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Peace- George Herbert

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Introduction

Virginia Credle English 12/Bl. 2 November 11, 2002 Peace- George Herbert George Herbert depicts a search for peace through religion in his poem "Peace" by utilizing allusion to the Bible and symbolism. George Herbert begins his poem by asking a question; "Sweet Peace, where dost thou dwell?" This is an apostrophe to Peace because the narrator is seeking peace in a variety of sublunary places and objects such as a cave, a rainbow, a Crown Imperial flower, and he finally asks a reverend where he may find peace. The reverend recounts the life of a prince who "sweetly lived" and "who lived with good increase of flock and fold." The prince died and on his grave "there sprang twelve stalks of wheat" which prospered and spread throughout the Earth. ...read more.

Middle

According to the Bible, twelve apostles spread the word of Jesus to all the corners of the Earth, and upon the return of Jesus, he will eradicate sin. The symbolism in the poem is similar to the symbolism that is often used in the Bible; he compares Jesus to both a prince and a shepherd. The prince reference is appropriate because he is the son of God, who is often called a king, and this relationship would properly make Jesus a prince. The symbol of a shepherd is commonly used because people are considered his flock that he gathers and leads to the kingdom of God. The twelve stalks of wheat mentioned in the narration symbolize the twelve apostles. ...read more.

Conclusion

People are supposed to feed off of him for eternal life, which is exactly what the reverend advises the seeker to do. It is imperative for the reader to understand the symbolism of "Peace" to understand the full meaning of the poem. George Herbert uses a man searching for peace as a comparison for someone who lacks religion and spirit. The man is on a quest, and he looks in all the wrong places before he finally finds the person who can give him the answer he has been seeking. The reverend serves as a guide for the man searching for his spiritual self, and he provides a story that helps the lost soul find his way. Like a lamb in the dark, the seeker is guided towards the light of Christ. The seeker ultimately reaches his destination in religion. ...read more.

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