The Role Of Tone In ‘Sir Walter Raleigh To His Son’ Essay

Submitted By Hoshigaki
Words: 360
Pages: 2

The tone portrayed in ‘Sir Walter Raleigh to His Son’ was compassionate warning. Sir Walter Raleigh shows that he loves his son but warns him to act with politeness and without mischief. Raleigh tells his son if he misbehaves or acts out of line he will be hanged. Although the subject of being hanged or executed is quite dark and cruel, Sir Walter creates a tone in his poem that explains the issue to his son in a very soft and compassionate manner, while still preserving the severity of the subject. Walter uses certain words and metaphors to present his concern and worry for his son in a polite and soft, yet stern way. His words register in a person’s mind as kind, but serious. Raleigh writes, “The wood is that which makes the gallow tree; The weed is that which strings the hangman’s bag; The wag, my pretty knave betokeneth thee. Mark well, dear boy, whilst these assemble not.” What Raleigh means by this is, that the three things that come together are the wood, the weed and the wag. The wood represents a gallows, the weed represents the executioner’s bag, and the wag signifies his son, who is mischievous. He tells his son to listen well, while these these three items have not come together yet. This basically means that he should straighten himself up before he gets into trouble. Raleigh uses different words to represent otherwise harsh things, for example, wood as a gallows. This creates a mood that is serious but not as blunt and harsh as he could be. When Sir Walter uses