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SOAPSTone Sample On His Being Arrived to the Age of Twenty Three (by John Milton)

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Presentation on theme: "SOAPSTone Sample On His Being Arrived to the Age of Twenty Three (by John Milton)"— Presentation transcript:

1 SOAPSTone Sample On His Being Arrived to the Age of Twenty Three (by John Milton)

2 Sample Poem: “On His Being Arrived at the Age of 23” HOW soon hath time, the subtle thief of youth, Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year! My hasting days fly on with full career, But my late spring no bud or blossom sheweth. Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth, That I to manhood am arrived so near, And inward ripeness doth much less appear That some more timely happy spirits indueth. Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow, It shall be still in strictest measure even To that same lot however mean or high, Toward which time leads me and the will of Heaven. All is, if I have grace to use it so, As ever in my great Taskmaster's eye.

3 First, read the poem and define any unfamiliar words. Hath- has Subtle- not obvious Hasting- quick Sheweth- shows Semblance- resemble Doth- does Indueth- endure, survive

4 Now consider the SOAPSTone S is for Speaker O is for Occasion A is for Audience P is for Purpose S is for Subject Tone is the mood of the poem

5 S Speaker: Is someone identified as the speaker? What assumptions can you make about the speaker? (e.g., age, gender, class, emotional state, etc.)

6 S (Speaker) The speaker of the poem is a young man on his birthday (line 3 “my”). The speaker does consider himself to be old looking (line 6 “so near”), but he thinks the inside doesn’t match the outside. The speaker is religious (L 14 “great Task- master”).

7 O Occasion: What is the rhetorical occasion of the poem? Is it a memory, a description, an observation, a valedictory, an argument, a diatribe, an elegy, a declaration, a critique, etc.?

8 O (Occasion) The occasion is the 23 rd birthday or close to it. He might be thinking about it approaching. John Milton wrote a long time ago (he died in 1674). What was the life expectancy? What was the age of 23 equal to? ( life expectancy was 35 ) The occasion of his birthday is causing the speaker to think about his life (“perhaps”, “yet”)

9 A Audience: Does the speaker identify an audience? What assumptions can you make about the intended audience? Is the speaker clearly addressing one person or the world?

10 A (Audience) I think the speaker is talking or thinking to himself. If he is taking stock of his life he might be thinking about what he has or hasn’t done. God might be part of the audience (last line), so maybe he is praying. He sure wants God to know he has been considered.

11 P Purpose: What is the speaker's purpose? In what ways does the poet convey this message? What is the message? How does the speaker try to spark a reaction in the audience? How is the poem supposed to make the audience feel? What is its intended effect?

12 P (Purpose) If the man is taking stock of his life at this turning point, he might be thinking about what he has left to do. I think that in line 4 he might be thinking about the children (“no bud or blossom shew’th) he doesn’t have. This might be akin to a 55 year old man today looking back on his life.

13 S Subject: What is the subject of the piece? How do you know this? How does the poet present his/her subject? Does (s)he present it immediately or does (s)he delay its revelation?

14 S Subject Growing old, looking back, having regret, but having hope. I think he is frightened of the years flying by (line 3 “my hasting days fly on”). He feels that he may look like a man on the outside (L 5 “my semblance might deceive the truth”, but he still feels like a kid inside “inward ripeness doth much less appear”).

15 Tone Tone: What is the author's attitude toward the subject? What emotional sense do you take from the piece? How does the diction point to tone?

16 Tone In the first 8 lines the speaker seems a little sad about growing old because he never had kids and regrets it. He seems sad that his days are flying by, and lonely. But the tone of the second six lines show that he realizes that there isn’t much he can do about his situation. By the end of the poem he accepts the amount of time he has left ( L 9 “be it less or more, or soon or slow”). His resignation is made easier knowing that his God is watching and judging him (last line “eye”).

17 Other Things to Consider: Stylistic and Linguistic Elements: syntax, language, literary devices, imagery, diction, detail. Use of accented language, metaphors, similes, alliteration, capitalization within the lines, repetition, etc.

18 Also Consider: Narrative Style: How does the poet tell the "story" of the poem? What does the poet reveal? What does he/she conceal? What does (s)he invert/subvert? Is the poem "dramatic," almost play-like in its use of dialogue or theatrical conventions like the soliloquy? How does the poet treat time?

19 Think About: Evidence: What kind of diction dominates the poem? What is the source of the images (for example: nature, weapons, law, science, theology, love, architecture, etc.). What do sound devices contribute to the poem? What was going on politically when the poem was written? (You will have to research the poem’s publishing date…)

20 Consider This Too “Written language, especially poetry, is inherently a flawed translation of lived life.” -Mark Yakich

21 By using the SOAPSTone process you should get more depth of understanding. Your next step in the research paper is to find reliable, credible research that agrees with your SOAPSTone findings, as well as biographical and historical information on the author and time period…


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