When You Are Old Tone

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In the poem, "When You Are Old", by William Butler Yeats, the speaker 's attitude towards the woman is conveyed through several elements. It is clear that the speaker has a loving attitude toward the woman. The poem 's form-the way it is put together-makes the attitude clear. However, the diction, imagery, and tone assist the form to make the attitude apparent. The poem is set up in three stanzas. The first stanza is the speaker telling the woman that when she "[is] old and grey and full of sleep,"(1) just read "this book" of her past. The second stanza moves on to talk about her past relationships. Halfway through the stanza, though, he indicates "one man" who loved her better than the rest. This is an indication of his loving …show more content…

The imagery in the third stanza is asking the woman to remember the love they had together in their relationship. "murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled/And paced upon the mountains overhead/ And hid his face amid a crowd of stars." (10-12). The speaker asks the woman to remember their love that departed into "a crowd of stars". The tone of the poem is slightly sad, but reassuring. The first stanza is somber because the woman is old and seemingly alone. But, when the second stanza is read, readers are reassured and are able to see the love the speaker has for the woman. "But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, / And loved the sorrows of your changing face."(7-8). This quote draws an emotional experience to many readers. Many young people grow up with fairy tales and the idea of unconditional love, regardless of our flaws. So, this emotional connection can see the tone reflects the speaker 's unconditional love for the woman. The poem 's form, diction, imagery, and tone relay the speaker 's attitude toward the woman. The order of the stanzas and the word choice makes it apparent that the speaker loves the woman. The imagery and tone also helps readers to see the speaker 's attitude. All of these elements work together so the reader can see the speaker 's

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