To Althea, From Prison by Richard Lovelace Essay

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The renaissance era was a time of great conflict, but also of great artistic achievements. The seventeenth century was laced with Cavalier poets. One of those whose talents stood above his peers was Richard Lovelace, who was most famous for his poem “To Althea, From Prison”. Behind cell bars, he wrote this linguistic masterpiece tapping into a deep inner thought which resonates for all ages and displays the ideals of freedom, honor and carpe diem to his readers to the extent that it significantly influenced society. The poem was written as his most famous work but it’s said his most famous line of the poem was “stone walls do not a prison make/nor iron bars a cage”. . While in prison, Lovelace is in essence telling Parliament that the …show more content…
Richard Lovelace was indeed in support of the throne and became entangled in the politics of the time. Lovelace's royalist’s ideals led to his presentation of the famous Kentish Petition of 1642. This petition requested several items which included the condemnation of an earlier ordinance which gave the militia arbitrary power and control over Parliament. (Lansberry, 2001) Lovelace’s sense on honor and loyalty to King Charles led him to publically risk his freedom and protest the Long Parliament’s actions during the civil unrest in England. Parliament reacted to Lovelace bringing forth the petition and ordered him appear as a delinquent in front of them. He was imprisoned in 1642 in Westminster Gatehouse from April 30 to June 21 by the Parliament due to his royalist standing petition that had also favored the restoration of the Anglican bishops whom were excluded from the Long Parliament. Thus, while in prison, Richard Lovelace is stating that Long Parliament can not jail his thoughts and passions in life through the words in this famous poem. Themes appearing throughout this poem that are mainly comprised of “the motif of love”. (Gale, 2003). The first four stanzas introduce love as the topic and explain that love is a freedom unto itself that can not compare to anything on Earth. Earth and nature are reflected throughout the writing and each stanza compares his love for Althea to something found

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