What is the meaning of "Love Armed" by Aphra Behn? May I know the use of figures of speech in this poem and the meaning behind the poem itself?

Expert Answers
teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Love Armed" is song from the play Abdelazar [sometimes spelled Abdelazer] or, The Moor's Revenge, by Aphra Behn, her only tragedy. 

In the first stanza, Love is personified as a cruel tyrant who sits in "Triumph" amid the destruction he has wrought. Blood flows all around from "bleeding hearts," and, as if that is not enough, Love continues to cause "fresh pains." He is depicted as taking "fire" from bright eyes and hurling this as a weapon, amusing himself with the suffering he inflicts. After this generalized description of the carnage Love has wrought, the speaker becomes more personal in the last couplet of the stanza: Love has taken enough "desire" or unrequited love from the speaker to "undo the Amorous world."

In the second stanza, the poem contrasts the differing effects of love on the speaker and the speaker's beloved. Love takes "sighs," "tears," "languishments" and "fears" from the narrator, whose love has been scorned and whose heart is "harmed." But while Love has taken heartbreak and suffering from the speaker, he has, in contrast, extracted opposite emotions from the one the speaker loves: "Pride," "Cruelty" and "every Killing Dart." The narrator ends by stating that together, the dynamic of the unhappy relationship has empowered Love and made it a god, but in a way that has wounded the narrator's heart while leaving the beloved's heart victorious and free.

Roman emperors staged triumphs to display the spoils of their conquests. By using figures of speech taken from warfare that show Love as a similarly cruel tyrant and by depicting the narrator as love's victim, the poem emphasizes love's darker side. However, the hyperbole and stylized nature of the situation also distances the reader emotionally.

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The poem "Love Armed", by Aphra Behn, contains multiple figures of speech (or literary devices).

The first line contains personification (the giving of human characteristics to non-human/ non-living things).

Love in Fantastic Triumph sat

Love is personified. Love cannot sit; humans sit.

While there are many examples of personification throughout the poem (as defined above) the most prominent is the giving of Triumph the ability to take away things from the speaker. The speaker is basically stating that he cannot obtain triumph given it has taken everything away from him in order for him to be defeated.

The poem seems to be (given poetic interpretation is given to an individual reader) about a love stolen from the speaker. The speaker has lost his love to another and, with the love gone, has lost everything that has meant anything to him.

leaflee | Student

personnification. true. 

but the first answer do not understand the meaning quite much.

mark that the author being a female. 

the poem personifies ‘love’, and as a persona, he takes from two other personas, one female, and the other a man. it  described the fact that a man and a woman was ever in love. she was caught by his bright eyes; in this relationship, the girl experienced sighs and tears, while the man shew pride and haughtiness. generally so.:D my opinion.