Thomas Campion: Poems Essay Questions

Essay Questions

  1. 1

    What is the narrator’s relationship with the woman he describes in “Kind are Her Answers?”

    The narrator’s relationship with this woman is complex and complicated. Though he describes the woman as being deceptive and cruel, he still is attracted to her. The woman’s appeal is likely due to both her physical beauty and her unattainableness. The narrator is drawn in by her cruelty and just-out-of-reach nature. Though it hurts him so, the woman’s deceptive nature is part of the appeal. As a result, the narrator is both drawn to and repulsed by her. In this way, the narrator’s relationship with unattainable woman is very complex, complicated, and emotional.

  2. 2

    In “Follow Thy Fair Sun,” Campion refers to something as a “she.” Who/what is this “she” he speaks of? Why do you think he choose to portray this using a female?

    The “she” Campion refers to is the “fair sun.” He makes repeated references to the sun’s light, her heavenly being, and her “pure beams.” Campion’s association of this pronoun with sun can be contextualized by some of his other poems. Many of Campion’s poems center around a female character—the lover of the narrator. These female characters are often depicted as having other-worldly beauty and entrancing feminine wiles. They are characters of great beauty that project his light and beauty onto those around them. As a result, it makes sense that Campion would associated the sun—something bright and beautiful that cultivates life in others—with the female figure. The sun is also likely a metaphor for a woman in the narrator’s life—something that makes his life brighter and better.

  3. 3

    In “My Life’s Delight,” the narrator makes several references to “thee” and “my life’s delight.” Who is the narrator referring to?

    The entirety of this short poem is dedicated to the narrator’s “life’s delight.” This simply refers to the narrator’s lover—a woman. The narrator uses this poem to explain that his addicted to the woman’s presence and beauty; he is in anguish when she is not near. He begs her not to stay away from him, for he feels only sorrow whenever she leaves. He likens a deprivation of her presence to great pain—one which only she can heal and absolve. To him, she envelops all the sweetness of the world, of his world. She is the light of heaven, personified on Earth.

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