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Laura Hydrick

Timed Writing For that He Looked Not upon Her

George Gascoignes For That He Looked Not upon Her is a poem about why he will not
look the woman he loves in the face. By analyzing form, diction, and imagery it becomes clear
that it is out of fear and sadness that he cannot bear to face her.

Comment [O1]: I added this to enforce my


thoughts and add further development

The poem is a sonnet with an AB rhyme scheme and employs the use of iambic
pentameter as well as couplets. This meticulously neat structuring explains a great deal about
the speaker, and already one can expect the theme to deal with love, as that is what sonnets
are about. The seemingly perfect and neat physical structure of the passage suggests that the

Comment [O2]: I added this statement because


it is pertinent to the analysis and I had previously
and foolishly left it out.

speaker is put together and rigid, while the conformity to the sonnet structure suggests the
speakers arguments are firm and concrete. However, because it is so rigid, it begs the question
of the depth of the speaker and his seeming lack of affection. His lover notices that he will not
look her in the face and is puzzled, exclaiming that she thinks it is strange.

Comment [O3]: I edited some of the vocabulary


in this section and reworded some of the sentences
to help the structure and logicality

By analyzing the diction, one can begin to understand the underlying doubt and
grief within the speaker. Because of the use of harsh, emotion-packed words such as louring,
low, trustless, deceit, and scorched, it conveys the tone as melancholy and damaged,
and this is apparent especially as he sarcastically uses the word dazzled to describe the
grievous game of love. This use of sarcasm helps to understand the speaker and his purpose,
as well as his feelings on love in general.

Comment [O4]: I added this sentence to help


develop my thoughts and add lucidity to the
argument I am making

The attitude finally becomes coherent when examining the presence of imagery.
The speaker references a mouse being trapped and a fly being scorched. By using a fly and a
mouse he implores the use of innocent, vulnerable creatures that are harmless and drawn to

Comment [O5]: I added this to help develop and


add a relatability to my argument.

their trustless bait out of naivety, and are ultimately caught or burned. This parallels the
speakers life and helps assuage the mystery of why he cannot look the girl in the face. It
becomes clear that he is comparing himself to he mouse and the fly, and this bait was
another girl. He got too close and got trapped and burned, and because of that he learned his
lesson as the fly did (the mouse was too late) and will not get close to the flame again out of
fear and maturity.
This complex attitude can be deciphered by form, diction, and imagery. These
elements serve to give the reader a feeling of understanding and relatability, as most everyone
can understand heartbreak and love sickness and the grip it can have on people. A grip that
makes them bitter and afraid, as the speaker in Gascoignes poem is.

Comment [O6]: I edited the wording of this


sentence to bring clarity to what I was saying as I
quit addressing the mouse.