George Gascoigne's For That He Looked Not Upon Her

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Sixteenth-century poet George Gascoigne uses varying intensities of images and emphasized diction in his carefully structured form of poetry, "For That He Looked Not Upon Her”, to explain his reasoning behind his inability to look the woman he loves in the face. The standard sonnet form is well used to support Gascoigne’s defense of his actions. This poem follows the “ABAB” rhyme scheme, has even iambic pentameter and ends with a rhyming couplet which puts emphasis on his argument. The speaker begins by bringing attention to the fact that his lover might “think it strange” that he does not look at her. At first glance, the reader may be confused by the speaker’s motivation because, paradoxically, the lover “takes no delight” to look at his love, despite the fact that attractive “gleams” “grow” upon her face. However, by presenting two analogies of a mouse caught in a trap and a scorched fly, the speaker explains why he acts the way he does. While this rigid form is effective in proving his point, it seems a little too rigid to properly convey the actual depth of his emotion.…show more content…
The first image is a mouse, having been caught before would rather hide and suffer the paranoia that follows every time he ventures to get food than eat the food from the trap. This is a reference to the speakers tragic interaction with his lovers chicanery. The speaker is suggesting he would rather live his whole life without succumbing to that “trustless bait” than to love another. The second image of a “scorched fly” portrays and even deeper sense of the speaker’s pain. The fact that the fly was physically burned, suggest that the speaker himself was wounded, metaphorically, and can never fully

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