2 Background George Gordon Byron was born in 1788 He was described by an ex-lover as ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’, he gained the reputation as a bad boy due to his excessive drinking, gambling, affairs and illegitimate children.‘Roving’ means partying or having a good time.
3 BackgroundThe poem was written with a letter sent to his friend Thomas Moore, when he felt they were getting too old to live such a wild life.“The Carnival – that is, the latter part of it – and sitting up late o’nights, had knocked me up a little…I find the “sword wearing out the scabbard”, though I have but just turned the corner of twenty-nine.”
4 InfluencesThe poem seems to be based on an earlier poem called ‘Maid of Amsterdam’I'll go no more a-roving With you, fair maid, A-roving, a-roving, Since roving's been my ruin, I'll go no more a-roving With you, fair maid!
5 Subject & ToneThe poem is about Byron’s decision to calm his wild ways.How would you describe the tone of the poem?Does he seem sincere? Explain your views.
6 Imagery What does he mean by the metaphor ‘sword’ and ‘sheath’? How does he show in the second stanza that he is feeling tired?What do you make of his assertion that ‘…the heart must pause to breathe, and love itself have rest.’?
7 ImageryThe wording of stanzas 1 and 3 is very similar, yet the meanings are different.Comment on the way Byron uses the words: nightmoonloving
8 FormLook first at the pattern of the verse, and at the rhythm and rhyme of the verse, and note down your observations.Compare the first and last stanzas and find parallels between them.Consider whether there is anything in the sounds of the words which seem to suggest a slower pace in Stanza 2?
9 Feeling Which of these words best describes the tone of the poem: carefreeregretfulself-criticalresignedWrite a paragraph, using PEEL to explain your views.
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