What makes a happy life use example from the poem "The Character of a Happy Life"?In Sir Henry Wotton's, "The Character of a Happy Life", how is a...

What makes a happy life use example from the poem "The Character of a Happy Life"?

In Sir Henry Wotton's, "The Character of a Happy Life", how is a happy life defined ?

poem "The Character of a Happy Life"


 

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kimfuji eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If you follow the poem throughout you can see that the poet is saying that a happy person is one who only does what he thinks is the most honest and truthful.

He is happy when he does not serve another person's will. He is happy when his "armour" is his honest thought and his truth is his strongest skill.

When the poet says a man is happy when his passions are not his master, he means that a happy man or woman must use her intellect to guide her passions.

In the next two lines the poet speaks of being ready for death. He means that the happy man or woman would feel not guilty about anything and that they would feel to be a "good person", so no need to worry about death.

In the next stanza, the poet speaks about the happy man, as one who should feel no envy, nor should he have any vices.

In the next stanza he speaks about the positive effects of living well by not having any rumors about you. It also says that a man who is led by his conscious will be strong and not be affected either positively or negatively by other people's opinions of him.

In the next stanza, the poet says this man or woman would pray daily and use his time with friends or reading.Finally he says this man would be free of servitude (serving others) and he would be lord to himself but not over any land. He would be in control of himself but have no social position  at all. In a sense this man would have nothing, but he would have everything.

Read the study guide:
Character of a Happy Life

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