Summary Of Le Chat By Charles Baudelaire

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“Le Chat” by Charles Baudelaire is from the fascinating collection “Les Fleurs du Mal”, published in 1857. “Le Chat” is an erotic poem, which portrays the image of the cat in a complimentary manner. The cat is an ambivalent figure and is compared to a treasured woman. The poem contains two quatrains and two tercets but cannot be called a sonnet due to the alternation between decasyllable and octosyllable lines and not Alexandrian. Baudelaire does not adhere to the traditional rhyming scheme, which therefore makes it irregular.

Baudelaire begins his poem with a command to the cat, “Viens”, which suggests his authority and desire for the cat. Within the first quatrain the poet uses the word “beau” to describe the cat and the cats eyes. The poet’s complimentary manner proves his attraction towards the feline animal. The second line of the poem urges a sense of danger, “Retiens les griffes de ta patte”. It is thought that the cat holds a potentional threat, however, it seems the cat can be controlled by the use of the imperative “Retiens” and from the previous line where the poet summons the cat. The use of “plonger” in the third line expresses the poet’s desire to connect with the cat and contain a strong relationship with the cat. As the poet describes the eyes of the cat, this may also be a means of describing the cat’s personality as well as it’s physicality. The adjectives describing the cat’s eyes are “métal et d 'agate”. Agate is a type of gemstone which could compare
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