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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Winter By William Shakespeare summary and analysis and themes


This poem by Shakespeare is divided in to stanzas with nine lines each.

The meaning of the words:

Icicle: thin point stick of ice that hangs down from something such as a roof.

Dick: name of person.

Shepherd: someone whose job is to take care of sheep.

Blow: wind moving.

Log: peace of cut trees.

Hall: a room or passage that is just inside the front entrance of a house or public building.

Pail: bucket.

Nipped: frozen.

Foul: disgusting, very ugly.

Nightly: every night.

Stare: to look at someone or something for a long time without moving your eyes.

Owl: kind of bird hunts at night and has large eyes.

Merry: happy.

Greasy: full of oil.

Keel: cooling.

Blow: to remove.

Cough: pushing air out of your throat with tough sound because you are sick.

Parson: the man of the church.

Saw: a tool with sharp points, used for cutting wood.

Brood: to think sadly.

Marian: name of a girl.

Raw: uncooked.

Roasted: to cook or be cooked in an oven or over a fire.

Crabs: a wild fruit (green apple).

Hiss: sound (hiss).

Bowl: a wide round container that is open at the top, used for holding liquids, food etc.

Paraphrasing + imagery + figure of speech:

When icicles hang by the wall

The poet describes the ice that hangs down from the roof in a way to describe how cold the weather is. Here we have visual image.

And Dick the shepherd blows his nail

He is talking about a shepherd called Dick who is sitting out side suffering from the cold weather and he is trying to warm his hand. Here we have image of feeling the skin (very cold).

And Tom bears logs into the hall

Another man called Tom is carrying the peaces of wood that he cut to store. He is working extremely hard in cutting the wood. Here we have visual image (hard work, very cold).

And milk comes frozen home in pail

Even the milk becomes frozen from the very cold weather. The image here is visual.

When blood is nipped and ways be foul

The blood in the veins of the people is also becomes frozen and all the roads are very dirty. The image is feeling because you feel it in your skin and visual image (dirty roads).

Then nightly sings the staring owl

Every night the owl is singing it is song "Tu-with_tu-who". The image is hearing.


This is the song that the owl is singing every night. It is a scary sound and not nice. Here we have hearing image.

A merry note

He found the song is very happy. There is an irony (figure of speech) in this line because the sound of the owl is very ugly and scary but he found it happy because it is the only sound he could hear at night in the winter. The image is hearing.

While greasy Joan doth keel the pot

In the time that dirty Joan is keeling the pot, this is a pleasant image for John who is preparing the warm food in a cold winter. In other hand, Joan looks dirty because cleaning clothes is a very hard work in winter. We have here visual image. ……………………………………………………………………………………….

When all aloud the wind doth blow
It is a description for the loud sound of the wind, it is a sound imagery because in this line you can imagine that you are hearing the wind blows. The image is hearing.
And coughing drowns the parsons saw
The voice of the sick people in the church while they are coughing is very loud and annoying so he describes it as the sound of the saw and no one can hear the parsons talking. Here we have hearing image and metaphor.
And birds sit brooding in the snow
The birds are sitting sadly and not singing because of the snowy weather. The image is visual.
And Marian's nose looks red and row
The little girl Marian has a red and row nose because of the very cold weather and sickness. Here we have visual image and metaphor.
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl
Heated green apples are making a hissing sound in the dish because of the cold weather. The image is hearing.
Poetry should not just deals exclusively with beauty like sunset, flowers, or love. The function of poetry is sometimes to be ugly rather than beautiful, and poetry may deal with common goals and grassy cooks as good as with sunset and flowers.
The poem contains no moral, no lessons, no messages like some readers wants.
The main theme in this poem is about the tough and extremely cold winter. It is descriptive poem for conditions that people went through in the cold winter in that time

The speaker:-
There is only one speaker in the poem who seems to be the poet himself.

Paraphrasing :-

First Stanza:-

The poet gives to us homely details of the cold weather in winter.
He said that water is freezing while it is dropping from the wall, so it is extremely cold.
And people can't stop working because the coldness of winter and they have to go out and work.
Dick the shepherd has nothing to warm him just his breath because he is poor man so he is blowing his fingertips to warm him.
And Tom is working hard to survive in this cold winter. He cuts logs and brings them home to fuel the fire to get their home little warmer.
Also in this cold weather while they were getting the milk from the farm to the house . it froze in the bucket before it arrives to the home , So they can't drink it until its defrosted .

Second Stanza :-
Harsh winter and extreme cold make the blood frozen too. And the people couldn't move around easily because of this cold and because of the street are full of mud.
At the night while Joan a greasy, dirty looking women was keeling a pot to prepare some hot food in this coldness.
The staring owl was singing in scary tune. And when the poet said "merry note" it is ironic because people always believe that the owl tone is scary and gives pessimistic feeling of death.

Third Stanza:-
When the wind blew with noise, it made the weather colder. And in the church while the priest was giving an important religious speech people usually listen and the room is quiet but actually no one was hearing him from people's coughing because they were sick and that drowned his voice. Also the birds were sad and not moving in the snow as if they were nesting, And Marian has got a cold from this horrible winter .Therefore her nose is red and soft.

Forth Stanza:-
In winter people usually prepare warmed food .So they prepared some roasted and hot apples At night the owl was singing again while Joan was keeling hot food which makes life bearable .The repetition of the sound that the owl makes adds a humorous and scary tone .Although the owl is a symbol of bad luck but Shakespeare trying to use it to add cheerful note and atmosphere to the poem.

The main idea:-
The unpleasant and cold season winter and the cold feeling the speaker feels.

[When icicles hang by the wall]
[And milk comes frozen home in pail]
[And birds sit brooding in the snow]
[And Marian's nose looks red and raw]
[While greasy Joan doth keel the pot]
Visual image
[When blood is nipped, and ways be foul]
[And Dick the shepherd blows his nail]
There is imagery sense of feeling
[When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl]
Auditory imagery


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