetorical questions is pretty necessary.

The poet knows precisely why the lover is looking so ‘pale and also wan’ and why he is ‘so dull and also mute’ (he’s love sick), yet asks the concerns and also then repeats the concerns three time in stanza one and two to really drive residence just how absurd the lover is being. It has actually the exact same impact as someone say ‘What’s the point?’ 3 times, which emphasises the pointlessness. The use of the word ‘Prithee’ on both repetitions is overly polite and also sarcastic as the poetic voice clearly thinks his frifinish is being foolish. The rhetorical questions in the middle of stanza one or 2 are both dripping through sarcasm as they are clearly ridiculous concerns designed to highlight the lover’s idiotic place.

It can also be worth discussing the adjust in language in the final stanza. We have actually the first cite of ‘her’ (as in the love interest) and also she is instantly cursed via the expression ‘the evil one take her’, which is offered as a means of telling his frifinish that she is no good and can go to hell and informing the lover to relocate on from her.

If you feel confident, you can also talk around the alliterative usage of ‘w’ (‘why’, ‘wan’)and ‘p’ (‘pale’, ‘prithee’) sounds in the first stanza and ‘m’ in the second stanza, which are harsh sounding once review aloud and contribute to mood of aggression or deep sarcasm in a rebuking manner.


Remember: there is no point talking about framework unless you deserve to connect it to some cautious evaluation. Examiners don’t treatment around ABABCC rhymes schemes and also coupallows unless you have the right to describe why they have actually been used and to what impact.

The essential thing here is that the poem is structured like a logical debate. You might discuss two elements of the poem that aid to provide it a calm and logical feel. Firstly, the initially two stanzas establish the difficulty and also the fenergy of the present situation, while the final stanza delivers a logical solution: ‘foracquire her!’. Secondly, look at the regularity of the building of each stanza – 5 lines, ABABB rhyme system, constant metre via 85855 syllables. This isn’t the irregularity of someone wild through eactivity, but is concentrated, organised… logical… as it was intfinished to be as it is guidance to try to gain the lover to check out feeling.


We’ve partly covered this above, but let’s simply make it clear.

See more: How Do You Say Used To In Spanish (Usado), Used To In Spanish

You can intend a poem around a love sick somebody to be sympathetic, but this is really not sympathetic. It drips through sarcasm and also is repeated to the suggest wbelow the lover might only maybe be embarrassed, not consoled (‘Quit, quit, for shame). The method some of the alliteration forces you to spit the letters out provides us the impression that the poetic voice is frustrated through his friend and wants him to snap out of it. However, the last stanza’s frustration virtually fizzles to sympathy for his friend and trying to make his frifinish hate himself out of his melancholy through the malice directed in the direction of this innocent non-reciprocating womale.