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Character Analysis in A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

The poem begins with a group of people gathered at the deathbed of a virtuous man, trying to determine which breath will be his last. However, the poem is primarily concerned with the love of the speaker and his significant other. The speaker suggests that the love they share is not tied to the physical body but rather is a connection between their minds. The speaker uses this perception of their relationship to argue that distance will not affect their love or fidelity. The speaker describes his lover as a the fixed point of a mathematical compass to show her faithful, steadfast nature. In turn, the speaker is the moving point because he must travel far from his lover. The compass metaphor demonstrates that the two lovers will remain connected no matter how far the physical distance between them grows.

Character Analysis Examples in A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning:

A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning

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"So..."   (A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning)

The speaker turns abruptly away from this scene to speak to his lover about their love. This movement of focus from death to life is reminiscent of Carpe Diem poetry in which the speaker reminds his love object and addressee of the immanence of death in an attempt to get her to appreciate the beauty and importance of their love.

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