False Shepherd Analysis

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Literal Meaning and Fugitive Meaning:
The poem is about a circle in hell which deals with ‘false shepherds’, meaning those who claim to aid and/or guide a group of people to ‘salvation’. This ‘salvation’ can be spiritual; as in the case with many cult members; or even members of various religions themselves Even in a more secular world, leaders of governments, politicians, even teachers can be ‘false shepherd’ who abuse their ‘flock’. However, their ultimate goal is not ‘salvation’ but it is some sort of benefit for themselves at the cost of their ‘flock’. They essential abuse their ‘flock’s’ trust and faith to achieve their own selfish goals and desires. This poem heavily leans on the religious side of this problem, specifically Christianity, as the poem talks about a circle in a Christian version of hell,
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However, the first part also uses dissonant imagery, for example “the blinding light of a candle” or “sturdy as a flower” to represent an unsettling feeling that not is all what it seems. Once in hell, paradise imagery continues with, “the paradise of everlasting dawn” but they cannot see it due to being blinded by their own haloes.
The harsh sounding auditory imagery from the fallen angels, show that their songs are not pleasant to listen to and indeed they lead those who listen to oblivion, but it is the only thing the ‘false shepherds’ can hold onto, to find their way through the paradise maze. The candle imagery is also seen here again, but it is used against them, much like how they used it against their flock (symbolizing how many people believe that the cult, group etc. is the last and only option for them). The candle is used a metaphor for the requiem of the fallen angels, again the only thing they can grasp in the blinding
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