Sir Thomas Wyatt

Start Your Free Trial

What are some examples of paradox and irony ın Sir Thomas Wyatt's poems "Farewell, Love" and "They Flee from Me"?

Expert Answers info

Verdie Cremin eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write2,994 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Irony and paradox appear frequently in the poetry of Sir Thomas Wyatt, and certainly they appear in his poems “Farewell love” and “They Flee From Me.” In “Farewell love,” the chastened speaker bids good-bye to Cupid, the mythical god associated with cupiditas, or selfish desire. Once the identity of “love” is understood in this way, the paradoxes and ironies of the poem become especially obvious. They include the following:

  1. To say goodbye to Cupid, the god of false love, is implicitly to say hello to Christ, the god of true love (1).
  2. To refer to the “laws” of Cupid is ironic, since by definition selfish desire knows no bounds (1).
  3. Paradoxically, although Seneca and Plato were not Christians, they lived more virtuous lives than many Renaissance Christians and were thus numbered among the “virtuous pagans” (3). Wyatt ironically refers to these non-Christians in...

    (The entire section contains 556 words.)

    Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial


felocan | Student

thank you for your great help... your knowledge wıll be very useful for my essay.. agaın thank you so muchh..:)

check Approved by eNotes Editorial