M A Look Into The Centrality Of Mankind

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Man: A Look into the Centrality of Mankind In George Herbert’s Man, Herbert gives homage to God, and the centrality of man. The main point of the poem assumes that since God is the greatest being of all, and God created humanity, then human beings are great as well - greater than credit is given. It focuses on the concept that man is a microcosm, or a small-scale model of the world, and that every part of the body has a facet of the world of which it is equal. Man is a poem that has fully formed stanzas - each stanza can be viewed as a separate point, and has it’s own central metaphor. When all of the stanzas are added up, they act as points in an essay, each a fully developed argument on the importance of man, and humanity’s closeness with God. Therefore, I will examine each stanza separately, as individual points and metaphors, to show how Herbert’s use of this form is helpful in developing the poem’s meaning. In the first stanza, Herbert comments on the meaning behind God’s creation of the world, and how it relates to mankind. “ That none doth build a stately habitation/But he that means to dwell therein.” Why would God build such a marvelous home, if he never intended to dwell within? There seems to be no point in this, so we can see that God is indeed living here on Earth - in our minds and hearts, as he is the model we follow to live fulfilling lives. This gives us a peek into Herbert’s theology, and how he views the interference of God in the affairs of mankind - that God has always been here, and he is essential to our understanding of the world. Calling the world a home is the central metaphor of this stanza - it narrows the scope of the argument - the world seems large, but for God the planet is like a cozy home, fil... ... middle of paper ... ... the sense of constant motion - the Earth and beyond is constantly moving, adapting, and conforming to the needs of humanity. Everything is a always happening. This is brought across by how Herbert emphasizes the words blow, rest, move, and flow. Another way Herbert makes the poem flow is through his rhyme scheme. He uses the rhyme scheme, ABCBCA, which makes it gallop along, and links otherwise independent stanzas to each other. By maintaining this constant rhyme scheme, Herbert makes Man into one cohesive poem, rather than many small couplets. This also links the form - the structure of the stanza, rhyme scheme, and figurative language - to the underlying meaning of the poem, how everything works together on Earth all for the purpose of furthering the aims of humanity. Indeed, the poem itself works as a cohesive unit of arguments to bring this very point across.

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