Mute Thy Coronation, Emily Dickinson: Summary & Analysis

"MUTE THY CORONATION" by Emily Dickinson portrays a scene of humility and reverence before a higher power. The poem captures a sense of awe and devotion, as the speaker addresses a figure of authority with deference and acknowledges their own unworthiness. The imagery and language used convey the speaker's willingness to be silent and respectful in the presence of greatness.

"MUTE THY CORONATION"

Mute thy Coronation —
Meek my Vive le roi,
Fold a tiny courtier
In thine Ermine, Sir,
There to rest revering
Till the pageant by,
I can murmur broken,
Master, It was I —

Summary

"MUTE THY CORONATION" portrays a scene of reverence and submission before a figure of authority. The speaker uses imagery of a coronation and a courtier to depict their own humility and willingness to remain silent and respectful in the presence of greatness. The poem reflects the idea of acknowledging one's own insignificance in the face of a higher power.

Critical Analysis

The poem opens with the phrase "Mute thy Coronation," suggesting the speaker's desire to be silent and respectful during a significant event. This sets the tone of reverence and submission.

The phrase "Meek my Vive le roi" further emphasizes the speaker's humility and willingness to show deference. "Vive le roi" is French for "long live the king," adding a sense of celebration and praise.

The imagery of a "tiny courtier" being folded in the king's ermine cloak reinforces the idea of submission and reverence. The courtier represents the speaker, who seeks to rest in the presence of the higher authority.

The phrase "There to rest revering / Till the pageant by" conveys the idea that the speaker is content to wait and show reverence until the grand event or pageant has passed.

The poem concludes with the speaker expressing a desire to speak, but in a broken and humble manner. The words "Master, It was I" suggest that the speaker is acknowledging their own presence and role in the scene.

Themes

  • Reverence and Submission: The poem explores the theme of reverence and submission before a higher power or authority, emphasizing the speaker's willingness to be silent and humble in their presence.
  • Humility: The poem conveys the idea of humility in the face of greatness, with the speaker acknowledging their own insignificance and being willing to wait and observe without imposing themselves.
  • Awe and Devotion: The imagery and language used in the poem reflect a sense of awe and devotion towards the figure of authority, creating a tone of respect and admiration.

Attitudes/Feelings

  • Reverence: The poem conveys the speaker's attitude of reverence and respect towards a higher power, demonstrated through their willingness to remain silent and wait in humility.
  • Humility: The speaker's humility is evident as they acknowledge their own presence and role in the presence of greatness.

Literary Devices

  • Imagery: The imagery of a coronation, ermine cloak, and courtier is used to convey the scene of reverence and submission before the figure of authority.
  • Metaphor: The courtier is used as a metaphor for the speaker's own presence, representing their willingness to remain humble and respectful in the presence of the higher power.

Discussion Question

How does the imagery of a coronation, courtier, and ermine cloak contribute to the portrayal of reverence and humility in "MUTE THY CORONATION"? How does the speaker's use of broken language at the end of the poem reflect their sense of humility and awe?

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