Dickinson’s poem, “Much Madness Is Divinest Sense,” opens with a statement that immediately demands the reader’s attention. Dickinson employs her ironic, or contradictory, wit to the full text of this poem, beginning with the paradox in the first line. Questions that may arise with the first two words in this line might concern what she means by “madness.” Is Dickinson referring to insanity or anger? To complicate matters, Dickinson throws the reader off by adding the surprising two words at the end of this line, juxtaposing the first impressions with a contradictory second one. The reader might wonder if Dickinson is serious or if she is poking fun at someone or something. Is she enjoying her madness? Is she using madness to rise above a situation in which she feels uncomfortable or trapped? How can madness make sense? And why “divinest Sense?” Does she mean divine in the sense of being godly, or is she referring to something that is merely delightful?
Note the alliteration in this line. There is the double m in “much madness,” and the s at the end of the words “madness,” “is,” and “divinest.” Also, the word, “Sense,” has s at both the beginning and the end. So this initial line is not only catchy for its contradictory or rebellious twist in meaning, but the use of alliteration makes the line fun to read with the tongue slipping over all the s sounds.
(The entire section is 1114 words.)
Show us the love and view this for free! Use the facebook like button, or any other share button on this page, and get this content free!free!
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of Much Madness Is Divinest Sense Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!