Carpe Diem In Ronsard's Poetry Essay

695 words - 3 pages

The 16th century marks the end of the Middle Ages and opens the world to a different point of view. While the focus of the Middle Ages was mainly religion, the Renaissance centers on new ideas concerning the human life. More and more people learn to read and enjoy the stories of the Antiquity, allowing them to base their ideas and stories in the old stories, while also expanding them and relating it to the man of the 16th century. One of the great writes of the Antiquity was Horace, whose theme of Carpe Diem or seize the day, has been taken on by many Renaissance writers, including Pierre de Ronsard. In many of his poems, for instance in the “Ode to Cassandre” and “Quand vous serez bien vieille…”, Ronsard uses the theme of Carpe Diem in order to illustrate to his muses the shortness of life and beauty, urging them to accept his love without wait.
While at first glance, these two poems seem very different because of their tones, “Quand vous serez bien vieille…” having a much more menacing and sinister tone in comparison to the light and loving tones of “Ode to Cassandre”; however, both of these poems carry the same message of Carpe Diem. In “Quand vous serez bien vieille…”, Ronsard reminds Helene that she will be forgotten soon, because youth doesn’t last long, and the only way to become immortal is by allowing him to use her as his subject in his poetry, after all, people die, words remain on paper for a long time. He urges Helene to put away her pride immediately or she will “Regrettant mon amour et votre fier dedain” (“Quand vous serez…”, 12). The reminder that everyone becomes old and dies serve to make the last lines of this poem, his message of Carpe Diem to Helene, stand out and become more urgent than before: “Vivez, si m’en croyez, n’attendez a demain:/ Cueillez des aujourd’hui les roses de la vie.” (“Quand vous serez…”, 13-14).
This same message is given to Cassandre in Ronsard’s...

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