Diction In Eros

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A Tale of Two Eros’

In “EROS” by Robert Bridges, in direct contrast to the god depicted by Anne Stevenson in her poem, “Eros”, a god of love is, in actuality, a god of power, whilst Stevenson’s Eros is wholly dependant on humanity for his continued survival. The two authors use diction, rhyme scheme, and the symbol of power in both similar and completely different ways to portray two very different interpretations of the Greek god of love.

Stevenson’s use of diction is the complete opposite of Bridge’s use of diction to describe his version of Eros. Stevenson uses diction such as “this thug with broken nose And squinty eyes.”, “With boxer lips And patchy wings askew” to create imagery of Eros as a fairly hideous gentleman. Bridges, in direct contrast, uses diction to describe Eros as an ethereal being, “with thy exuberant flesh so fair, That only Pheidias might compare”, and “Thou idol of the human heart, The flower of lovely youth that art;” to create an image of otherworldly beauty and perfection. Stevenson’s Eros has many more mortal-like traits than Bridges’ Eros, such as the statement that “overuse” of Eros by humanity is the cause of his ugly visage. Oppositely, humanity
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Bridges hands all of the power to his Eros, stating that “Ah yet no victim of thy grace, None who e’er long for thy embrace, Hath cared to look upon thy face.” meaning that although humans long for love’s embrace, they do not wish to see that power that the love has over them, instead choosing to live in happy oblivion. In contrast, Stevenson’s Eros is completely at the mercy of humanity - in fact, his unsightly looks is directly caused by “the sum Of blows your lust delivered one by one”, referring to himself and the other gods as “We slaves who are immortal”. The difference between who is subjected to whose whims is extremely different depending on the author of the
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