Sonnet 54 Edmund Spenser Summary. The poem expresses the poet-persona’s views as he swings between the distinct moods caused by the negligence of his lover. The lines also expresses the lover’s resentment at the beloved’s reaction to both his grief and his joy. The beloved can be regarded as traditional Petrarchan heroine-proud and insensitive to the plight of the lover.
The stage in which the poet performs the act is regarded as the world. And his beloved sits idle as a spectator watching him play different phases of acts. Here, the lady love Elizabeth Boyle holds cold and callous emotions for the pageant, the poet do with all the power and zest making no effects on the lover. As of that, he falls to despair as all his endeavor to make her laugh or cry ends in vain.
Sonnet 54 Edmund Spenser Summary -Sometimes he tries to create a comical scene masking himself in myrth and then sometimes swings to the sad part, escalating his wail to create a tragedy, yet it affects her with zero force. In reality this is Spenser trying to appear to be a desirable gentlemen in all sorts of differently real world situations. She watches all his plays with constant eyes; eyes that doesn’t embrace tears for an unfortunate or catastrophical scene or widens with laughter at a comical scene.
His comparisons shows that whatever he does she doesn’t seem impressed, showing the least bit of empathy. Rather than that, she shows different reactions. For a dreadful scene, she laughs and for a comical, she cries, which makes the situation worse by disrespecting him. “What then can move her?”. The poet asks the question that after all the endeavor if she doesn’t move with the correct emotions, then what on earth can make her cry or joy. His hopes fade at the final stage as he fails to arise passion in her. He tells that she isn’t a woman but a senseless and cold heart-ed stone.