Critical Analysis of Poem: Stand who so list
“Stand who so List”, is one of the most-read and famous poems written by Sir Thomas Wyatt. In this article, we are going to have a look at the overall idea of the poem. We will also analyze the stanzas of this poem with a critical approach.
Explaining the poem
The poet is of the view that a person must know his inner self. He need not know one thousand and one outsiders but he must know himself. He can, only then, pass a happy contented life. And a man who passes a happy contented life meets a happy contented death. So, if anybody wishes to meet a peaceful and quiet death, he must choose to pass a peaceful and quiet life. The courtly people, or the people who are busy living a noisy pompous life, cannot dream of such a peaceful and quiet death because death takes their throat in its tight grip. For example:
For him death gripeth right hard by the crope
That is much known of other; and of himself alas,
Doth die unknown, dazed with dreadful face
The poet has been able to give vent to his genuine expressions in the poem in a very positive and successful manner. He has not used any simile but the words are forceful and powerful enough to convey the lying and the implied meanings of the poet in an exhaustive way The words are simple and straightforward, filled up with latent force and strength. On line no. 8 of the poem, the poet uses a metaphor. “Death” taxes the form of a powerful fellow behaving in two utterly opposite ways to the “courtly” and “contented” people. This metaphor does its duty near the end of the poem, of increasing the overall impact of the poem.
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