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Sonnet 30 (Fire And Ice) Analysis



Author: poem of Edmund Spenser Type: poem Views: 11


My love is like to ice, and I to fire:
how comes it then that this her cold so great
is not dissolv'd through my so hot desire,
but harder grows, the more I her entreat?

Or how comes it that my exceeding heat
is not delayed by her heart frozen cold,
but that I burn much more in boiling sweat,
and feel my flames augmented manifold?

What more miraculous thing may be told
that fire, which all thing melts, should harden ice:
and ice which is congealed with senseless cold,
should kindle fire by wonderful device?

Such is the pow'r of love in gentle mind
that it can alter all the course of kind.


Submitted by Melanie Wright

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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||




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Listen to it on YouTube. It might make more sense then

| Posted on 2014-01-08 | by a guest


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These comments hold great analysis. Love it guys. Really helps with the work I am doing in class :)
But with the help of the comments above mine, I believe that the poem is talking about the love that a man shows for a girl (hot, burning desire) is not being returned because she is acting like an icy-hearted bitch. Its pretty simple to get the main gist of it though

| Posted on 2013-02-19 | by a guest


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These comments hold great analysis. Love it guys. Really helps with the work I am doing in class :)
But with the help of the comments above mine, I believe that the poem is talking about the love that a man shows for a girl (hot, burning desire) is not being returned because she is acting like an icy-hearted bitch. Its pretty simple to get the main gist of it though

| Posted on 2013-02-19 | by a guest


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Come on people... This is a 16\'th century poem about how Edmund Spenser could not understand why the the woman he loved continually rejected him rather than opening up to his feelings. The way we think today is completely different than how they thought 500 years ago... If you cannot realize that, you should be studying up on the ways our culture has changed rather than making stupid comments about a poem depicting a man\'s feelings.

| Posted on 2013-01-03 | by a guest


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Come on people... This is a 16\'th century poem about how Edmund Spenser could not understand why the the woman he loved continually rejected him rather than opening up to his feelings. The way we think today is completely different than how they thought 500 years ago... If you cannot realize that, you should be studying up on the ways our culture has changed rather than making stupid comments about a poem depicting a man\'s feelings.

| Posted on 2013-01-03 | by a guest


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Poor guy. I\'d rather get burned by fire...oh wait. Never mind

| Posted on 2012-11-14 | by a guest


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i think im distracting myself from my english project cuz idk what to do. i would tell edmund \"cool story bro\"

| Posted on 2012-11-06 | by a guest


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I think this poem is about a man and a woman using Trojan Fire and Ice condoms.

| Posted on 2012-10-14 | by a guest


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Kevin Roth said that this poem was about the fire in your loins when you scope someone.

| Posted on 2012-04-27 | by a guest


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you people are so stupid this is a classic poem its easy to understand as long as you know how to read, and it happens a lot in modern times when the guy likes a girl but the girl doesnt feel the same way, the more the guy tries to get the girl to like him the less she does.. duh!

| Posted on 2012-04-23 | by a guest


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I lit my wiener on fire and then put ice on it and it was fine. What\'s wrong with this Spenser guy here? He is all mixed up. He should give his wiener more attention.

| Posted on 2012-01-30 | by a guest


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My love is like to ice, and I to fire: simile comparing his love for her to fire, hers for him to ice
How comes it then that this her cold so great
Is not dissolved through my so hot desire,
But harder grows the more I her entreat? Rhetorical question relating to her increasing coldness towards him the more he desires her
Or how comes it that my exceeding heat
Is not allayed by her heart-frozen cold, personification of the frozen heart
But that I burn much more in boiling sweat, alliteration to emphasize the burning heat he feels towards her
And feel my flames augmented manifold?
What more miraculous thing may be told, alliteration to emphasize the miracle of her ability to remain cold towards his heat and desire for her
That fire, which all things melts,
should harden ice, theme—the more he desires her, the colder she is in return and in reality, that isn’t the typical reaction with the elements of fire and ice
And ice, which is congeal\'d with senseless cold, theme—is her coldness towards him “senseless”? The poem supports her “harden[ed]” feelings towards him the more he demonstrates his love or attraction to him. Why then does he use the word “senseless” to characterize her feelings, isn’t she purposeful in rejecting his love?
Should kindle fire by wonderful device? Theme—his fire continues to “kindle” or grow the more she freezes him out suggesting that he won’t give up no matter how cold she is in return.
Such is the power of love in gentle mind, Who has the “gentle mind”? Her? Him? Neither? The poem suggests that the “power of love” is a neutralizer that can balance both the fire and ice that each persona represents in the poem.
That it can alter all the course of kind. Really? Can his love alter her mind set against him?

| Posted on 2012-01-29 | by a guest


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BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER BONER

| Posted on 2011-10-14 | by a guest


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What I basically get from this is that his love is unrequitted. The more he loves her, the more she rejects him, the more he loves her. . . It\'s a vicious cycle of passion and apathy. Poor guy.

| Posted on 2011-05-15 | by a guest


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ohemgee, could this be anymore boring?? erg, north paulding high project we have to summerize this

| Posted on 2011-02-14 | by a guest


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| Posted on 2010-11-23 | by a guest


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| Posted on 2010-11-19 | by a guest


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this poem shows that love can even alter the forces and laws of nature.

| Posted on 2010-10-11 | by a guest


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| Posted on 2010-10-05 | by a guest


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you guys just helpd me with my summer school wrk thanks

| Posted on 2010-07-13 | by a guest


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Edmund Spenser’s poem is about a conflict of a man’s desire for a woman, who does not love him back. Through the line, ‘my Love is like to ice, and I to fire’ the narrator describes himself as fire, with a burning desire for a woman. In contrast, the narrator describes the woman as ice, cold hearted and a tease. The poem goes on to explain how the man tries to love the woman, but she continually builds ever-growing blocks and barricades. The man asks himself why fire, being able to melt everything, is not melting the ice that is the woman’s heart. In fact is has the opposite effect as expressed through ‘fire, which all things melts, should harden ice’. The more that the man shows his love, appreciation and affection for the woman, the more cold and uninterested the woman becomes. The last two lines of the poem can be interpreted in many different ways. Is love a paradox? What does love do to men? Spenser seems to suggest that love is so overwhelmingly powerful that it is beyond our control and thus ‘that it can alter all the course of kind’.
Spenser uses a plethora of literary devices to express the ideas within his poem. Stylistic devices such as metaphors and theme are employed to emphasize how the man cannot get the woman he deeply desires. The opening line ‘My Love is like to ice, and I to fire’ utilises metaphors which are perennial throughout the poem. The comparison of these dramatically opposites where the woman is described as ice – cold and vengeful, whereas the man’s desire is described as fire – burning and hot, serve to illustrate the extremity of the opposed emotions of the man and woman. This also develops irony to a man on heat. Love is clearly a central theme of this poem. Love is vital to all humans and so the poem can become particularly important to the reader, particularly if an experience or situation of theirs is correspondent to one of the characters.

| Posted on 2010-05-30 | by a guest


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you all need to get a life PEOPLE! helloo oseaaa its an old poem aboyt 1,0 years old and omg! seriously bro?

| Posted on 2010-04-08 | by a guest


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in this poem spincer sinmply states that to him it is amaising that though he tries so much the one woman he loves shows absolutly no intrest in him. this poem was written by him to the very woman he was quorting and later became his wife. nune the less however the fact remaise that oppicets attract and though it seems to be against nature it is not. why should fire melt ice or ice cool fire? these are things that we as humans percive to be normal but love in it's slef is the very agent of nature and so nature combats nature. there for spincer simply states the over welming power of lovwe that seems to defie it's own corse.
Everett c. Raschka JR.

| Posted on 2010-02-08 | by a guest


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its not about the woman not loving him back as some people said. i believe he is comparing fire to ice to say thier love is so great it alters the course of nature.

| Posted on 2010-02-05 | by a guest


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I think this sonnet is a little older than 35 years, since he was born in 1552?(hehem, artard).

| Posted on 2010-01-12 | by a guest


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you all need to get a life and stop summarizing a sonnet that is like 35 years old.

| Posted on 2009-11-12 | by a guest


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I suggest reading this poem in a British Accent it really helps understand what he's going through.

| Posted on 2009-10-01 | by a guest


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this post just help me for my english paper. thank you so much

| Posted on 2009-04-30 | by a guest


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The poem itself is an example of transitoriness of human life.But it is narrower than William Shakespeare's To His Love.It has a very romantic beginning. Md. Tanvir Ahmed Eastern University Bangladesh.

| Posted on 2009-04-22 | by a guest


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I think the poem is ACTUALLY about love being able to exist even between two opposing forces. Fire and Ice. To people that are complete opposites (or at least very different from each other), yet they are able to find love between them. And instead of destroying each other, they make each other stronger... amazing!

| Posted on 2009-03-13 | by a guest


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Edmund Spenser’s “Fire and Ice” has to do with a man who desires a woman however, the woman that he desires does not love him back and Edmund Spenser uses lots of metaphors to compare this love, to “Fire and Ice.” The man is Fire, is not enough to melt the frigid woman’s heart, which does not desire him. The speaker in this poem explains every single detail of why this woman does not love him back. One specific line that explains what is going on, “How comes it then that this her cold so great is not dissolv’d through my so hot desire, But harder grows the more I her entreat?” (Lines 2-4) As the most common scenarios as the man shows more affection towards the woman; the woman does not appreciate the fact that the man loves her. The man speaks of his love like fire (this could mean obsession, passion, infatuation, etc.) and the women’s heart like ice (she's probably bored, infuriated, disturbed, etc.).This sonnet is full of metaphors to describe the love that the man feels and how the woman rejects the man’s love for her. In the lines 5 and 6, “Or how comes it that my exceeding heat is not delayed by her heart frozen cold,” metaphorically the man is trying to figure out why his flaming love for the woman is not melting the woman’s frigid heart. The lines, “that fire, which all things melts, should harden ice, and ice, which is congealed with senseless cold, Should kindle fire by wonderful device?” (Lines 10-12) the speaker is trying to figure out why he cannot melt the woman’s cold heart. Perhaps the most important lines in the sonnet are the last two lines, “Such is the power of love in gentle mind, that it can alter all the course of kind.” These lines can be paraphrased as, “That the nature of love is passion, and that it can change the state of anything in this world.” The word, “miraculous” in line 9 used to describe the unfortunate realities of their love, which is not working out. The last two lines conclude that the nature of love has the power to change natural occurrences such as fire melting ice. Perhaps the man tried too hard to (re)gain the love of the woman that he pushed her way from him, probably he harden her icy heart as he desired her.

Chris A.

| Posted on 2009-02-24 | by a guest


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dude, thanks for the explination, it helps in the project i am doing in English class.

| Posted on 2009-02-09 | by a guest


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It pretty much means don't be a creepy staker because that never works with the ladys.

| Posted on 2009-02-01 | by a guest


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“Sonnet 30” by Edmund Spenser dramatizes the conflict of a man’s burning desire to be with a woman who has no interest in him. Edmund Spenser uses the metaphorical comparisons of dramatically opposites, fire and ice. The man is fire, who is obsessed for this ice cold woman, which returns nothing. The poem explains why this man can’t get this woman to love him back.
The conflict is best represented by the lines, “How comes it then that this her cold so great is not dissolv’d through my so hot desire, But harder grows the more I her entreat?” (Lines 2-4) Spenser explains that the more the man shows affection and love to the woman, the more the woman loses interest for the man. This Sonnet is full of metaphors, mainly relating and comparing the love the two shows for each other with burning fire, and freezing ice.
In the lines 5 and 6, “Or how comes it that my exceeding heat is not delayed by her heart frozen cold,” the man is metaphorically asking why his “burning” love for her isn’t “melting” her heart; or in other words, why showing his affections for her isn’t attracting the woman. The lines, “…fire, which all things melts, should harden ice, And ice, which is congealed with senseless cold, Should kindle fire by wonderful device?” (Lines 10-12) is the narrator, asking why this love isn’t working out when it should be.
Perhaps the most important lines in the sonnet are the last two lines, “Such is the power of love in gentle mind, that it can alter all the course of kind.” These lines can be paraphrased as, “That is the nature of passionate love, that it can change the natural state of everything.” The word, “miraculous” in line 9 was used to describe the unfortunate realities of their love which is not working out. The last 2 lines conclude that the nature of love has the power to change natural occurrences such as fire melting ice.

| Posted on 2008-04-21 | by a guest


.: :.

The poem talks about how he loves some one and she douse not show love back. She is the ice and maybe if he is the fire the ice will melt and then she will see

| Posted on 2008-04-20 | by a guest


.: Different hot :.

The explination of fire and hot is actually the speaker's nervousness of going and talking to his love where his love is the opposite of him as cold is to fire. He only wishes that the two opposits could actually be that same to make his fire help her cold heart.

| Posted on 2008-04-12 | by a guest


.: Sonnet 30 :.

This poem speaks of a man's burning desire to be with this one particular woman. He loves her so much yet she returns nothing. It doesn't seem like the two are in fact a couple but I belive they may. It could be an extremely long relationship and the excitement and intensity of their relationship may just be running out. The man speaks of his love like fire (this could mean obsession, infatuation, etc.) and the womens heart like ice (she's probably annoyed, frustrated, etc.). The man seems to be trying so hard that the women wants nothing more than to pull and push away (can you blame her?) And in return her "icey heart" is just becoming harder because she becomes that much more turned off.

| Posted on 2008-02-11 | by a guest


.: Sonnet 30 :.

This poem speaks of a man's burning desire to be with this one particular woman. He loves her so much yet she returns nothing. It doesn't seem like the two are in fact a couple but I belive they may. It could be an extremely long relationship and the excitement and intensity of their relationship may just be running out. The man speaks of his love like fire (this could mean obsession, infatuation, etc.) and the womens heart like ice (she's probably annoyed, frustrated, etc.). The man seems to be trying so hard that the women wants nothing more than to pull and push away (can you blame her?) And in return her "icey heart" is just becoming harder because she becomes that much more turned off.

| Posted on 2008-02-11 | by a guest


.: burning man, icing woman :.

I think this sonnet talks about a man who was burning in love for a woman, but she was cold towards him. The first sentence he uses metaphors comparing his love to fire and the woman he loves to ice "my love is like to ice, and i to fire;"
He questions himself why fire being able to melt everything is not melting the ice in this womans heart but yet makes it stronger and harder.
She pushes him away, but his love for her in many different and new ways grows more and more.

| Posted on 2008-02-08 | by a guest


.: This poem :.

I think that Edmund Spenser never had a love life, and that he is just trying to show that once he asked someone and they said no, he turned to ice for a long time, and then tried again, but was to late.
It reminded me of myself, because I have asked before, and was told no. I have not spoken to her since.

| Posted on 2008-02-01 | by a guest




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