Saturday, December 5, 2009

Can someone explain "Eloisa to Abelard" lines 207-210?

Alexander Pope's "Eloisa to Abelard" lines 207-210 are:

"How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!

The world forgetting, by the world forgot.

Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!

Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd;"

It's from my favorite movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and I want to know what this quote means.

Can someone explain "Eloisa to Abelard" lines 207-210?performing shows

Vestals were temple virgins in ancient Roman pagan worship. After Eloise and Abelard parted ("blameless"), she became a nun, an abbess at the Paraclete, and he a monk. So she is a "modern" "vestal," a nun. She forgets the world, and the world forgets her. The mind of a virtuous person is eternal sunshine. Heaven accepts all her prayers, and she has nothing more to wish.

Can someone explain "Eloisa to Abelard" lines 207-210?say yes opera theater

What you really need to know is about Abelard and Heloise.

Abelard was a pretty well-regarded, but controversial scholar in medieval times.

He took the job of tutoring young Heloise, who was also very intelligent. They became lovers, which made her uncle very mad. They married secretly, because his scholarly career required him to be a priest, but that wasn't good enough for her uncle, who had Abelard castrated.

The whole mess came out, and they parted, she to an abbey, and he to a monestary. They wrote famous letters to each other during that time. Essentially, she continued to love him, declared that she would rather be his whore than an empress, and expounded her belif that actions don't matter so much as intentions. So her living a cloistered life, which some would regard as holy, was really worthless, because she didn't want to be there.

Abelard felt sorry for beign caught, but he doesn't appear to have stayed in love with her the way she did with him.

So the poem is about what Heloise feels when she gets a letter from her love. She wishes she could be a real pure nun, clean in heart, but she knows she isn't. She knows she's been dealt a bad hand, and she dreams of being with her old lover.

" Far other dreams my erring soul employ,

Far other raptures, of unholy joy:"

So I think the title refers to Heloise, being tormented by the can-never-be of her love fo Abelard, who might have taken advantage of a memory-erasing device, if availible to her.

No comments:

Post a Comment

live update