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AGINCOURT, by             Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography

Michael Drayton was an English poet who lived from 1563 to 1631. He was a contemporary of William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson and was known for his poetry, which often celebrated English history and mythology. "Agincourt" is a poem by Drayton that celebrates the English victory over the French at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.

Context:

"Agincourt" reflects the political and military tensions between England and France during the Hundred Years' War, a protracted conflict that lasted from 1337 to 1453. The battle of Agincourt was a significant victory for England, which was able to overcome a much larger French force through the use of longbows and other military innovations. Drayton was writing at a time when England was once again at war with France, during the reign of King James I.

Content:

"Agincourt" is a narrative poem that describes the battle of Agincourt from the perspective of an English soldier. The poem begins by describing the preparations for battle, including the making of arrows and the sharpening of swords. Drayton goes on to describe the battle itself, emphasizing the courage and skill of the English archers and the ferocity of the fighting. The poem ends with a tribute to the English soldiers who gave their lives in the battle.

Form:

"Agincourt" is written in heroic couplets, a common form in English poetry. The poem has a regular rhyme scheme (aa bb cc) and is divided into six-line stanzas. Drayton also makes use of rhetorical devices such as repetition and parallelism to create his effects.

Poetic Elements:

Drayton's use of repetition and parallelism in "Agincourt" creates a sense of rhythm and musicality, emphasizing the poem's celebration of the English victory. The poem also makes use of vivid imagery and metaphor, such as the comparison of the English longbows to "showers of pointed hail."

Summary:

"Agincourt" is a stirring narrative poem that celebrates the English victory over the French at the battle of Agincourt. Drayton's use of heroic couplets and rhetorical devices creates a sense of structure and formality, while his use of poetic techniques such as repetition and metaphor adds to the poem's emotional impact. The poem also reflects the cultural and historical concerns of its time, and provides a vivid and engaging depiction of a significant moment in English history. Overall, "Agincourt" is a lively and engaging tribute to the courage and skill of the English soldiers who fought and died in the battle of Agincourt.


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