Sir Walter Scott Questions and Answers

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What is a detailed analysis of Walter Scott's poem "Soldier, Rest! Thy Warfare O’er" in terms of language, structure, imagery, themes, and symbols?

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Soldier, Rest! Thy Warfare O'er comes from the First Canto of Sir Walter Scott's poem The Lady of the Lake (which comprises six cantos). The Lady of the Lake tells the story of Ellen Douglas, who is desired by three men (Roderick Dhu, Malcolm Graeme, and James Fitz-James), the conflict between the lowland and highland Scottish clans, as well as the conflict between the king (James Fitz-James) and the Douglas clan. Roderick Dhu leads the Highland clans against James Fitz-James, the king of Scotland. Meanwhile, Ellen Douglas is the lady of the lake (Loch Katrine in the Scottish Highlands). 

The poem Soldier, Rest! Thy Warfare O'er is actually a song sung by Ellen to James Fitz-James while he recovers from his hunt. It uses language that evokes the historical conflict between highland Scottish clans and King James V ("war-steed champing"), where war-horses chew on their bits in their eagerness to participate in battle. The Scottish "trump" or Jew's Harp is mentioned here, as well as the...

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