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Word Count: 753
In To Helen Poe depicts a weary traveler called home by the majestic image of the beautiful Helen Through idealistic imagery and diction he develops the romantic image of feminine beauty The lofty rhyme scheme throughout the poem similarly enhances the speakers admiration of Helen In response to Poes picturesque description HD reveals her title character in Helen as a brutal reminder of the hardships of war Her usage of imagery and diction create a cold undercutting tone which along with the flat rhyme of the poem echo Helens association with death and destruction In equating Helen with the dark images of war HD mocks Poes idealistic image of feminine beauty The speaker of To Helen feels weary from the hardships he faces at sea During his travels however the image of Helen motivates him until he may return home In relating his semblance of her the speaker describes a majestic admirable woman The imagery Poe employs contributes to his romanticized perception of beauty Upon seeing Helen the speaker note How statue-like I see thee stand This image evokes thoughts of a woman placed high on a pedestal revealing the high regards the speaker holds towards Helen Similarly the agate lamp within thy hand presents an image of light and empowerment The speaker humbles himself as he remembers Helen emphasizing her powerful majestic image In contrast HD employs dark imagery to support her disheartening cold depiction of Helen Her speaker describes Helens eyes as having the luster as of olives The effect here leaves the reader feeling almost haunted as if fearing Helen rather than admiring her Similarly the speaker uses the word wan and white in portraying Helens face This image associates her with illness or death signifying the death and loss of war As HDs speaker exposes the dark side of Helen Poes whimsically pours his heart out to this image of beauty His words exude admiration and love contributing to his romantic
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