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THE LATEST DECALOGUE, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

"The Latest Decalogue" is a satirical poem by Arthur Hugh Clough, first published in 1861. The poem is a criticism of the moral hypocrisy and materialism of Victorian society. Clough uses witty and ironic language to create a sense of satire and to critique the moral standards of his time.

The poem is structured around ten "commandments" or rules that satirize the values and beliefs of Victorian society. The first "commandment" criticizes the idea of materialism and the pursuit of wealth at any cost. The second "commandment" critiques the idea of social climbing and the desire for status and recognition. The third "commandment" satirizes the idea of "keeping up appearances" and the hypocrisy that often accompanies it.

As the poem progresses, Clough continues to critique the moral standards of Victorian society. He satirizes the idea of religious piety, the pursuit of pleasure, and the desire for power and control. He also critiques the idea of marriage as a social and economic transaction rather than a loving and fulfilling relationship.

Throughout the poem, Clough uses witty and ironic language to create a sense of satire and to critique the moral standards of his time. He uses a variety of poetic techniques, such as irony and sarcasm, to create a sense of depth and resonance. He also uses repetition and rhythm to create a sense of movement and flow, echoing the motion of the societal values he critiques.

One of the most striking aspects of the poem is the way in which it critiques the moral hypocrisy and materialism of Victorian society. Clough is presented as a keen observer of the human experience, who is able to capture the complexity of the societal values and beliefs of his time. The poem is a testament to his ability to use language to create a sense of satire and to evoke a powerful emotional response in his readers.

In conclusion, "The Latest Decalogue" is a powerful and evocative poem that critiques the moral standards of Victorian society. Clough's use of witty and ironic language, his exploration of societal values, and his reflection on the human experience create a work that is both timeless and universal. The poem is a testament to Clough's skill as a poet, and to his ability to capture the complexity of societal values and beliefs in his writing.


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