Can I have a detailed analysis of the poem "Care-charmer Sleep" by Samuel Daniel in terms of language/style/tone/imagery and themes? 

Expert Answers
karaejacobi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Delia 45: Care-charmer Sleep, son of the sable Night" is a sonnet written during the English Renaissance. l will break down my analysis into the categories you listed in your question.

Language: The language is what we might expect of a Renaissance poem. The word choice contributes to the tone of the poem. First the speaker uses descriptive language to address Sleep as "son of sable Night" and "Brother to Death." Because of Sleep's nature, the speaker wants it to "Relieve my languish, and restore the light" (line 3). Ironically, he wants Sleep to provide "light," which in this case is almost more like lightening of his burden than literal light. He reveals his dismal state of mind with words like "scorn" and "torment."

Tone: The tone of the poem is very somber. The speaker seems regretful and desperate. He addresses Sleep using apostrophe, which implies that he has no one to talk to about his problems. He is lonely. He also uses words like "languish," "grief," and "aggravate" to describe his feelings.

Style: The poem is structured as a sonnet, a fourteen-line poem in iambic pentameter with a specific rhyme scheme. The whole poem is written in apostrophe, addressed to Sleep.

Imagery: Much of the imagery has to do with describing Sleep and night vs. day. There are some other vivid images to describe the speaker's state of mind, including "The shipwreck of my ill-adventur'd youth" (6). This image conveys the utter destruction that the speaker sees in his earlier life. He feels he has made catastrophic mistakes that have contributed to his melancholy mood.

Themes: The theme of the poem is the wish for Sleep to avoid pain. The speaker wants Sleep to block out memories of painful experiences.

Lynn Ramsson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Daniel's sonnet employs the literary device of apostrophe, which is the direct address of someone or something not present in the poem; in this poem, the speaker addresses sleep, which functions as a metaphor for death. By using apostrophe, the speaker suggests a close relationship with sleep, or at the very least, a desired close relationship, as a certain familiarity is implied by direct address. The speaker compares sleep to death, as the relief the speaker hopes to experience by sleeping can be more permanent if it arrives in the form of death.

The tone of the poem is respectful and and pleading at some points, while mournful and regretful at others. The tone is expressed by different kinds of poetic language and imagery. For example, the speaker alliterates "languish" and "light" when pleading with sleep to give him relief, and and he compares his youth to a shipwreck, expressing regret. As well, the "rising sun" that illuminates the faults of the speaker is sure to "add more grief." The speaker would prefer to "embrace clouds" and hide, even though he knows that such an attempt to disguise himself from the light of day is futile. These images contrast the notions of exposure and concealment, and the tension between these two ideas adds emotional intensity to the sonnet.

jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The theme of the poem, which is a sonnet (a poem of fourteen lines with ten syllables in each line), is the solace that the poet seeks in sleep and perhaps in death. The poet begins the poem by directly addressing sleep and personifying sleep as a person. He addresses sleep as a "care-charmer" and "son of the sable Night," using alliteration, or the repetition of the initial sounds of each word. He also refers to sleep in a metaphorical way as "Brother to Death," meaning that sleep is similar to death.

He then calls on sleep to relieve his woes and to be a time when he can achieve peace, unlike the daytime, when he grieves over what he calls, in a metaphorical way, "the shipwreck of my ill-adventur'd youth." In other words, he does not want to think about the ways his youth was misspent, and he presents the image of his youth as a shipwreck. He says that he wants to sleep without dreaming, which he refers to as presenting images of our "day-desires," another alliteration that refers to the wants and needs we experience during the day. In the final couplet, he seems to yearn for death, which would put an end to the discomfort and pain he feels during the day. The tone of the poem is dark and wistful, as the poet yearns for a different past and the relief from his thoughts that comes from sleep or death.

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